How To Write A Descriptive Essay

How To Write A Descriptive Essay

How To Write A Descriptive Essay

What is a descriptive essay

A descriptive essay is a type of academic writing that describes a topic or subject great detail.

The topic or subject of a descriptive essay can be anything from people, places, objects to events. When writing a descriptive essay you should use details that allow the readers to mentally feel or see or sense the object you are describing.

The key to a good descriptive essay is to appeal to the reader’s five senses. For example, when describing a hot object, the reader should be able to feel how hot the object is by constructing a vivid mental picture from the description.

How to prepare before writing a descriptive essay

For many people, a descriptive essay is difficult to write because of the level of creativity required. This type of essay tests the writer’s ability to create a mental picture or feeling in the reader’s mind. Here are some tips on what to do before writing a descriptive essay:

  • take time to brainstorm about the topic. Jot down your ideas and avoid thinking as you write the essay.
  • think about the supporting descriptions for each idea, using your senses extensively.
  • choose the proper words for your descriptions in order to create the right mental picture in the reader’s mind.

Outline of a descriptive essay

The key to draft a good descriptive essay is to first understand its structure. The structure will guide you on how you should format your essay. A descriptive essay should include the following three main parts:

  • the introduction
  • the body
  • the conclusion.


It is important that the introduction be well written because it is the one that makes the first impression of your essay. Just by reading the introduction, the reader will either get too bored to continue or interested enough to proceed.

A good introduction can start by building enough suspense to capture the attention of the reader. To build suspense, you can apply suspenseful phrases for which the reader can find the answers later in your essay. The introduction should not contain a lot of description, but a brief overview of the topic to be covered in the body.

The introduction of a descriptive essay should:

  • Start with a hook sentence – this sentence grabs the reader’s attention from the very beginning.
  • Followed by background information – this is the information to tell the reader what you’re about to describe and why it is crucial to you.
  • And end with a thesis statement – this statement summarises the objective of the essay.

A thesis statement is a single sentence that summarises the objective of the essay. A good thesis statement should:

  • tease the reader on what to expect in the body.
  • be short and clear.
  • be creative and unique. Try to avoid common statements such as, "This essay will talk about …."
  • create enough suspense to attract the reader to read the body of the essay.


After the introduction comes the body. The body is the main part of the essay and should support your thesis statement. A descriptive essay usually has three body paragraphs that covers three different points or arguments. The paragraphs are not limited to three and depends on the purpose of the essay.

Here are some great tips for writing paragraphs in the body:

  • Start every paragraph with a topic sentence to make sure you present the main idea at the beginning before you proceed to give descriptions. After the topic sentence, continue by describing the idea.
  • Employ the use of good transition words for linking your sentences. For example, if you are linking contradicting sentences, you can use contradicting conjunctions such as "however" and if you are linking agreeing sentences you can use addition conjunctions such as "in addition to".
  • Put each idea into its own paragraph.
  • Make sure the paragraphs are at most six sentences long.

When writing the body paragraphs of a descriptive essay, you should use figurative language such as metaphors, similes, personification, and descriptive adjectives to picture the story.


End the essay with a powerful conclusion. Restate the thesis statement and support it with a summary of the points in the body paragraphs. The summary should state the main points briefly without much description.

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