In this type of essay, a student is asked to describe something – it can be an object, a person, a place, an event and so on. This writing assignment is aimed at checking a student’s ability to create a written account, and testing their skills of creative writing.
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Descriptive essay: how to write
Unlike a narrative essay, which asks you to present information through a personal story, the aim of a descriptive essay is to examine a subject through observation. While writing a descriptive essay can seem a daunting task, we assure you: you can do it! Follow these writing tips below, which will help you with the outline and composition of your essay.
Tip 1: Good topic first!
A rule of thumb when working on a descriptive essay (as well as on all other types of academic writing) is to determine the topic that will both be relevant, exciting for you and the audience. If you need some inspiration, check out these topics for your descriptive essay:
- Topic #1: Describe your hometown.
- Topic #2: The Eiffel Tower.
- Topic #3: Describe your first trip abroad.
- Topic #4: Provide a description of your friend’s apartment.
- Topic #5: Describe your dream career.
Descriptive essay: important!
Tip 2: Have a clear structure
However good your essay may be in terms of language and ideas, it won’t get you an A if its structure is poor. This is why plan on writing an outline of your essay, which includes an introduction with a thesis, a body part with several paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Tip 3: Make it clear
When working on your descriptive essay, keep in mind that some information is not familiar to the reader (though it may seem to be evident for you). Thus, avoid discussing topics in a way that are hard to understand for your audience. Have a friend reread your essay to make sure that it creates an integral mental picture of your subject.
Tip 4: Pay particular attention to introduction
If you are describing a specific person or a place (like your hometown), devote a few sentences of your introduction to explaining what this person or place mean to you. Then move on to describe specific characteristics of this person or place in your body part. It is a good idea to use rhetorical questions in the introduction to make your writing more engaging.
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Descriptive essay avoid these mistakes
Apart from grammar and punctuation mistakes, high school and university students make a lot of other errors in descriptive essays like story line and sentence structure. Check out this table to avoid making frustrating mistakes in your essay:
|Mistake 1: Too ordinary. Descriptive essay is the piece of writing where imagination and creativity are needed. Try to make your writing as figurative as possible, add metaphors, similes, hyperboles, and personification.||Alaska is one of the most beautiful regions of the world, especially for those who have never visited it before. It is a huge land located in the North, a place where the climate is always cold and flora and fauna unique. Many species inhabiting Alaska cannot be found in other countries.||Alaska is probably the most mysterious region of the world, especially for those who have never been there before. A giant piece of land on the outskirts of the world, a place where it is cold during winter months and cold when it is summer; a land where flora and fauna are fascinating and unique, as many species inhabiting Alaska cannot be found anywhere else in the world.|
|Mistake 2: Few transitional words and phrases. Link the paragraphs of your essay using transition words and phrases. Be sure to select appropriate linking words to suit your explanations – for example, ‘although’, ‘however’, ‘even if’, ‘though’, ‘in addition’, ‘whereas’, ‘in fact’, and ‘while’.||Sometimes we may think that scientists already know everything about the ancient world. Historians have found ways of glancing at the very beginning of time. They keep working on theories that explain various historical phenomena.||Sometimes we may think that scientists already know everything about the ancient world. Indeed, historians have found ways of glancing at the very beginning of time. In fact, historians all over the world keep working on theories that explain various historical phenomena.|
|Mistake 3: Sentences are too short. Too many short sentences can hurt your essay, making your writing appear choppy. 15-20 word sentences are the best solution!||The Roman Empire was the most advanced civilization in the world. It was the land of giant architectural monuments. Its firmly established traditions and great accomplishments were unique. (3 sentences)||The Roman Empire was one of the most advanced civilizations of the world for many centuries. It was the land of giant architectural monuments, firmly established traditions, great accomplishments, and unique mentality. (2 sentences)|
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