John K.
John K.

Descriptive Essay - A Step By Step Writing Guide

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Published on: May 23, 2019

Last updated on: Jan 5, 2023

Descriptive Essay

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Descriptive essay writing is all about describing something such as an object, person, place, place, emotion, etc. This type of essay encourages the ability to create a written account of a particular object, event, or experience.

Working on your descriptive essay and thinking about what to add to it?

This blog will help you learn how to write and understand the core basics of a descriptive essay. You will be able to write an effective descriptive essay after reading this masterpiece.

Descriptive Essay Definition

A descriptive essay describes a person, place, situation, object, or emotion. Students usually get such types of essays as an assignment in high school or college. It is different from any simple essay because it keenly focuses on a single description of a person, place, or event.

Similarly, it helps to test the writer’s ability to express and explain their experiences. Therefore, a student may be asked to describe anything, such as a beach or a forest. It makes it both an exciting and challenging task.

Moreover, avoid using vague language. Instead, use adjectives and adverbs in your essay for an impressive outlook. A key to writing a good descriptive essay is to use a lot of sensory details.

Only then will it create a clear picture in the reader’s mind. One of the key features is to use your creativity and make the reader visualize the subject of the description.

It is somehow similar to a narrative essay because it explains the sense of touch, smell, and taste through words. However, narrative descriptive essays describe someone’s real-life story and then follow the content with the writer’s imagination.

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What is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

The primary purpose of this essay is to provide vivid details about a person, place, or situation. The reader will get a clear idea of the whole picture this way.

Descriptive essays are not written to show facts and figures to prove something. They only contain specific details about the situation. Moreover, they are mostly assigned to the students of creative writing.

Elements of a Descriptive Essay

Here are the key five elements of a good descriptive essay;

  • Sensory Details

It's not only about capturing the reader but also creating an emotional connection with them. The writer must paint a vivid scene for each sense. So that when they read about something, their eyes see it visually in their mind.

  • Figurative Language

If a writer wants to create an engaging descriptive essay, he needs more than just plain old words. Figurative language is one of the main elements that help readers feel what was felt by both author and subject alike.

It also helps them visualize how those emotions were transformed into visual imagery. It is usually done by using descriptive language and different figures of speech like similes, metaphors, personification, etc.

  • Central and Key Theme

The central theme is what links all of your ideas and thoughts together to form an argument. It should be well defined so that you know where the focus lies. This will help keep things organized as well.

  • Clear Language

Your essay will be more interesting and easier to understand if you use plain, clear language. Vagueness can leave a lot of people lost in what you trying to say so make sure that every word counts.

  • Proper Organization

The organization of your essay is key to success. The chronology, spatial location, and order all play an important role in how you tell this story with impact.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay?

Here are the essential steps that you need to follow for writing a good descriptive essay.

Find a description of each step in the following section.

1. Choose a Topic
The first step is to choose an interesting topic for your descriptive essay. Make sure to choose a topic that you can easily write about and create a picture in your reader’s mind.

You can also find some interesting descriptive essay topics at the end of this article.

2. Create an Outline
Create a descriptive essay outline to list down all the details you need to discuss in your essay. Generally, the descriptive essay outline follows a five-paragraph essay structure.

The outline will help you plan the focus for each paragraph and put all the details into a logical sequence. Here is a sample descriptive essay outline;

Descriptive Essay Structure and Format

1. Introduction

  • Hook
  • Introduction Body
  • Thesis Statement

2. Body Section

  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Body Paragraph 3

3. Conclusion

  • Restatement of thesis statement
  • Important points and ideas
  • Closing sentences

A complete descriptive essay outline will help you understand further and write a good essay easily.

3. Write Introduction
A reader goes through the introduction before reading an entire essay. It is considered as the first impression of work and thus needs to be drafted carefully. It offers basic details about the topic and its importance.

Try to use easy and understandable language. It will make it even more interesting for the reader to read till the end. Also, discuss all the important points and craft a perfect thesis statement for your essay.

4. Create Thesis Statement
It presents the writer’s main argument, purpose, and scope of the topic. It should be a single sentence describing the objective of the essay. Similarly, a thesis statement must be engaging enough to attract readers to the body paragraphs.

5. Compose Body Paragraphs
This part comes right after the introduction and thesis statement. It is an integral part that contains all the major arguments of your essay. Usually, there are three body paragraphs; however, a writer can increase their numbers.

Add a single argument in one paragraph. Avoid using irrelevant details and use transitions to make it even stronger. Lastly, each paragraph should only have five to six sentences.

6. Write The Conclusion
It is the last part of your essay and probably the last chance to impress the reader. How to start off a conclusion? According to the descriptive essay format, a conclusion should be a summary of the main points in the body text.

A strong conclusion is important if you want to leave your readers with a strong impression. A compelling conclusion should have the following points.

  • Restating the thesis statement
  • Summarization of major points
  • Adding a closing statement
  • After concluding your essay, review and proofread it several times to identify mistakes.

Descriptive Essay Examples

It is not easy to write a descriptive essay. Samples and examples help to guide the students about a particular format. Therefore, students refer to them for a better understanding of the structure and content.

We have given some free essay examples for your ease.

Descriptive Essay Example About A Place

Writing a description of your favorite place includes all the details about the place you visited, the weather, and your feelings. Below is a descriptive essay sample for you.

Descriptive Essay About a Person and Event

A descriptive essay about a person helps students to describe their parents, best friends, teachers, and siblings. Here is an example for you.

A descriptive essay on an event usually describes the event, the writer’s level of excitement, and the surrounding.

Here is an example of both for you.

Descriptive Essay On Nature

Looking for a descriptive essay on nature? Have a look at this example descriptive essay about nature as a source of inspiration.

Learning from a sample is both easy and quick. Similarly, good descriptive essay examples will help you learn how to write a descriptive essay in less time.

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Descriptive Essay Topics

Choosing a topic for your descriptive essay can sometimes become difficult. It is because you want to write about so many things, including a place, person, emotions, and an event.

Writing about a person should include the following aspects of gender, age, posture, and expressions. Similarly, writing about an animal should contain details about animal species, weight, and behavior patterns.

Essay topics on places and events should first include their importance, consequences, and other generic information.

We have categorized different topics into a list.

Descriptive Essay Topics for Middle School

  • How do you see your future?
  • Which is your most liked subject?
  • Your favorite season
  • Your favorite animal in the zoo
  • Which is your least favorite meal?
  • A trip to the beach
  • My favorite place
  • Describe an inspiring family member
  • Benefits of summer school
  • Describe a neighboring house

Descriptive Essay Topics for High School Students

  • Describe your worst nightmare
  • What is your favorite place to read?
  • Describe your best friend
  • Write about your favorite pet
  • Share a description of your most liked teacher
  • Describe your visit to a new city
  • Write about your mother
  • Describe an event from your academic life
  • Do you like riding a bicycle?
  • How did you feel about your Mathematics exam?

Descriptive Essay Topics for College Students

  • Importance of college education
  • Education before anything else
  • How can you make the world a better place?
  • Describe your first day at college
  • List the names of the place you want to visit
  • The first time I fell in love
  • Describe your favorite fiction character
  • Write about the location for a perfect student party
  • Earth from the eye of an astronaut
  • Share a description of your favorite movie

Good descriptive essay topics play a vital role in guiding you to write a good descriptive essay. Similarly, a bad essay topic will get you nowhere.

The above-mentioned are the best examples of descriptive essay topics. Always make sure to choose a topic about which you are passionate about. You can also get help from our free essays as It will help you produce a great piece of writing.

Following things should be kept in mind while choosing a topic:

  • Select a topic that interests you.
  • The topic should have a good scope.
  • A topic that inspires you emotionally or mentally.
  • Choose the topic that is appealing to the senses of humans. Human senses include hearing, touch, taste, smell, and sight, or at least one.
  • Choose an issue that engages the readers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the elements of descriptive writing?

Following are the five elements of descriptive writing:

  1. Sensory Details
  2. Figurative language
  3. Dominant impression
  4. Precise language
  5. Careful Organization.

What are the two types of descriptive essays?

The two types of descriptive essays are:

  1. Objective
  2. Impressionistic
John K.


John K. (Analytics, Speech)

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

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