How To Write A Descriptive Essay

What is a Descriptive Essay?

descriptive essay is a written account of a particular experience in an in-depth and detailed manner, including many vivid sensory details to describe people/character, location, action, event, thing and emotion. The primary purpose of a descriptive writing is to assert your view about a particular topic and the writing needs to appeal to reader’s five senses when appropriate: sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste.

Structure of Descriptive Essays:

1. Introduction (Write the thesis statement at the end of the introduction.
2. Three body paragraphs
3. Conclusion.

There are two types of topics: concrete and abstract.
Concrete type of topics are generally easier and here are some examples:

Topics About A Place
1. My neighbourhood
2. A place that holds a little piece of myself
3. The most beautiful place I have ever seen

Topics About An Experience/Memory
1. My first time riding a bike
2. A day at the beach.
3. A vacation
4. Describe an interesting encounter with a stranger

Topics About A Person
1. My favourite teacher
2. My best friend
3. A person that inspired me

Topics About An Object
1. A precious gift
2. A toy that you loved so much when you were young
3. A heirloom

Abstract topics are usually more difficult as students need to describe more complex ideas and emotions.

Here are some examples:
1. True friends are never apart. Maybe in distance but never in heart.
2. Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.
3. Honesty is better than any policy.
4. Money does not buy happiness.
5. Nothing happens unless first a dream.
6. Childhood, after all, is the first precious coin that poverty steals from a child.

Figurative language plays an important role in descriptive essays. Similes, analogies, metaphors, personification and alliteration create vivid images to descriptive essays.

simile is a figure of speech where you use “like” or “as” to compare two different things and show a common quality between them.
1. His heart was as cold as ice.
2. Fast as lightning
3. Sleeping like a log
4. White as a sheet

An analogy express an abstract idea in terms of a familiar one.
1. Life is like a box of chocolates, you will never know what you are going to get.
2. My heart is an endless well of love and gratitude.
3. This week has been a roller coaster ride of emotions.
4. A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have. – Irish Proverb. 

A metaphor is a figure of speech that makes an implicit, implied, or hidden comparison between two things that are unrelated, but which share some common characteristics.
1. All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances – William Shakespeare
2. Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. – Marcel Proust
3. Angers bottled up inside
4. Every cloud has a silver lining

Personification is a figure of speech in which a thing (an idea or an animal) is given human attributes.
1. Her heart skips a beat.
2. The stars winked in the night sky.
3. You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes, you are paralyzed. (lyrics from Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’)
4. I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
(I wandered lonely as a cloud by William Wordsworth)

Craft your conclusion by restating your feelings towards the subject and providing a sense of closure.