One of the keys to writing a descriptive essay is to create a picture in your reading audience’s mind by engaging all five of their senses – smell, sight, touch, taste and sound. If you can do this, then your essay is a success, if not, then you have a lot of work to do. The first steps in writing a descriptive essay will lay the groundwork for the entire piece.
Step 1: Choose a topic
A descriptive essay will usually focus on a single event, a person, a location or an item. When you write your essay, it is your job to convey your idea about that topic through your description of that topic and the way that you lay things out for your reader. You need to show your reader (not tell them) what you are trying to describe by illustrating a picture in their mind’s eye very carefully.
Your essay needs to be structured in a manner that helps your topic to make sense. If you are describing an event, you will need to write your paragraphs in chronological order. If you are writing about a person or a place you need to order the paragraphs so that you start off in a general manner and then write more specific details later. Your introductory paragraph sets the tone for the rest of the essay, so it needs to set out all of the main ideas that you are going to cover in your essay.
Step 2: Create a statement
The next step is to create a thesis statement. This is a single idea that will be prominent throughout your essay. It not only sets out the purpose of the essay, but regulates the way that the information is conveyed in the writing of that essay. This is an introductory paragraph that sets out your topic framework.
Step 3: Get the senses right
Next, create five labelled columns on a sheet of paper, each one having a different of the five senses. This labelled list will help you to sort out your thoughts as you describe your topic – the taste, sight, touch, smell and sound of your topic can be sketched out among the columns. List out in the columns any sensation or feeling that you associate with the topic that you are writing about. You need to provide full sensory details that help to support the thesis. You can utilize literary tools such as metaphors, similes, personification and descriptive adjectives.
Once you have the columns laid out you can start to fill them with details that help to support your thesis. These should be the most interesting items that you have noted in your columns and will the details that you flesh out into the paragraphs of the body of your essay. Topics are set out in each separate paragraph and a topic sentence begins that paragraph and need to relate to your introductory paragraph and your thesis.
Step 4: Create an outline
The next step is to create an outline listing the details of the discussion of each paragraph. Students in high school are generally asked to write a five paragraph essay while college students are given more freedom with the length of their piece. The standard five paragraph essay has a particular structure including the introductory paragraph with the inclusion of a thesis statement, followed by three body paragraphs which prove that statement.
Step 5: Write the conclusion
Finally, the conclusion paragraph makes a summary of the entirety of your essay. This conclusion also needs to reaffirm your thesis (if necessary). Your conclusion needs to be well written because it is the final thing to be read by your reader and will remain on their mind the longest after they have read the remainder of your essay.
Step 6: Review your essay
It is important to take a break from your writing once you have completed the work. By stepping away from the work for a short time you can clear your mind and take a short rest. You can then take a look at the essay with fresh eyes and view it in much the same way that a person reading it will when they first see the piece.
After you have taken a short break or a walk (or whatever the case may be), read the entire essay again thinking about your reader. You should ask yourself if you were the reader, would the essay make sense to you? Is it easy to read so that anyone can understand what the topic of the essay is? Do any of the paragraphs need to be rewritten because they are confusing and need to be better written to be descriptive?
Your choice of words and language need to convey what you are trying to describe when you talk about a particular topic. The details that you have provided should give your reader enough information that they can form a complete picture. Any details in the essay should help a reader to understand the meaning of the topic from the writer’s point of view.
Read your entire essay over again, out loud this time. Sometimes reading something out loud can help to identify any issues that should be worked out. Read the essay again to a friend or family member and have them give you any criticisms that they might have. Have someone else ready your essay and then ask them if anything needs to be clarified or if they received a clear picture from the details given in the essay.
Step 7: Finish it up
Finally, read your essay again very carefully and check for any grammar, punctuation or spelling errors that are obvious within the essay. If you find any clichés, be sure to delete them, they certainly do not belong in your essay. If there are any parts that are not completely descriptive or don’t make as much sense as you would like them to, rewrite them once again and then follow the proof reading and reading aloud process again to ensure that the final product is exactly as expected. You can never be too thorough when it comes to reading the essay over again and checking for any areas that need to be reworked.
Enjoyed this post? Here’s what you can do next:
What is Descriptive Text?
- 1. The Definition and Purpose of Descriptive Text
Descriptive text is a text which says what a person or a thing is like. Its purpose is to describe and reveal a particular person, place, or thing.
- 2. The Generic Structure of Descriptive Text
Descriptive text has structure as below:
- Identification; identifying the phenomenon to be described.
- Description; describing the phenomenon in parts, qualities, or/and characteristics.
- 3. The Language Feature of Descriptive Text
- Using attributive and identifying process.
- Using adjective and classifiers in nominal group.
- Using simple present tense
- 4. Examples and structures of the text
|Identification||Macquarie University is one of the largest universities in Australia. This year, in 2004, it celebrates its 40th anniversary.|
|Description||The university is located at the North Ryde Greenbelt, Sydney, where the New South Wales government sets aside 135 hectares for the institution. In 1964, Macquarie area was a rural retreat on the city fringe, but today the campus and its surroundings have evolved beyond recognition. The North Ryde District has grown into a district of intensive occupation anchored by a vibrant and growing university.Blessed with a fortunate location and room to breathe, Macquarie can be proud of that careful planning that retains and enrich the university’s most attractive natural features. A pleasing balance between buildings and plating is evident across the campus. This emphasis on the importance of landscape has created images of Macquarie as a place that members of the university are most likely to pleasurably recollect.|
One of the highlights of the landscape is the Mars Creek zone. It comprises landscaped creek sides and valley floor, a grass amphitheatre, and artificial lake… surrounded by rocks and pebbles, native plants and eucalypts.
Today, a railway station is under construction. In three years1 time, Macquarie will be the only university in Australia with a railway station on site. Macquarie is poised to be the most readily accessible in Sydney region by rail and motorway, yet retaining its beautiful site.
Example of Description
- A. My Friend’s New Shoes
I have a close Friend. She is beautiful, attractive and trendy. She always want to be a trend setter of the day. She always pays much attention on her appearance. Recently, she bought a new stylist foot legs from blowfish shoes products. This shoes really matches on her.
Her new blowfish women’s shoes are wonderful. When she are walking on that shoes, all her friends, including me watch and admire that she has the most suitable shoes on her physical appearance. The style, bright color, and brand represent her as a smart woman of the day. She really have perfect appearance.
She is really mad on that shoes. She said that the products covered all genders. The blowfish men’s shoes are as elegant as she has. The products provide varieties of choice. Ballet, casual, boot athletic shoes are designed in attractive way. The products are international trader mark and become the hottest trend.
- B. Borobudur Temple
Borobudur is Hindu – Budhist temple. It was build in the nineth century under Sailendra dynasty of ancient Mataram kingdom. Borobudur is located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.
Borobudur is well-known all over the world. Its construction is influenced by the Gupta architecture of India. The temple is constructed on a hill 46 m high and consist of eight step like stone terrace. The first five terrace are square and surrounded by walls adorned with Budist sculpture in bas-relief. The upper three are circular. Each of them is with a circle of bell shape-stupa. The entire adifice is crowned by a large stupa at the centre at the centre of the top circle. The way to the summit extends through some 4.8 km of passage and starways. The design of borobudur which symbolizes the structure of universe influences temples at Angkor, Cambodia.
Borobudur temple which is rededicated as an Indonesian monument in 1983 is a valuable treasure for Indonesian people.
Generic Structure Analysis
- Identification; identifying the phenomenon to be described in general; Borobudur temple
- Description; describing the Borobudur temple in parts; eight terraces of Borobudur temple and its characteristics
Language Feature Analysis
- Using adjective and classifiers; valuable
- Using simple present tense; Borobudur is well-known,The temple is constructed, etc
This entry was posted in Genre of the text and tagged Writing. Bookmark the permalink.