Descriptive Essay The descriptive essay asks students to describe an object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. The goal is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader. Keep in mind that if the reader is unable to clearly form an impression of the thing you are describing, try, try again!
So what, or why ? Why are you writing this descriptive essay? It’s great creative exercise to sit down and simply describe what you observe. However, when writing a descriptive essay, you often have a particular reason for writing your description. Getting in touch with this reason can help you focus your description with a particular perspective or emotion.
So What, Why Cont’d • For example: Imagine that you want to write a descriptive essay about your grandfather. You’ve chosen to write about your grandfather’s physical appearance and the way that he interacts with people. However, rather than providing a general description of these aspects, you want to convey your admiration for his strength and kindness. This is your reason for writing the descriptive essay. To achieve this, you might focus one of your paragraphs on describing the roughness of his hands, roughness resulting from hard work, but you might also describe how he would hold your hands so gently with his rough hands when taking a walk together.
Take Time to brainstorm • If your teacher asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you write down some ideas before you begin describing it. For instance, if you choose pizza, you might start by writing down a few notes to help you describe: sauce, cheese, crust, pepperoni, sausage, spices, etc. Once you have written down some ideas, you can begin by compiling a list of descriptive words to use in your description, such as hot, spicy, melted, etc.
How to write in the descriptive mode • If there is one thing you should remember as you write your descriptive essay, it’s the famous saying: show, don’t’ tell. But what is the difference in showing and telling? • Consider these two examples: • Example 1: I grew tired after dinner. • Example 2: As I leaned back and rested my head against the top of the chair, my eyelids began to feel heavy, and the edges of the empty plate in front of me blurred with the white tablecloth. • The first sentence tells the reader that you grew tired after dinner. The second sentence shows the reader that your grew tired.
How to write in the descriptive mode cont’d • As you write your descriptive essay, there are several methods writers use to accomplish effective description. You need to use vivid, clear, and precise language with examples, as well as, using comparisons of the ordinary to the extraordinary facilitating similes and metaphors, and lastly, you will use your senses. • One of the best ways to create a vivid experience for your readers is to focus on the five senses. • Sight • Sound • Smell • Touch • Taste • When you focus your description on the senses, you provide vivid and specific details that show your readers rather than tell your readers what you are describing.