How to write a descriptive essay
A descriptive essay gives a clear and detailed definition of a topic. Similar to narrative essays, a descriptive essay needs to be vivid and creative.
This type of essay tests your ability to write and paint the topic with your own words. Generally, you’ll be asked to write descriptive essays in high school or university.
About descriptive essaysA descriptive paper may describe a person, event, process, or object. The author should give a clear and vivid description of the topic instead of a metaphorical approach
Descriptive essay example
In this article, we provide you with an overview of how to write a descriptive essay. Although some tips are included, it is always better to analyze an example paper.
Descriptive essay topics
Your instructor may give you a topic in instructions when writing a descriptive paper. These prompts will often ask you to focus on your own experience. After all, finding a topic shouldn’t be hard as the aim is simply describing something.
Decriptive essay topic examples
These are personal topic examples, but you may be assigned to something outside your own experience. Then, you’ll surely make use of your imagination. You need to paint the scenario with your words.
Imaginative descriptive essay topics
Conceptual descriptive essay topics
Approaches to descriptive essays
Descriptive essays are usually seen under two main approaches; these are personal and formal descriptive essays. Let’s see their differences and example topics.
Personal descriptive essay
In this type, what matters is your responses and feelings to create empathy among readers. Your essay structure may become random and disorganized as long as you convey your emotions to readers.
The focus is to fully communicate with your feelings and create a piece of personal feelings and emotions. Your reader needs to picture your situation.
Example topicsYou can choose to reflect on your first relationship. Describing the impact of your favorite book on your character is also a good idea.
Formal descriptive essay
This one is similar to an argumentative essay. By following an organized and clear essay structure, you aim to describe a set of crucial points about your topic.
Instead of describing your personal approach, follow a more general and broader perspective.
Example topicsDescribe the current political structure of Europe. You can also talk about historical events or the impacts of climate change on the global economy.
Descriptive essay best practices
We’ve listed down several best practices along with a few writing tips. Follow these steps and write yourself a properly structured and intriguing descriptive essay.
Use figurative expressions
Metaphors and other linguistic twists are among the elements of figurative language. You better focus on figurative language to make your essay unique and creative.
Let’s see an example where the first is a literal description of a school and the second is a figurative one.
Your reader will not likely remember the first mainstream sentence in the example below. Think of more creative ways to explain your setting, as in the second sentence.
Here, I have used figurative language to describe the “students” as “the future of such a small county”. This sentence is more memorable as your reader doesn’t expect such a figurative and creative approach to describing a schoolyard.
Make use of the senses
ExampleI felt the bitter cold of snow on my face and smelled the refreshing air.
Metaphorical exampleTo success is tasting the dessert of year-long hard work and the feeling you just don’t want to breathe out.
Descriptive essay writing tips
With the help of this quick guide including the best practices of writing a descriptive essay, you’re good to go!