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Writing has a magical effect around it. When writing is done by professional writers, it can help them create fictional worlds and characters going through make-believe circumstances. But people care about all of the fictional things and make a name for the writer as well as fortune.
When writing is done in schools and colleges, students can earn higher scores than their peers and pave their way for higher education or ultimately to higher paying jobs. The bulk of academic writing is purpose-based and dry, with no room for students to showcase their signature and writing styles, except for the essays.
What Is A Descriptive Essay?
One of the commonly used types of essays in educational institutes to gauge the thinking and writing capabilities of students is descriptive writing. When further classified into an essay form, a descriptive essay is an expansive account of a person, a thing, or a place, by the writer using descriptive language and other devices.
The rationale behind writing in descriptive is to showcase the “self” of the subject under consideration. It is the writer’s job to incorporate both objective and subjective elements in the essay so that the person, thing, or place becomes more than its face value.
Another thing about descriptive writing is that it is more than just creating an image or sketching the silhouettes of the objects that are the focus of the topic. It is about connecting the readers with the topic and letting them see, feel, touch, and smell what is relevant.
The Purpose of Writing A Descriptive Essay
The primary purpose of writing a narrative essay is to entertain the readers and provide them with all the details that can suffice for them to draw moral lessons and parallels from the narrative. Similarly, a descriptive essay also has a purpose that is identical to that of a narrative essay.
Whether it is an event, a person, a thing, or a place, fictional or otherwise, the purpose of writing a descriptive essay is to connect the dots for the readers in such a way that they can get the essence of the subject and can describe it in their own words.
To fulfill that purpose, writers usually rely on sensory details and figurative language to sketch and draw the ultimate picture.
Starting A Descriptive Essay
Tips To Improve Your Descriptive Essay
It is a fact that writing is subjective and takes a lot of practice and grit before a writer can describe a person, a thing, a place, or an event with confidence in his story or an essay. There is a trade-off always going on while writing between description and action as the former can stall the latter. That’s why it is necessary to have a solid grab of the pace of things.
In this spirit, here are some practical tips that can help you add value to your description and the overall descriptive essay.
Putting Imagination To Work
Writing descriptions could be easier but making things come to life is hard. As a writer, it is best to sit down and go through the mental process of nailing every element into place.
The best way to put your imagination in the mix of things is to see the characters of the description moving around in the setting. If it is about an object or a place, it is best to “see” it first and then describe it in words that are true to its form and help readers see and feel it.
Engaging Readers’ Senses
Describing a scene or a person can be tricky especially when you are flat on a paper that has no third dimension to it. The best way to do so is by engaging readers’ senses through language that can help the readers connect with the subject in consideration. For instance, the five senses of smell, sight, sound, touch, and taste can be employed to better effect.
Instead of relying on wimpy and weak words and phrases, create your own that can connect the dots for the readers. This is the hallmark of descriptive writing and has immense innovation potential.
Using Dynamic Words And Phrases
Let us start with an example, the word thunder can tell the readers about the sky getting ready to rain. But if you are describing a night where an accident or any other unpleasant thing happened, you can use powerful words such as “roared” or “grunted” to add further effect. When going through the description, students should aim for pertinent words and phrases that can reflect the essence. Especially, in the proofreading and editing phase, they can work on improving the description because then they can do so without hurting the progress.
Writing Detailed Descriptions For Characters
Whether you want to add all the details or just the most important ones, it is necessary to write detailed descriptions for the characters or other essential elements of the essay. This allows the writers to “see” before describing the thing. When it comes to describing a person, think about all the things that can set him apart from other human beings, be it the color of his eyes, his gait, his way of talking, and more. Once you have done it, it becomes easier to cover the rest since you have put life into the gist of the essay.
A descriptive essay is about telling the whole story of the narrator and the subject under consideration. Whereas, a description can be a sentence or a paragraph that is intensive in its approach toward picturing the person, place, thing, or event.
There are many ways you can start a description that can attract your readers to get invested further. Start with a good hook in the opening so that they would want to know more. Then, set the stage and finish off the introduction with a thesis statement. This is a tested way for writers to connect with the readers.
The first step to starting a great descriptive essay is to choose the topic and form a captivating, attractive title. It should be informative enough for the readers to guess about, but not reveal too much so that they can get to the theme and content of the essay by just going through the title.
The perfect examples of descriptive writing capture the essence of the subject using literary devices and figurative language. They also follow the adage of “show, don’t tell” because this is what descriptive essay writing is about.
Here is a simple yet effective content flow for a descriptive essay:
- Choosing a topic and forming a title
- Researching necessary information
- Making an outline
- Writing the introduction
- Finishing the body and conclusion
- Proofreading and editing
A descriptive essay follows the same structure or format as that of a narrative essay. It has three main sections:
- An opening/ introduction (starting with a hook to lure readers in and set the stage)
- The main body (describing all the elements, including setting, characters, details, etc.)
- A closing/ conclusion (summarizing the essence of the essay)
Summing It Up
There is no denying that writing a narrative essay is a tough task to master. Many mistake it for a personal account of a person, thing, place, or event which could lead to poor structure and formatting. In reality, a descriptive essay is about painting a lively picture of the subject so that readers can see or feel it.
Starting a descriptive essay can set the tone and pace for the essay and help the readers and writers to follow it through. We have shared a simple guide on how to start a descriptive essay through simple steps. In addition to this, we have also covered some practical tips to improve your descriptive essay.
So, whether you are writing one for the class or to secure admission to your dream college, this blog post will help you master your craft!