What is a descriptive essay? A descriptive essay is a short paper which is all about describing or summarizing a topic. You don't need to collect responses from other people like you do when writing an argumentative essay. Based on my own experience, I can tell that expository essays barely occupy more than one page. They won't take a plenty of time. Still, if you have no desire to work on the stuff like that or you want to impress your essay reader even with such a simple assignment, contact academic writers for hire to have your vivid essay done in several hours.
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No details, no proofs, no special effort... It is the simplest academic homework essay. In general, students should illustrate a descriptive essay with words instead of using pictures. Describe whatever you see, feel, touch, taste, or hear about the target topic. Learn here how to write an A-level college essay.
A descriptive essay about a place, for instance, must provide author's impressions from attending a certain place in the world: from a small town to the biggest country. We explain how to write a descriptive essay based on its types.
How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Types to Consider
Study professional descriptive essay examples to understand each type listed below better. A descriptive essay can describe any of the following issues:
- Human essay. It is much harder to tell about a person. Overall, such task would mean telling about the appearance, actions, behaviors, mood, and qualities of the chosen individual.
- Place essay. The primary thing you should understand to find out how to write a descriptive essay about a place is the paper's focus. Focus on describing places with the most breathtaking sights; let your reader feel the might of such cities as New York or Rome in your description.
- Event essay. You can describe your last vacation, loud rock gig, summer music festival, graduation day, or Euro trip.
- Animal essay. Wild nature is full of wonders - choose the animal you like most of all or the one you can associate with yourself.
- Occupation essay. Writing about the job of your dream is good training before preparing an admissions essay or job resume.
- Behavior essay. If you want to describe the freaky behavior of your best friend to show how the same people act under different conditions, it's your chance!
We can explain just anything in details. The goal is to make it sound both artistically and officially.
Keep in mind you can count on help with writing a descriptive essay from academic experts who care about your performance.
100 Descriptive Essay Topics for Any Taste
We have selected 100 most outstanding descriptive essay topics most of the school and college tutors expect to see from each student. Mind that these are only the examples of the descriptive essay ideas; students can think of their own original topics by replacing some words with more suitable.
Despite there are many topics you might want to describe in detail, it is better to focus on a single person/place/event/object not to lose the point. Consider these 100 topics for your argumentative essay. A descriptive essay refers to showing than telling; deliver the main idea to your readers through drawing a picture of what you want to say.
Person/People Essay Ideas
- Make a detailed description of your mother (other relatives).
- Provide a vivid description of your role model. It could be your favorite actor, singer, movie director, fashion model, political figure, best friend, parents, etc.
- Why does Martin Luther King deserve respect?
- Describe a character from your favorite TV show (e.g. Buffy Summers, Piper Halliwell, Clark Kent, etc.)
- Choose a famous villain and reveal his personality.
- Describe specific traits you enjoy in one of your peers.
- List features of your boyfriend/girlfriend (fiancé/bride) which make this person so important in your life.
- Would you prefer Wonder Woman or Xena, Warrior Princess?
- Essay: Share a description of your most liked teacher.
- Why do you believe John Kennedy was a great political figure on the examples of his contribution to the US society?
- Explain why your favorite actress is better than the others.
- Why would a certain person behave in the way he/she does?
- Which psychological factors had the greatest impact on your own behavior?
- Describe a person whom you hate.
- Share description of your least favorite movie.
- Essay: Which horror film character has scared you to death?
- How would you act if you meet your favorite celebrity on the street one day?
- What traits belong to the term "best friend"?
- How would you define your potential enemies?
- Describe why you believe in a friendship between man and woman based on your own experience.
- Write who your favorite business manager is.
- Write how a perfect fashion model should look like today.
- Write why you think Abraham Lincoln deserves a special place in the history of the US.
- Essay: List specific features which make your mom stand out from the rest of the mothers.
- Why is your dad the kindest dad in the world?
Place/Location Descriptive Essay Examples
- Provide details on the house you're living in. Would you like to change something about it, move away to another location, or stay without fixing anything, and why?
- Where would you like to rest next winter and why?
- Share an example of a perfect summer location with your readers.
- Provide details on your favorite winter location.
- Some students want to describe the rooms they are living in on campus. Share ideas how the college/university community could unite to make this place better.
- Describe the top favorite place in your native country.
- Essay: How do you picture an ideal place to have a wedding ceremony?
- Write about the place where people can see the brightest stars in the sky.
- Think of the features of the perfect place to have the loudest rock gig ever!
- List the names of the countries you would like to visit.
- My hometown is in my heart and soul.
- Why has Melbourne the heart of Australia despite it is not even its capital city?
- Describe the loudest place you used to visit.
- Write about the place you think is the best in the whole world.
- Essay: Tell more about the place you're studying in.
- Describe the places you attended with your parents.
- Describe the most beautiful garden you have ever seen.
- Name the place you would choose for the summer festival.
- Write about 7 Wonders of the World.
- Write what you believe is the eighth Wonder of the World.
- Write how you feel when attending your childhood places.
- Essay: Write down why you prefer your native country over any other places in the world.
- Write how you can get to the certain destination.
- Describe a location for a perfect student party.
- Write about your favorite place which exists only in the fiction.
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Memory/Mind Essay Ideas
- Help your readers picture the best day of your life using vivid descriptions, different examples, original comparisons, and more attributes of the talented essay writer.
- What was the most special thing on your last trip to the sea?
- Do you remember the first birthday of your best friend?
- Create a map which would allow people to travel your mind to see a bit of your experience.
- Describe the introductory day in any of the existing educational institution - school, college, or university - using the entire spectrum of emotions.
- Essay: What would you call the ugliest experience in your life?
- Find proper words to describe the memories associated with the beloved person who used to die.
- List the things you like doing with your grandparents.
- Describe the event in your academic life which makes you proud enough to share it with the admissions officers later.
- Provide a description of the first time falling in love.
- Provide a description of the day in your life when something you like (e.g. hobby, art, music band, comic book, other objects) has almost changed your vision completely.
- Describe what you believe young children tend to memorize best of all.
- Essay: Help your readers understand how it feels like in the mountains.
- Do you like riding the bicycle?
- Describe the last time you were abroad.
- Share your feelings with the readers who wish to learn more about taking part in the exchange
- How did you feel during your English language exam?
- Which event from your life made you feel scared?
- Describe something that made you laugh to death.
- Offer details on your visit to London.
- Describe a silent place in the woods you love since your early ages.
- Write how you remember the first snow in your life.
- Write why it is important to keep a diary.
- Essay: Write down several things you remember from your tenth birthday.
- Write how it feels to attend the funeral based on your memory.
Object/Thing Descriptive Essay Topics
- Dedicate several powerful paragraphs to what you consider your family relict.
- Describe an object which you believe has once saved your life or prevented other adverse consequences for you or one of your close people.
- The Silk Road.
- Find appropriate words to describe something you wanted so bad you were ready to steal it due to the fact you did not have enough money to buy it.
- The most expensive painting ever sold.
- Pick one of the recent technological innovations. Make a description explaining why this particular thing plays in important role in the development of modern society.
- Essay: There is one more thing every writer should keep in mind to have a full vision of how to write a descriptive essay about yourself.
- Providing a description of distance and time from the physical aspect.
- Wonderful things every human should know from the Ancient World (choose Egypt, Greece, or Rome)
- How would you describe the icons in your home?
- The Empire State Building (or any other magnificent construction)
- Taj Mahal: historical value.
- Solar System and planets in it.
- The role of Bible in our life.
- Essay: A comfortable bed as a definition of good sleep.
- Can a dress make a man?
- Why do we love soft toys that much?
- Things to take with you on a sea trip.
- What can money change in the life of every person?
- The true value of vegetables in the markets.
- Essay: Write why your old Tamagotchi still matters to you.
- Write how your favorite video game has impacted you.
- Write down specific attributes which make your favorite doll special.
- Describe your living rooms in detail.
- Describe the neighboring house in detail.
Want to view several good descriptive essay examples from experts? We have attached the best samples to observe!
Common Structure: How to Write a Descriptive Essay
The structure of such essay depends on the topic. There is no need to follow strict chronology if you write about a person/object, but you should mind the order of events in the essay describing a place. Do not waste time on in-depth research or search for many sources - focus on writing about your feelings.
Work on the senses. To succeed, it is important to create 5 titled columns on a separate worksheet to list five human senses. Any good descriptive essay must cover each of the five senses, taste, sight, touch, smell and sound, to make the reader(s) feel the full spectrum of emotions associated with the chosen topic. It is obvious that some topics are better associated with certain feelings than others; focus on these feelings when describing the issue in detail.
Writing an outline. Create an outline to be your action plan during the entire writing process. No matter whether you're a high school student or the one studying in college, the teachers everywhere expect to see a 5-paragraph descriptive essay. Descriptive essays belong to the category of creative pieces. Use them to expand your imagination by lengthening the text. The standard outline covers five paragraphs: introduction, 3-5 body paragraphs, and conclusion. Descriptive essays do not have a reference page as the obligatory part. Add important sources if you're not reflecting personal experience.
Explore how a professional descriptive writing looks in several great descriptive essay examples!
Descriptive writing is not a piece of cake, but some expert recommendations help students to overcome different obstacles in their academic life:
"Most of my students wondered how to write a descriptive essay about a person, place, or object. The best topic is one that writer has a deep connection with. No matter whether you have a list of wonderful topics or the one your teacher expects to see: brainstorming is the key! I recommend this technique to every student. Once you master brainstorming, it would be easier for you to work in a team within any environment. I like original ideas such as Things to Do in Your City, The Funniest Memory, A Perfect Day with a Favorite Rock Star, Detailed Description of the Self-Invented Food, and more."
Lisa Head, Literature Professor at University College London (UCL)
DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY FORMULA
- Pre-writing stage. Do you have a clear image of the object you’re going to describe? Look at all sources you have on hands to define whether they provide all important information on the topic of your choice. Mind that having an experience in the discussed field would be a plus. Focus on your own senses, taste, smell, and other feelings while recalling your example, and then create an action plan for further writing.
- How to start a descriptive essay? Start writing with a powerful, eye-catching hook to grab the reader's attention: simile, metaphor, literary quote, famous people quotations, poetry lines, interesting facts, jokes, etc.
- Create a draft of your expository essay. You may put all words that come to your mind; you'll have a chance to make your ideas shorter later. It's not enough to tell - show the image of the object with the help of words only. The way you create a mental image for the reader defines your ability to make up a good descriptive essay. It is the quality of a skilled narrator as well.
- Adding details to your essay with the help of enriched English vocabulary and online dictionaries. Use your English language vocabulary to add all missing feelings like hearing to the descriptive essay last Play with adjectives and adverbs. Mind your language when writing a descriptive paper - it must be lyrical to deliver all your feelings in full. Involve many different adjectives.
- Take time to revise and edit the paper with the help of various free online grammar checking tools. Once you have described your vivid place, check the structure of your essay again to answer several critical questions: Can the sentences or paragraphs be arranged in a better way? Are any transition words missing? Put down all sources used to describe your topic; make sure the descriptive essay is following the tutor's instructions in full.
- Edit the descriptive essay. Try to avoid any grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes to show how great your knowledge of the language is.
After completing your final descriptive essay draft, it is better to keep in touch with some experts to have the assignment fully checked. You should evaluate your work critically. Proofread and edit the descriptive essay to eliminate or fix any mistakes. You may be interested in adding some details in case you require telling something more about your main object.
- What does a general revision process involve?
- Are there enough details to make it possible for your readers to obtain a full and vivid perception?
- Have you missed any small but significant descriptive details?
- Are there words that convey the emotion, feeling (touch, smell, etc.) or perspective?
- Does your essay possess any unnecessary details in your description which can be thrown away or replaced by the more meaningful information?
- Does each section of your essay focus on one aspect of your description?
- Are all paragraphs arranged in the most efficient way; are they properly connected with the help of corresponding transition words?
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As the name suggests, this is an essay that illustrates something using words. Using the power of illustrative words, the writer makes the reader feel, see, or hear what is being described. Descriptive essay writing involves less research effort as compared to other types of academic writing assignments. It is an opportunity for the writer to put his/her creativity to work to bring any topic to life. It is also a pretty open task that doesn’t have a lot of rules to be followed. When assigned such a task, students are usually required to describe an experience, person, feeling, place, object, situation, etc.
A descriptive essay can be an easy task to complete. However, for someone who hasn’t mastered the art of descriptive writing, coming up with a good essay can be an uphill task. Luckily, this guide provides enough resources to help you learn how to write a descriptive essay.
Let’s look at the structure of a good descriptive essay.
Format of a descriptive essay
As previously stated, there aren’t a lot of rules to be followed in descriptive essay writing. The format is often dictated by the subject and the mood you wish to create. Some rules do exist though; the most notable being that you need to start with the general before going into the specifics. An important aspect of good descriptive essay writing is how the essay is structured since it makes it easier for the reader to read and understand the essay. The standard descriptive essay outline thus consists of:
In this section, the main topic of the descriptive essay is introduced to the reader together with the reason why the description is being written. It should start with a strong opening sentence or quote that will catch attention. At the end of the introductory paragraph, a thesis statement should be presented. This section is concerned with giving the readers a general idea of what the essay is about. The introduction section is followed by the body of the essay.
In the body section, you need to provide details about your topic. This part is presented in an artistic way with vivid language rich in adverbs and adjectives. This section is organized into paragraphs as follows.
The first paragraph vividly describes the object, person, or the event itself; providing the necessary details. For instance, if you are writing a descriptive essay about a place, you will describe the place here. For instance, when writing a descriptive essay about the beach, begin by describing the beach itself. Tell your readers about the waves and the appearance of the water and the sand. Tell them what you smelt on the beach, how the sand felt on your feet, and the sounds made by the water; remembering to use good descriptive words.
The second paragraph will discuss the surroundings of the subject of the essay. For the beach scenario, you could talk about the sun, birds, clouds, people and their activities, and other objects of interest in the surrounding. In the third paragraph, you bring the essay to life with a sensual description using your senses of touch, taste, sight, smell, and sound to paint a vivid picture. The main focus here will be on the emotions the subject invokes. In both the description of the surrounding and the emotion, similes and metaphors are often used. Once you’ve exhausted the ideas you had for the body section, you can then conclude the essay.
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In the conclusion, summarize the main points, including your physical and emotional attitude and views on the topic of your descriptive essay. This section is based largely on your imagination and an analysis of the essay topic. The descriptive essay thesis statement is also reframed.
Now that you know how to structure the essay, the next thing we are going to look at is how to go about writing your descriptive essay.
The writing process
Pick a topic
The first step to writing a descriptive essay is obviously selecting a topic; if you’ve not been assigned a specific topic. The problem is that many times students find it difficult to pick a topic. As with any essay, you need to pick a subject that is not too narrow. Doing so will make it difficult for you to meet the required essay length. You may also need to consider a number of topics before you finally settle on one. The topic doesn’t necessarily have to be unique as long as you can paint a vivid picture of it and give it life. Here are some descriptive essay topics to help you figure out what to write about. I’ll get ahead of myself here a bit to give a few things to note when writing each of these categories of descriptive essays.
- Descriptive essay about a person
The subject of your descriptive essay can be your favorite person such as a family member. It can also be a friend, a neighbor, or a famous person. You could also describe yourself. Whichever person you write about should be someone that you know well. As you write the essay, remember to describe other aspects in addition to the physical characteristics. Otherwise, your descriptive essay won’t be considered good. Include personality traits in your description in a creative way. You will probably have to pick just a few traits to talk about in the body paragraphs. It is also possible for a student to struggle with how to make a conclusion paragraph for this category of essays effective. For the conclusion, summarize those traits to explain how complex or interesting the person is. Use it to explain your experience and sentiments about interacting or living with that person.
- Descriptive essay about a place
Places are a common subject for descriptive essays. You could describe a place you love, your bedroom, your favorite classroom, or your favorite store. You could also go against the tide and choose less common places to write about. Cemeteries, construction sites, hospitals, or amusement parks are not commonly selected as descriptive essay topics. The places are not limited to these so feel free to consider more. It could be a real or imagined place. What’s important is that you describe the place, its surroundings and your emotions about it well.
- Descriptive essay about a memory
You can base your essay on a vivid memory that you have. This can be the most embarrassing moment, your saddest or happiest memories, a memorable trip or concert you attended and so on. Search you memories and find one that you can vividly describe in your essay.
- Descriptive essay about an experience
Descriptive essays can be written about common experiences such as graduation. You can however select other topics such as a frightening experience you had and provide descriptive details about what happened, where, when and how you felt. Don’t forget to use your five senses. You can also write about your first day in class regarding aspects such as the classroom, the people, and how you felt during the experience.
- Descriptive essay about an object
For this type of descriptive essay, any object can be the topic. You can write about your couch if you believe you can portray the couch in a fascinating way and make the essay interesting. Unfortunately, that would be a mean feat for many. If you are not confident about your ability to write a good descriptive essay on the common items before you, go for less orthodox choices. Write about things such as a painting, your favorite childhood toy, a tattoo, or a street.
Once you’ve settled on the general topic, you need to think about what characteristics/aspects you want to include in the essay. Brainstorm on all the details about the subject, its surroundings, and emotions it invokes. Not all of the ideas you come up with here will end up in the essay but just include them. You will filter out the unnecessary ones later as you continue to plan the essay and create an outline.
Draft the essay
Guided by the outline you developed in the first step, write the essay describing the subject and structure it accordingly. The standard descriptive essay format described above will guide you on what to include in each section. Also remember the general guidelines of writing a descriptive essay and ensure that there is a logical flow in the descriptive paragraphs and throughout the essay. Some of these guidelines include:
Descriptive writing guidelines
When writing a descriptive essay, you need to embellish it with senses. Sight, touch, smell, hearing, and taste are key sense to include in your essay. If, for instance, you are describing the new eatery you just visited, talk about what it looked like, but also includes what the place smelt like (e.g. was there a sweet aroma of food or was the air smoke-filled and stuffy?). You could also talk about the sounds that you heard while there, e.g. was there soft music or were the trucks passing outside the only thing that you could hear?
A connection with the reader of your essay can only be effectively established if you are able to adequately describe the emotions. Therefore, when writing the descriptive essay, think about what you felt for instance if you are describing an experience. Tap into the feelings of joy, loss, or complacency to write descriptively and effectively create the image you want in the readers’ minds.
- Don’t just tell, show
As the descriptive essay definition indicates, the aim is to paint a picture using words. You can achieve this by using vivid language which will help you show the reader what you are talking about. Choose your words carefully when writing the essay. Avoid vague words. In their place, use more specific words that paint a clearer picture of what you are describing. For instance, rather than simply using ‘horse’, opt for words that paint a stronger, clearer image such as a ‘swift stallion’. This gives the reader the picture of a courser, male horse. It’s not enough to say ‘the woman wore old clothes’. That is simply telling. Show by including more details such as ‘the woman wore a faded dress that was torn on one side and looked as though a rat had made a meal out of the hem’.
There are a lot of good descriptive words that you can use to make the picture you want to create clear. These include adverbs such as angrily, quickly, and lazily; adjectives such as smart, brave, grim, mellow, luxurious, and agreeable, and gerunds such as running, walking, and grazing. Similes and metaphors will also feature in a good descriptive essay. Just remember that the descriptive words you use should flow freely.
A key requirement for writing a good descriptive essay is being concise. The level of conciseness is not as high as that of other essays since you have the freedom to add descriptive words. However, that freedom doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Most importantly, the details included in the essay should be relevant to the subject of the essay. As with any other essay or written literature, the reader won’t necessarily appreciate all the details you provide. In fact, if you fill the essay with unnecessary things, s/he might get bored. Descriptive doesn’t mean that you should go on and on describing a single thing or something that is not crucial to the topic. For instance, if you are describing a surprise party you had, it’s not really necessary to tell the reader about the three, tiled stairs at the door. You should also purpose to use words that are relevant to paint the picture you want to present clearly. Remember to describe without being too wordy and leave the clichés out of your essay.
A great descriptive essay idea can be turned into a boring, impossible-to-read piece of writing when it lacks organization. As you write your descriptive essay, be careful not to rumble incoherently. This is an easy trap to fall into and should be avoided at all costs. Furnish your essay with logical, organized description that will give the reader a clear picture of what you are trying to describe.
The aim should be to leave a strong appreciation for whatever you are describing in the reader’s minds. If you are able to make the reader feel as though s/he was the one relaxing or walking down the beach you just described or crave the pizza you just wrote about, you are on your way to being a great descriptive writer.
Once you are done creating the draft, you should go through the essay again, reorganizing and modifying it as you deem necessary to ensure that the entire essay has a logical flow. As you do these, you need to keep a few things in mind:
- The paragraphs should describe the subject and unfold in such a way that allows easy reading and appreciation of the subject. It should not confuse the reader.
- The language and word choice should involve the five senses and portray emotion and meaning.
- The details provided should be enough to give readers a clear, comprehensive picture.
- Will the reader identify with the conclusion?
Go through the essay removing grammatical mistakes and errors in mechanics, clichés, and overuse of adjectives and adverbs. Another pair of eyes can help you weed out these issues. Once done with this step, you should have a good, error-free descriptive essay ready for submission.
Hopefully, after going through this article, you have an idea about how to write a good descriptive essay. You’ll also find a lot of descriptive essay examples online to further assist you in writing your essay. You can also get assistance in the form of quality custom essays to use as a descriptive essay sample from Writingelites.net.
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Need help with your descriptive essay? Yes
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