In this specific article, we examine the descriptive essay and present a step-by-step writing guide. Hang in there for helpful writing recommendations near the end! Also, have a look at EssayPro — coursework writing service, if you need private tutoring or additional help.

What Is a Descriptive Essay?

This is of a descriptive essay is a kind of composition or paper which describes an object, person, process, or event. The writer’s goal is to develop a vivid reading experience, or even to show rather than tell (metaphorically).

Descriptive writing frequently appeals to the five senses: taste, touch, smell, hearing, and sight. (Ex: Jack’s coffee mug exploded in to tiny shards of glass, catching the eye of everyone in the office. ) Always appealing to the senses is paramount to writing a good descriptive essay.

When writing a descriptive essay, your goal will be to paint a comprehensive picture for the reader by appealing to the five senses. Last but not least, work should have an intention. It could be such a thing from a lesson you learned from an event, to an account of how an object impacted your lifetime. It’s exactly about making your bright a few ideas come to life.

Big difference Between a Description and a Descriptive Essay

When writing this kind of paper, you need to know the big difference between a description and a descriptive essay. A description may be just a simple paragraph, or several ones with no specific structure, meanwhile, a descriptive essay has five or maybe more paragraphs and a clear and complete structure. A descriptive essay is usually written coherently, features a good thesis statement at the conclusion of the introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. A description nevertheless , does not fundamentally have a structure. Its main purpose is to just describe an object, or something else, with out any extra academic layers.

The Issues that Could be Described in Your Paper

  • A person. In this paper, you can discuss a person. It could range from simply writing about the look of them to more technical descriptions like actions, behaviours, mood, and qualities of one's chosen individual.
  • A place. The most important thing you should do when describing a place in your work is always to describe it interestingly and originally. Your reader(s) should feel, for instance , the beauty of one's chosen cities—perhaps New York or Rome.
  • An event. Here you need to spell it out the story of what happened. It could be your last vacation, concert, wedding, anniversary, summer music festival, graduation day, roughly on.
  • An animal. In this type, you will need to describe the pet. It may be its appearance, behaviour, or biology.
  • An occupation. Here you need to write about a job or occupation.
  • A behaviour. Here is the type of descriptive writing you need to go for if you want to write about someone’s behaviour. Perhaps you desire to describe the strange behaviour of your friend, or highlight how certain people act under different conditions.

Two Classic Approaches to the Descriptive Essay

1. Personal Essay

Here you need to spell it out an experience making use of your feelings and responses. This work can awake empathy in readers. It can also be vague and disorganized. If you want to write a good personal essay, you should try to target only on those aspects that most fully express your experience. Usually do not shy from vivid, evocative language in this type of assignment.

A few examples of personal essay topics might be:

  • Describing the experience of swimming in the azure sea in summer
  • Explaining your favourite movie and its particular impact on you
  • Reflecting on your birthday and everything that have shaped you before

2. Formal Description

This kind of descriptive writing resembles an argumentative essay. Your main goal should be communicating a set of tips or describing something in detail—according to a clear structure. In place of focusing on your own personal experience, you should utilize specific kinds of information to offer the fullest possible portrait of that which you are describing. This approach can be engaging, specially when the reader is more curious about the topic of the paper than the writer's response to it. Still, don't make it dull with too formal language.

Topics for formal descriptions can include:

  • A descriptive essay about climate change, politics, or historical events.
  • A news story that provides a listing of an event or information about the area where it occurred.

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Descriptive Essay Topics & Ideas

Finding descriptive essay topics isn’t hard. It is possible to describe just about anything—from your favourite car to today’s weather. We’ve gathered ideas to help you get started. Hopefully, you’ll find good descriptive essay topics to spark your imagination.

Describe a Person

Select a person who you understand well—doing so gives you too much to write about. Pick from family members, friends, teachers, and so on You can even reveal a celebrity who exposes most of their private life to the media: The Kardashians, Kanye West, or Taylor Swift for instance. A famous superhero like Spider-Man is also interesting. Such fictional figures have undergone many character studies from both academic and nonacademic perspectives.

Examples: Why my father is my favourite person.
How Kim Kardashian changed my life.

Describe an Object or a Place

It's also possible to describe an object or even a place with which you have a unique connection. This might be your senior school, a playground, or a toy which used to scare you as a young child. Fictional places also count!

Examples: My native city – Paris
My trip to London

Describe an Emotion

Remember the most sincere emotion you’ve experienced and turn it in to a descriptive essay writing. You could choose a strong feeling like anger, happiness, loss, desire, or rage. It doesn’t have to be your own emotion, it may be an observed one.

Examples: How love changed me
Hatred and love – how they are similar

You may also write a descriptive essay about what you can describe according to human senses: touch, sight, taste, smell, or hearing.

Creating a Descriptive Essay Outline

When thinking about descriptive essay writing, remember that a structured paper outline can be your golden ticket. Not only does it assist you to organize thoughts, but it may also help your essays flow better.

A descriptive essay outline comprises the following:

  • an introduction
  • Hook sentence
  • Context/Background information
  • thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs
  • Topic Sentence
  • Sensory details
  • Actual details
  • A conclusion
  • Summary of all main points
  • Clincher Statement

You will need to spend sufficient time considering the victim of description because all your illustrations depends around it.


The introduction serves to introduce your susceptible to the reader and give them enough context to fully comprehend your work—but keep it brief and interesting for the reader(s). When learning how to write a descriptive essay introduction, remember – the first paragraph of your paper is the part that can make your descriptive essay be noticeable from others.

Much like any university paper, a descriptive essay introduction must contain the following points:

  • Hook Sentence: Even though entire paper should be filled with exciting and vivid descriptions, grabbing the reader's attention from the beginning is ideal.
  • Context/Background Information: Tell the reader what you’re about to describe and explain why it is vital to you. Let them have a brief context for your paper.
  • Thesis Statement: The descriptive essay thesis should really be a short yet concise summary of the task. It must include the subject of your description, and your purpose for describing it.

For further information on the best way to write a thesis for a descriptive essay, read the examples below.

Place. In the event that you were to create about Buckingham Palace: “Even though the monarchy is over, Buckingham Palace serves to remind us of the aesthetic beauty which that era had built. ”
Person. For describing Spider-Man: “The defining characteristics of Spider-Man are his youthfulness, New York City, and the fact that that he talks to himself more than Hamlet. ”
Emotion. A bit about a personal experience of fear: “For multiple reasons, the dark forest is my greatest fear, though not a fear which I would necessarily prefer to venture in to. ”

Body Paragraph(s)

You can find usually three body paragraphs in a paper. They cover three different points or arguments. How many human body paragraphs relating to your descriptive essay is entirely around you—or your professor. Sometimes it only takes a paragraph to inform a story, while other times it takes books.

How to write a body paragraph:

  • Begin with a topic sentence. ex. The orange looks familiar; it's a round citric acid fruit whose colour matches its name.
  • Add sensory details. When describing the orange, appeal to relatable senses.
  • Include actual details. Always include descriptive information within your body paragraphs. Finish a body paragraph by introducing the next. Transition sentences are necessary because they create immersion in your writing. Your writing will end up better it won’t looks as if you are reading a list of facts.


In line with the descriptive essay format, your conclusion must certanly be a summary of most of the main points within the body text. It's a good idea to write one last sentence that relates to the key point of one's paper. Once this is done, the paper is now complete. We advise that you proofread your descriptive essay to correct any grammatical errors.

Attempt to incorporate these into your conclusion:

  • The very first thing to do by the end is to think about the initial reason for the work. Spill the beans on why you made a decision to write about this subject, and how this subject has affected your daily life.
  • Signify the Importance of the Details: Review some key moments of the paper. Give a summary of everything you have covered, and prepare the audience for the clincher statement.
  • Clincher Statement: The clincher could be the final sentence that reinforces your paper’s overall purpose or leaves your audience with an intriguing thought, question, or quote. You’ve probably spent considerable time thinking of a hook to pull the audience in. Do not allow the paper to flee your audience’s thoughts following they have finish reading it.

Writing and Reviewing Your Descriptive Paper Writing

Writing the paper consists of the next stages:

  • Pre-writing stage. Here you need to look at all of the sources you have and define if they all offer information on the main topic of your choice.
  • Writing the beginning. You ought to start your paper with a powerful, engaging hook which will grab the readers' attention. It may include an unusual metaphor or an appealing literary quote.
  • Creating the first draft of your descriptive essay. Here's where you merely need to jot down all of the words that come to your mind; you'll have chance to narrow down your opinions later.
  • Adding details to your paper with the help of enriched English vocabulary and on the web dictionaries. Use your English vocabulary to incorporate missing feelings, like hearing, to help make the descriptive essay leave a lasting impression.
  • Revising and editing the paper with the help of different free on the web grammar checking tools.

Let’s talk in more detail about the final step here: reviewing your paper. When you finish writing, take a break. It’s always best to clear your mind before editing your paper.

Once you come back to your descriptive essay, here are some questions to consider:

  • Perhaps you have provided enough context in the introduction?
  • Is the paper easy to read?
  • Does the thesis relate to the information of the paper?
  • Does the paper feature vivid, descriptive language?
  • Will the clincher statement leave a lasting impact?
  • Is there enough details to make it possible for your readers to secure a full and vivid perception of your description?
  • Does each area of your work give attention to one aspect of one's description?
  • Does your paper possess any unnecessary details in your description that may be thrown away or replaced by more meaningful information?
  • Over all, if you were the reader, does this paper seem sensible to you?
  • Any kind of problems with grammar and punctuation?

Sometimes web applications like Grammarly or the Hemingway app can help you sort your grammar. Nevertheless , it’s always best to master the rules of grammar your self and become the most effective writer you may be. Once you’re convinced you have the last draft, read it aloud or give it to a friend to see. Sometimes you'll need some constructive criticism to tie up loose leads to your writing.

Check out our «punctuation guide»

Descriptive Essay: Video Guide

Descriptive Essay Good Examples

It is a commonly assigned and most opted-for form of an essay. Why don't you have a look at our written descriptive essay examples. In this section, you will find some of the top examples and quotes followed closely by some critique.