What is Descriptive Writing?

The primary purpose of descriptive writing is to describe a person, place or thing in such a way that a picture is formed in the reader’s mind. Capturing an event through descriptive writing involves paying close attention to the details by using all of your five senses.Use all your senses so readers can feel what you feel, see what you see, taste what you taste, smell what you smell, and hear what you hear.

Using Descriptive Language

  1. Start your story in a way that grabs the reader’s attention. Unless you’re writing a fairytale, you typically don’t want to start by saying “Once upon a time…” …
  2. Evoke your reader’s five senses. …
  3. Describe your character(s)’ thoughts and emotions. …
  4. Show don’t tell.

What is the main purpose of Descriptive Essay?

The purpose of a descriptive essay is to describe a person, place, or thing in such vivid detail that the reader can easily form a precise mental picture of what is being written about. The author may accomplish this by using imaginative language, interesting comparisons, and images that appeal to the senses.

To learn how to write a good Descriptive story, click the following link:


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Descriptive Writing Guidelines

Attached Files:

. File Structuring A Descriptive Essay.doc (36.5 KB)

Deadline for your second essay (the Descriptive style) is at the end of Week 2

Here are some more tips and guidelines for this style of writing

Descriptive Essay: Structuring a Descriptive Essay A descriptive essay simply describes something or someone by appealing to the reader’s senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Here are the basic steps to writing an effective descriptive essay: 1. Select a subject Observation is the key to writing a good description. For example, if you are writing about a place, go there and take notes on the sights, sounds, and smells. A descriptive essay paints a picture for the reader, using descriptive devices and the senses. Create a thesis statement that informs the reader who or what you are describing. Examples: “The wooden roller coaster in Coney Island is a work of art.” “My bedroom is an ocean sanctuary.” 2. Select dominant details Select only the details that support the dominant impression (your thesis statement). 3. Organize details The paragraphs in a descriptive essay can be structured spatially (from top to bottom or from near to far) or chronologically (time order) or from general to specific. Descriptive essays can also use other patterns of organization such as narrative or exemplification. 4. Use descriptive words Do not use vague words or generalities (such as good, nice, bad, or beautiful). Be specific and use sensory, descriptive words (adjectives). For example: I ate a good dinner. OR I devoured a steaming hot, cheese-filled pepperoni pizza for dinner. Provide sensory details: Smells that are in the air (the aroma of freshly brewed coffee) Sounds (traffic, honking horns) Sights (“The sun scattered tiny diamonds across dew-covered grass as it peeked out from beyond the horizon.”) Touch (“The texture of the adobe hut’s walls resembled coarse sandpaper.”) Taste: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, tart (“Giant goose bumps formed on my tongue when I accidently bit into a sliver of lemon.”) 5. Draw a logical conclusion The conclusion may also use descriptive words; however, make certain the conclusion is logical and relevant. Create images for the reader! E-7 Descriptive Essay Guidelines (; g:ASC:EngRead) Page 2 Figurative Language Figures of speech are imaginative comparisons between two basically dissimilar things. A figure of speech may enliven a description by making the essay more visual or forceful. Here are some of the more common figures of speech that could prove effective in writing descriptive essays: Simile Using the words such as “like” or “as” when comparing. Example: A ride to North Hutchinson Island is like a flight to a Caribbean getaway. Metaphor Implying a comparison between two things that are essentially different. Example: Stalking their prey, the deputies remained hidden in the bushes and ready to spring on speeding motorists. Personification Giving human characteristics to inanimate objects. Example: The truck, covered with mud and love bugs, cried out for a wash. Overstatement or Hyperbole Using a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect. Example: I’ll die if I don’t pass this exam. Understatement Writing something opposite to what is expected or says something less than expected. Example: Yesterday was a little cool. The high temperature was zero degrees. Sound words or Onomatopoeia Using words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects or actions to which they refer. Example: “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is.” (slogan of Alka Seltzer) Symbol A person, place, or thing that represents an abstract idea or concept. Example: A rock is a symbol of strength E-7 Descriptive Essay Guidelines (July, 2011; g:ASC:EngRead) Page 3 Description Sample Discussion: What is Descriptive Writing?

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