How to Write a Descriptive Essay

Before learning how to write a descriptive essay, let us first have a quick look at what is a descriptive essay.

What is a Descriptive Essay

A descriptive essay, as the name suggests, is an essay that describes. This essay provides descriptions of a person, place, or a thing. Writing a good descriptive essay is like painting a picture in the readers’s mind.

Tips for Writing a Descriptive Essay

Use sensory details

Always describe what you can see, hear, feel, touch, and taste. Describing sensory details (sight, smell, sound, touch, taste) is an important part of a descriptive essay. For example, think that you are trying to describe a tree in your garden. Instead of writing “There are flowers in the tress”, write how it looks, smells, and feel. Try to describe your emotions and to write a descriptive essay - use the sensory details

Choose vivid, descriptive language

Use your diction with care. A good narrative essay should be able to create vivid mental images in the readers’ mind. Use literary devices like similes, metaphors. Blow is an example of descriptive language from Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield.

” As the elms bent to one another, like giants who were whispering secrets, and after a few seconds of such repose, fell into a violent flurry, tossing their wild arms about, as if their late confidences were really too wicked for their peace of mind, some weather-beaten ragged old rooks’-nests, burdening their higher branches, swung like wrecks upon a stormy sea.”

How to Start a Descriptive Essay


(Think about what you want to say before writing the essay.)

First, think about what, who, or where you want to describe. (This is if a title is not provided.) Then decide what are the particular qualities you wish to focus on. Think about why you have chosen this particular topic.

Pay attention to the organization of the essay                         

Each paragraph should describe different aspects of the topic. For example, imagine that you are writing an essay about your favourite person. The introduction could discuss why you are talking about that particular person, i.e. the background of the essay. Then, in the main body of the essay, you can describe different characteristics of that person. In one paragraph, you can describe the appearance of the person, and in another paragraph, you can describe his or her qualities.

How to End a Descriptive Essay


Your conclusion should contain a brief summary of the main body of the essay. Try to connect the end of the essay to the beginning. For example, if you said “I have always been fascinated by the ocean.” in the introduction of the essay, you can write that “My fascination with deep blue ocean is deeply engrained in my soul. A trip to the beach never fails to lift my mood…”


Read your essay. Check if you have written the details in such a way that the essay creates vivid images. See whether all details, descriptions are relevant, suited to the essay. See if you have forgotten to add any minor, but important details. Delete any unnecessary details.  Double check for any grammar or spelling mistakes.

Congratulations ! You are now ready to start writing YOUR descriptive essay.

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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