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Writing a Descriptive Essay with Outline

The primary purpose of writing a descriptive essay is to give the readers a vivid image of the object of discussion. You have to ensure that you are engaging the readers’ senses by offering them with a clear and comprehensive description. The audience must feel as if they are familiar with the place or person being described after reading the essay. If you can achieve this, then your article is a success. Writing a descriptive piece, however, is not something that you wake up and decide to write. For it to be a success, you must ensure that you are following specific steps to get the background of what you are about to write.

Make an outline

The purpose of an essay outline is to guide you through the writing process. It is like a skeleton of your work, and it is an essential preparatory tool in writing an essay. It helps you to arrange your thoughts before putting them on paper. Before outlining, you must choose a topic to write about. An essay focuses on a single subject, and you should, therefore, describe your specific idea clearly. You can decide to write about a place, animal, person or any other item.

The structure of a descriptive essay

The first step before writing a descriptive essay is to understand its structure. An essay has three primary segments. You must, therefore, understand these sections before embarking on writing. The parts are;

  • The introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

The introduction

This is the opening paragraph. This section gives the readers an idea of what they are about to read. The introduction must be impressing. It determines if the audience will want to continue reading the essay or not. Do not give them a dull start. Make it enjoyable, engaging and if possible add some humor to it. It should be able to grab and hold the readers’ attention. An introduction must;

  • Introduce the topic of discussion. It should be relevant to the subject you choose
  • It should provide a background. The first paragraph gives the foundation of what follows
  • Close with a thesis telling the readers that they are about to get to the next part and have your main stand about what you are writing.

For example, you can choose to discuss the North Carolina Mountains. In the introduction, you can talk about what you feel when visiting the place and why it is an ideal getaway place. Give the readers an idea of the scenery until they want to learn more.

The body

You already gave your thesis or argument stand and now it is time for you to support it. The body should give a strong support t your argument and you should therefore express your points in a way that builds the introduction. When writing the body;

  • Ensure that it has a topic sentence. This should appear as the first body sentence
  • It is recommendable to use transition words such firstly…
  • Make it interesting. Make a good first impression if you want to keep the audience entertained. Ensure to start each paragraph with an exciting point
  • Appeal to the readers’ senses as much as you can. This is what makes the story good. If you can engage their emotions such as the feel, taste, smell and make them feel like they are involved in the story, then you are on the right track.
  • Ensure you are operating on facts. Do not just write a story for the sake of it. Include the background of the item being discussed and ensure that it is all factual
  • Each sentence should relate to the other and the main topic. Make sure you remain relevant to the introduction
  • Every paragraph should be at least three sentences long

Every section should be connected to the other. The second paragraph must be a continuation of the first. Let the essay flow. However, every new section should cover a new topic concerning the central theme.

For example, in this case, you can discuss the different things to enjoy in the North Carolina Mountains each paragraph discussing a single option. The first paragraph could explain the Hiking tours, the second one about beautiful dry falls, talk about the animal tours in the third paragraph and so on. Discuss each point in details and make the readers want to visit the place. Being factual does not mean that you should not spice it up.


An essay conclusion is the most natural part to draft and aims at helping you to focus your essay. The end enables you to gather your thoughts, and the best way to come up with a perfect ending is by creating an idea map. Focus on the main points, and you can use the map to derive the essay.

Here is an example of a descriptive essay outline

Why you should consider visiting the North Carolina Mountains


  • Where the scenery is found
  • A brief history of the place and the impact it has on the society
  • Thesis; talk about how people view it and how the site has any views and activities that the readers will love

Body paragraph one

Event one of the things that people will enjoy doing there; the topic sentence explaining what it is, how it is done and everything beautiful about it

Paragraph two

Activity two and everything about it

Paragraph three

Activity three and everything about it

Paragraph four and subsequent paragraphs

You can write as many events depending on the number of scenes you wish to include in your essay.


The restatement of the thesis; as shown through the numerous activities found in the North Carolina Mountains, there is no doubt that it is an excellent getaway place for friends and families. Restate the pros of going there and the directions.

Take your time to jot draft an outline and the most critical points of your arguments. You can then add some sub-points under the main points, and you are good to go. Making an outline not only saves time, but it also saves you the frustration of getting lost of ideas halfway.

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