What is a Descriptive Essay and How to Write It?

What is a Descriptive Essay and How to Write It?
Table of Contents
  1. What is a Descriptive Essay and How to Write It?
  2. What is a Descriptive Essay?
  3. Examples of Descriptive Essay Topics
  4. Types of Descriptive Essays
  5. Parts of a Descriptive Essay
  6. How to Write a Descriptive Essay
  7. Conclusion

In a descriptive essay as in a literary analysis essay, a writer describes something to the readers. The work can be written about anything, but your main goal is to grab the readers' attention with an interesting story. Read our guide and create a successful document easily!

What is a Descriptive Essay?

There is an illusion of reality as the description will have proofs bringing the reader to your fictional dream. It not only engages the reader intellectually but also emotionally. If the details are chosen correctly, the writer’s character can be expressed quickly. It can change the tension of the story by speeding it up or slowing it down. The situation literally comes alive for the reader as the reader reads through the essay. A descriptive essay gives the readers a detailed description of the chosen subject. This sort of writing requires strong skills because you must paint the picture with your words. You need to give readers a feeling they are not just reading a paper but watch a movie or even participate in the acting.

Examples of Descriptive Essay Topics 

Here we want to give you some samples of descriptive essay topics that you may use as an example to create your work:

  1. Describe a tough situation from your life or your close friend/relative, and how you/they handled it.
  2. Describe the happiest moment of your life and why it made you feel so great?
  3. Create a tutorial and describe the process of how to change the car wheel with minimum tools.
  4. Create a tutorial about describing and solving a social problem, i.e. abortion.
  5. Compare two equal cars of different makes and models, emphasize the differences and similarities between these two products.
  6. Compare living standards in Canada and the USA.
  7. What are the causes and effects of depression? How to predict depression?
  8. Write about the causes and effects of being a workaholic. How should the workday of an average person avoid this problem?
  9. How can we motivate people to work better?
  10. How is it possible to minimize or remove alcoholism in our society?

Types of Descriptive Essays

You can meet various types of descriptive essay:

  • Process. This essay leads readers into learning something. How to repair a flat, how to buy a good car, and even how to make a successful relationship.
  • Comparison. In this type of essay, the author analyzes and compares two contrast things and explains what are their differences and similarities.
  • Cause and effect. This kind of work describes a connection between two things and explains why something happened (cause), and what happened after this (result).
  • Problem and solution. The author faces a problem in his work, and during writing, he/she describes solutions to this problem.

Parts of a Descriptive Essay

You can use this simple outline to create the essay:

1. Introduction:

  • opening sentence – introducing the problem, and hooks the readers' attention;
  • context – all the needed information for readers to help them understand the topic;
  • thesis statement – describe what you are going to prove in the work, or what you are going to explore, or which side you're going to get.

2. Body paragraphs (3):

  • topic sentence – the main idea of this paragraph;
  • provide evidence from your sources to support the thesis;
  • analysis of your evidence – show readers how this evidence supports your thesis, and explain why you chose this evidence.
  • transition to the next paragraph – this is a sentence that connects one paragraph with another to create a smooth construction of your paper.

3. Conclusion – provide to readers if you have solved the problem faced in your work, and what kind of solution you propose. Specify if there are questions that still need to be solved. Think about what readers should do or think after reading your essay.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay 

When you are working on this paper, it's important to know the descriptive essay format. We are going to give you some useful tips about this work's structure. If to show the creation of this paper step by step, it will look this way:

  • Consider your audience. Think about your readers, their needs, and their expectations. Discover the guidelines if you have them before you start writing.
  • Decide on a topic. Pick up a topic that you're interested in, but remember it should be also interesting for the readers.
  • Thoroughly research your topic. Think about your paper's thesis and start to gather documents to support your work. Remember that any of your statements mean nothing without good evidence.
  • Create an outline. It is an important step that will help you to write straight. When you know what you are going to write, it's much simpler to do the job then when you're just writing something without any idea to what point this must lead you.
  • Format the outline accordingly. The essay should consist of 5 paragraphs: introduction, three paragraphs of a body part, and a conclusion.
  • Craft an interesting introduction. Start from an exciting discovery or occurrence that will grab the readers' attention. You may surf the internet and find tons of great descriptive essay examples to get an idea of how you should write.
  • Form coherent body paragraphs. Keep in mind that each argument of your work should be put into a separate paragraph. Don't forget about evidence to support your arguments.
  • Create an assertive conclusion. Don't be repetitive here, just finish your work logically and summarize all paragraphs you have written.
  • Edit and check. When you’ve finished your work, read it at least twice to check grammar and spelling errors. You may use online services to do this job, but don't be in a rush and spend enough time editing your essay. Make sure your paper is accurate and clear. Don't forget to check all facts, statistics, and sources you cited.


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