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How to Write a Descriptive Essay: 6 Steps

November 11, 2019

During obtaining any academic level, you will face different educational assignments that are related to your writing skills. Term paper, research paper and, of course, a descriptive essay. We offer you to delve deeper into this task and to learn more about how to provide a perfect paper and exceed your tutor’s expectations. 

Definition: What Is a Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay is one type of essay with the main task to describe something or someone. You need to choose any situation from your life or history, a book, a person, a controversial moment, etc. and describe it. With this exercise, students learn how to write about a person, a specific experience, how to prepare reports. Besides, unlike many other assignments, a descriptive essay provides scope for imagination.

Descriptive Essay: Structure and Organization

To write a really good paper, you need to be pretty organized. Describing something, it is very easy to leave your thoughts in the wrong steppe, overdo it with details, forgetting about the essence. Follow our recommendations to craft a top-notch essay. 

1. Choose a topic

To come up with a topic for many other types of essays can be difficult. But not for the descriptive. The theme can be found simply around you, taking any object, event, person, emotions that can be described. The main thing is that the topic should be informative and interesting, grab the attention of readers. It is better to pick up a trending or controversial issue about which you have something to say. Use adjectives and adverbs in your headline

2. Create a statement

Whatever college requirements for an essay are, you will need to write a thesis statement. This is just one sentence, revealing the purpose of your essay, conveying its main idea. This is a guide for a reader that tells you what to expect from the paper. Focus on one aspect of each paragraph.

Make your thesis statement concise, get rid of the cliche like “In this essay, I will talk about …”. Along with this, you need a bit of intrigue so that readers have a desire to read further. 

3. Get the senses right

Your essay should describe emotions and feelings. And so that the reader also felt them. To do this, you can write on paper the name of all the main 5 senses – taste, smell, sound, vision, touch. Write next to them the sensations that arise when you think about your topic. Touch smell and touch taste to choose appropriate metaphors and suitable adjectives, to create a vivid story.

4. Create an outline

Your next step is to create a clear plan. This will be the outline for your essay. Describe in it all your paragraphs, and clearly, follow the intended path. High school students are usually assigned to write 5 paragraphs. And in college or university courses, they are rarely limited in volume.

5. Write the conclusion

A good final paragraph is just as important as the essay itself. Draw conclusions confirming your thesis statement. Summarize, complete the thoughts that remained unexpressed in the body of the essay. Remember that it is the conclusion that will help the reader to make a final opinion about your paper and an essay writer themselves.

6. Review your essay

After you finish work, take a break. After resting, read the essay again. A fresh look will help you find illogical phrases, uninformative sentences, weak arguments, and mistakes. If you are still subjective, ask a friend to proofread and edit your paper.

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The outline of any essay contains the parts that make up the essay. When writing a descriptive essay, focus on three main segments: introduction, body, and conclusion.


The foundation of your paper is the introduction. The reader will start with him, and this is your opportunity to make a good impression. That is why the introduction should be interesting, intriguing, encouraging further reading.

Choose the right words for this purpose. You can ask a few questions, the answer to which will be provided later. Do not make the description too voluminous so that the reader does not get bored.


Body paragraphs are the main part, that is highlighting specific details. Use a statement at the beginning of each paragraph, and then provide a detailed description that supports the idea, examples from your life. Conjunctions will help you. Each idea should fit into several sentences.


The essential part of the academic writing process is writing a conclusion. This is your last chance to surprise the reader. Make sure that in the body of the essay you have already provided all the information, and now you only have to conclude. Rephrase the thesis, recall how you explained it and complete the work with a logical but intriguing conclusion. The reader should have a pleasant aftertaste.

Descriptive Essay Formula

We’ve prepared good descriptive essay writing tips for you to succeed. 

Before writing

Do you well understand the object, situation, person place, to describe them? Collect a sufficient number of resources, make sure that they will help to reveal the topic well.

Create a draft

The best method for coming up with ideas is brainstorming. Read sample, do your research and then write down everything that comes to your mind, even if for now these thoughts seem raw and unfinished. You can polish them later, but you must have plenty to choose from.

Add details to your essay

Another important point that is taken into account when checking a descriptive essay is your vocabulary. Use dictionaries if you feel that your language is not lyrical enough. Bet on adjectives.

Revise the paper and make amends

Having an essay already written, check if your structure is good enough. Does the paper meet the requirements of your teacher? Make a list of sources with which you were inspired when writing.

Edit the descriptive essay

Re-reading is also necessary to eliminate errors and typos. Get rid of any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. Show your mentor that you have a good command of the language.

Sharing a descriptive essay

Be prepared that not only your mentor will read the essay but the entire class. It may be a bit unnerving, but stay calm. All your colleagues are in the same position and are also worried. Use reviews as a rewarding experience.

Descriptive Essay Types to Consider

Starting a descriptive essay, consider these types of paper:

  • Human essay. Description of appearance, character, behavior. This is the most difficult task.
  • Place essay. Focus on interesting cities with a significant history.
  • Event essay. Describe your ideal day, the event that influenced you, the journey.
  • Animal essay. The fauna is full of wonders.
  • Occupation essay. Writing about a career is always helpful. This is a good start before starting your resume.
  • Behavior essay. If you know a person with unique habits and characteristics, share them in your paper, explaining reasons.

35 Winning Examples of Topics for Best Result

 There are some effective descriptive essay topics for you to inspire by:

1. How do you see your ideal vacation? Describe it in detail.

2.   Tell about the person who made a great contribution to the development of mankind.

3. Is it easy to recognize a lie? Does that knowledge help you?

4. What would you do if you could never work?

5. What would your pet tell you about you?

6. Why can you hate a person?

7. Describe your strategies for forcing difficult situations

8. What character traits should your best friend have?

9. What is your dream profession? What makes it so?

10. Tell about your experience that you can’t forget

11. List and describe the cities that you would not want to visit

12. Make a personal list of 7 wonders of the world

13. At what age should people start working?

14. Describe your best childhood memories

15. What was your first exam like? Have feelings changed over time?

16. Tell about your favorite comedy show

17. Did you keep a diary in your teens? And now?

18. Does knowledge make life easier or more complicated?

19. Where would you go if you were in the past?

20. Why is vegetarianism so popular today?

21. What are you doing to improve the environment?

22. What would be the equipment of your dreams?

23. Do you believe in signs? Describe fun cases related to them

24. What can’t you be without on a trip?

25. Describe your childhood favorite computer games

26. How has life changed since the beginning of the 21st century?

27. Why do people buy expensive paintings?

28. How are gender roles changing now?

29. What was the last thing you were surprised at?

30. Tell about the most important lesson in your life

31. Was schooling helpful? Advantages and disadvantages

32. What surprises does adult life have?

33. 20 lessons to learn before age 20

34. Describe the first book you’ve read

35. What makes the mountains more interesting than the sea?

Descriptive Writing Tips from Our Academic Writers

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