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How to Write a Descriptive Essay in 3 Easy Steps

by Feb 23, 2017Writing

Most of the people today have had the experience of writing essays in their lifetime. Some have had even better luck. Some of have had that one teacher (English or history or any other torturous subject) who won’t settle for just any essay. Oh no! The teacher/ professor would actually want a descriptive essay. Honestly speaking, how many of you even know what a descriptive essay is? Or how is it different from any other form of essay. I mean an essay is simply pages full of long and difficult words.

Alas! That is not what a teacher expects. This is the right place for you to understand the nuances onhow to write a descriptive essay. However, you could always go for the easy solution and utilize the services of a help site which is way easier and more convenient. Anyway, let’s start with the basics.

What is a descriptive essay?

It is a short piece of writing describing a genre. It could be an item, a mood, a situation, an experience or any other thing. The basic purpose is to allow your mind to fly high. Climb a parallel universe ladder by writing a descriptive essay.


Before even thinking of attempting your essay, take a deep breath. Think about the topic you are writing on. Before commencing on how to write a descriptive essay, the ‘what’ to write on should be clear. In your essay, you would have to take your readers on a journey. They would see the topic idea from your viewpoint. And trust me, you do not want to short-sell this opportunity of speaking your mind, regardless of the topic.

Structure your thoughts in an ideal structure. Do a deep research on the topic. Understand the nuances of it before attempting an essay. This is the first step in how to write a descriptive essay.

Thought process

  • Paint a beautiful picture by your words. Don’t just show and tell. Use power of your words to get a reader to swim with dolphins or see civil war like it was there in front of their eyes.
  • Take time out to list some buzz words which you would sprinkle throughout the paper. Don’t be afraid to brainstorm. Usage of metaphors and lines from relevant poems is a big yes.
  • Creating a thesis statement which governs the topic idea would be a plus point and definitely worth every minute of the time spent.
  • List down all your sensory perceptions regarding the topic. Remember this is a descriptive essay and you are looking for how to write a descriptive essay. Jot down all the feelings you would associate with the topic regarding each of the 5 senses.
  • Create a wireframe of the essay. Note the number of paragraphs you would use, the discussion in each paragraph, your opening and closing statements among other things. Outlining your essay will essentially give a structure to your thoughts and save your essay from duplicity or randomness.

The actual writing

  • Take time out to give your paragraphs a chronological order. Understand that an introductory paragraph sets tone and mood of the whole paper. Make this count to your advantage. Use the introductory paragraph to entrance the reader and put across your point. This is the second step of how to write a descriptive essay.
  • Give an introductory line at the end of each paragraph before starting a new one. This would ensure that there is continuity in the paper and would give your words a fluid structure as well.
  • Make sure that you sprinkle buzz words consistently across the essay. You don’t want to pepper the beginning with a few and cramp the whole lot in the end.
  • Use your feelings majorly. Simply reading up on how to write a descriptive essay will not make you a spectacular essayist. But, using your individual perceptions will.
  • The uniqueness of an essay comes from your feelings about the topic. This is where the sensory perception exercise done during thought process comes to use.
  • Finish off your essay by a concluding paragraph which should basically summarize everything you have written about the topic. Remember, this is what will stay in your reader’s mind for the longest time (provided he actuallyread till the end).

Reading, re-wording and finally resolving

  • Once you are done writing take a deep breath and stretch those muscles. It would be great if you get a snack or take a short break. This is the third and probably most important step in how to write a descriptive essay.
  • Read everything you wrote with a critical eye. There would be loads of mistakes, which is very normal. Pay special attention to grammar especially tenses and voice. Observe whether a reader is able to perceive a topic as you want to illustrate it. It would be great if you could have a third person view here. If this is not possible, then just read it aloud (in your favorite villain’s voice maybe).
  • Once you are done correcting all mistakes and rewording needful areas, it is time to finalize the essay. If you are satisfied then it is ready to turn in. Don’t worry; if you followed all pointers listed here, then your essay will be a sure shot winner.

I hope this was enough help on how to write a descriptive essay. However, if you find yourself short on time, remember help is always available to those who ask for it (on the internet).