How To Write A Thesis Statement For A Descriptive Essay

October 6, 2022 F WP
statement for a descriptive essay

How To Write A Thesis Statement For A Descriptive Essay

Table of Contents

Opening Remarks

Writing is not an easy task. The subjective nature and countless variables, both known and unknown, can make writers dread the process and its outcomes. There are many ways a writer can take hold of these variables, from planning and researching beforehand to outlining the whole content before getting started.

In essay writing, the purpose is to tackle an issue, solve a problem, or answer a question. That’s why it is necessary to take every issue into account before moving forward. In the case of writing a descriptive essay, the best thing to do is to understand what it is, what it is made of, and how to add value to the final product.

Descriptive Essay Writing 101

A descriptive essay is an essay that describes a subject under consideration. That subject can be anything, from physical to metaphysical, real to fictional, and beyond. Most descriptive essay topics revolve around describing a person, a thing, a place, an event, or an emotion.

Writers rely on figurative language and literary devices to make “things” come alive on a piece of paper. Without such tools, it is hard for writers to create fictional worlds and inhabit them with fictional people concerned about fictional problems and looking for fictional solutions for them.

Although it revolves around a single subject, the structure of a descriptive essay is well-defined, with three sections. One is the introduction or opening of the essay, the other is the main body where much of the description happens, and the last one is the conclusion or closing where the gist of the essay is summarized.

A Thesis Statement In An Essay

It would not be an overstatement to say that a thesis statement is a heart and soul of an essay. If you are to look for the distillation of the grand idea in one or two sentences in the essay, it will be a thesis statement.

It is a bold, brief statement that can summarize the whole gist of the essay in a couple of sentences. For instance, if an essay is about finding a solution to a problem, the thesis does not only mention the problem but finds states its supposed solution clearly and concisely.

Many people argue that an essay can be complete without a thesis statement. This cannot be farther from the truth. In real practice, the practice of having a thesis statement in an essay is going on for decades. There is no end to this practice in sight soon.

Composing A Thesis Statement For A Descriptive Essay

The approach to coming up with a solid thesis statement depends on the assignment and its writing approach. Is because of the reasons you should have a thesis statement in your essay:

  • Testing ideas and getting their essence in one or two sentences
  • Better organizing and developing your argument
  • To foreshadow the contents of the essay at the end of the introduction

To get your thesis statement to accomplish these goals, it is best to approach the process of formulating one based on the circumstances of the assignment and approach toward the topic.

When Topic Is Assigned By Instructors

When a topic is assigned to a student to write a descriptive essay, it can always be stripped down to a single question, problem, or point, based on its reach and scope. Whether a topic or title is asking to do this, you can easily turn it into a question to answer it in a much better way.

For instance, if you need to write a descriptive essay on a stranger you helped in a market, it is best to turn it into a question, or a couple, and then answer them one by one and then distill it into a single one. You can easily do this by describing the traits and attributes of the person and then settling down on one or two that can easily define or make him alive for the readers.

This thesis statement comes at the end of the introduction to foreshadow the contents of the main body for the readers.

When Topic Is Not Assigned

When a topic is assigned to you by the instructor, it is often easier to connect the dots and get to a question that can be answered in a thesis statement. When that is not the case, it is up to the writers to formulate a question and then come up with an answer.

There are four important pointers you should keep in mind. One, get a good number of people to disagree with what you are proposing. Second, choose a subject that can be reasonably dealt with given the scale and scope of the assignment. Third, formulate a single cohesive idea to tie it all. Fourth, propound your claims or findings in the conclusion.

The workflow toward that goal starts with brainstorming an idea, then narrowing it down using specific language and focusing the narrative until it becomes concise enough to forward an exertion. Once you check all the boxes, you can cover the thesis statement masterfully.

Merits of A Solid Thesis Statement

Just like any other form of writing, it is easy to do it, but hard to do it the best way. A thesis statement is easy to formulate but you need solid backing and support to create a lasting thesis statement that can stand the test of peers and critics.

That’s why we have designed this section to help students identify the merits of superb thesis statements they will create during their academics.

Asserts The Subjective Truth

The purpose of writing a descriptive essay is to show the readers what that subject is, be it a person, a thing, a place, or an event. This requires going through both subjective and objective details that can make it come alive on paper. Since a thesis is the distilled version of the whole narrative, it should reflect, and even assert, the subjective truth from the findings. Students should keep in mind that merely stating the problem or the issue is not a thesis statement. Merely suggesting the solution to the problem is not a thesis. They need to assert the claims and make others think it harder and even provoke them to turn it down or challenge it based on academic grounds.

Provides Justification For Discussion

Discussion, inherently speaking, is a two-way process. It means a party makes a claim that is either accepted and added to by the second party, is challenged and leads to other claims, and so on. This follows the same steps of the thesis, antithesis, and synthesis where society grows based on ideas. Sometimes, the rationale behind connecting dots with a thesis is to challenge widely-held beliefs. For instance, if you are writing a descriptive essay on a person who is universally believed to be a monster, you can unearth facts and forward the claim that he was indeed mentally ill and did what he did because of his maladies.

Expresses One Primary Idea

Many students make the mistake of formulating multiple ideas or stances in a single thesis. They shortlist findings based on their inclination toward the subject and base the statement on those ideas. There is no denying that this process is indeed formidable, but it is not the right one. Since the purpose of writing a descriptive essay is to highlight the vices and virtues of the subject under consideration, readers should have empirical takeaways when they depart from the essay. They should be able to pinpoint the central idea or the theme of the essay that was immortalized by the thesis statement. It can also be said that the primary idea in the thesis is the thread that binds the whole narrative together.

Specifies The Problem And Its Solution

When a writer sets out to write a descriptive essay, he needs to balance certain things so that the finished product can hold on its own. Apart from preliminary research and outlining, there are not many things that can keep the writer from swaying away from the main topic, except the thesis statement. The biggest strength of a well-rounded thesis statement is that it not only identifies the problem but also asserts a solution. Most of the time, the thesis statement picks only a single problem and then works around it to find a single, tangible solution.


A thesis statement is a distillation of the central idea or a theme in a single or a couple of sentences. It can cover the whole premise of the problem and its solution. Here is a simple example of thesis building:

  • Describing the strangest person
  • Finding a person in the middle of nowhere who turned out to be a good person

Following are the three essential parts of a thesis statement that you must keep in mind while researching and formulating one for your descriptive essay:

  • The subject discussed in the discourse is limited
  • The opinion propounded by the writer was precise
  • The author provides the reasons to come up with the proposed solution

Loosely, a thesis statement should be a bold and concise summary of the central idea. Practically, it should be from a bold statement comprising a single sentence to a small paragraph, highlighting the issue and its solution. Keep in mind that it depends on the scale of the essay and the scope of the research.

A thesis statement cannot be a question. It has to have the issue or the question in its body along with a plausible solution or answer to it. Merely stating the question does not promote debate and reasoning. That’s why it has two distinct characters encapsulated as one.

The best place to mention the thesis statement is at the end of the introduction. It will directly lead to the bulk or action of the essay in the main body and it will tie the sections coming before and after the thesis statement.

No law or convention in essay writing compels the writers to sum up their thesis statements in a single sentence. It is always ideal to have a concise, brief, and bold statement to back up the claims. Depending on the reach and scope of the essay, the thesis can go from a single sentence to a small paragraph containing a couple of sentences to further strengthen its position.

Summing It Up

Coming up with a solid thesis statement to back up the claims and answers to the possible questions is the primary job of the writer. While writing a descriptive essay, writers are often plagued with problems of generalization, especially when tackling extremely subjective topics. That’s why we have dedicated this whole blog post to help them how to write thesis statements in different scenarios. This will help them better understand the requirements of the assignment and set the scope and reach of the essay accordingly.

For those who can tackle the creative issues of writing but are stumped by technical issues such as writing a superb thesis statement for the descriptive essay, this is the perfect resource to explore!

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