What does masters cum prolific writers like Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Stephen King have in common? If you read a lot, you will know that writers among others have mastered the technique of descriptive writing among other things. These writers are not only meticulous in details, but they also draw their readers into their works.
Well, even in schools, descriptive writing skills are very essential. Descriptive essays are some of the most frequent assignments given to students. Teachers will usually ask you to describe an object, image, event, place or person among others. Although the task might seem easy at first, you might find yourself stuck, with no idea how to make your essay interesting and detailed at the same time.
To overcome such challenges, the following are some pointers to producing a descriptive essay that will not only earn you good grades but also make you a pro writer.
Why a Descriptive Essay?
First of all, you need to know what a descriptive essay is all about. Descriptive essays essentially meant to portray your ability to observe and provide a vivid image or visualization of something through writing. The main options often provided for a descriptive essay include:
- Experience and
Do not let the magnitude of the requirements provided for a descriptive essay intimidate you. Keep in mind that objective of the essay is for you to create an overall, comprehensive and a well-rounded mental picture of what it is you are trying to communicate.
With the above understanding in mind, just observe the following simple steps and you will produce an excellent descriptive essay:
- Choose a specific object or matter for your essay
This may seem obvious if you are expressly required to describe something. However, you might be asked to make a general description, for instance, of a city, street, famous person, and place among other things. In such a case, it wise to narrow down the subject of your study to specific entities. For instance, if you are asked to describe a famous person or a city, you can choose Michael Jordan or Las Vegas respectively.
If it is possible to have direct contact with your object of description, you should do that. For example, if you are in the US, you can decide to visit the city of Las Vegas. Otherwise, you can make an extensive research about what you have been asked to describe.
- Organize your details carefully
During your research, you need to be thoughtful and particular about the dominant observable details that you will include in your essay. Make sure that you can support your observations and impress them on your readers.
Your essay should be organized in the conventional manner of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. To ensure that the flow of information in your essay is streamlined, you can structure the paragraphs in a chronological order. Otherwise, you can ensure specific transitions between your observations, whether specific or general.
- Make your essay as vivid as possible, eliminating any form of ambiguity
The effectiveness of your descriptive essay will rely to a large degree on your ability to draw a clear mental picture in your readers. For instance, if you are writing about a person, you can describe their traits, sensibilities or what makes them unique or a role model among other things.
An effective method of making your description impressive in your readers’ minds is by using descriptive devices such as appealing adjectives. You can also include examples or analogies to add life in your description.
As a rule, you should avoid using descriptive adjectives, for instance beautiful, awful, bad, or good among others. More often than not, readers find the most effective representations of things through the use of their senses. In fact, touch, smell, sight, taste, and hearing are five ways that the brain of a human being receives information.
In order to make your description of something as effective as possible, it is advisable and significant that you put into consideration and appeal towards all the five senses. In other words, exploit the sense and sensory particulars to make a description of how your subject looks, sounds, smells or even tastes like.
- Revise and edit your essay
It is sometimes easy to overlook some minor details or mistakes in your essay drafts. Therefore, the best thing to do is take a break once you have completed writing and then revise the paper after some time. In this way, your mind is more relaxed and you are able to see some things that you might need to adjust or change. Grammatical and syntactical mistakes are also easier to catch this way.
Also, look out for irrelevant phrases or words that you might have used in the descriptive essay. These might make you sound bombastic and ostentatious to your readers, factor that might cause you to lose the interest and credibility in your readers.
You can always prove the effectiveness of these tips by applying them. Also remember that practice, practice, and practice will determine how good you become in writing a descriptive essay.
Examples of descriptive essays