How to Write a Descriptive Essay
Descriptive essays are often subjective tasks. The first issue at hand is to make sure you know what type of paper you are writing. The descriptive essay is often creative, personal, or simply artistic. Discuss the assignment with your professor or teacher before you begin. Even though your descriptive essay is more personal than a standard five-paragraph or compare-contrast essay, there is still quite a bit of homework to be done. Here is a list of important rules to follow as your write this essay. 1. Understand the concept;
2. Do your research;
3. Outline the paper;
4. Write the paper;
5. Re-write the paper;
6. Edit (outside editors).
Descriptive essays rely on their nominal stature. It is more important to use imagery and metaphorical language than scientific data. Descriptive essays are not mathematic entries, nor are they always factual. They are opinions. Consequently, you can try to write and describe anything you desire. You simply have to do it well. As horrible as that sounds, your professors and teachers will tell you the same thing. Here are some tips to remember when writing your descriptive essay: 1. Actually describe something;
2. Use concrete and abstract images;
3. Use concrete and abstract ideas;
4. Do not go overboard with adjectives and adverbs;
5. Do not go overboard with similes and metaphors;
6. Give it to someone else to see if your essay actually describes something. While it may seem rather vague initially, sometimes a descriptive essay can be the most liberating and pleasurable essay to write. You are just writing something as you see it. If you can prove and describe an idea or image in language, then you have accomplished your task. Documentation and hard research are not always necessary components (although they may be).
What is a Descriptive Essay?
The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe an object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal of which is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader). One might benefit from keeping in mind this simple maxim: If the reader is unable to clearly form an impression of the thing that you are describing, try, try again! Here are some guidelines for writing a descriptive essay:
Take time to brainstorm
If your instructor asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you jot down some ideas before you begin describing it. For instance, if you choose pizza, you might start by writing down a few words: sauce, cheese, crust, pepperoni, sausage, spices, hot, melted, etc. Once you have written down some words, you can begin by compiling descriptive lists for each one. Use clear and concise language.
This means that words are chosen carefully, particularly for their relevancy in relation to that which you are intending to describe. Choose vivid language.
Why use ‘horse’ when you can choose ‘stallion’? Why not use ‘tempestuous’ instead of ‘violent’? Or why not ‘miserly’ in place of ‘cheap’? Such choices form a firmer image in the mind of the reader and often times offer nuanced meanings that serve better one’s purpose. Use your senses!
Remember, if you are describing something, you need to be appealing to the senses of the reader. Explain how the thing smelled, felt, sounded, tasted, or looked. Embellish the moment with senses. What were you thinking?!
If you can describe emotions or feelings related to your topic, you will connect with the reader on a deeper level. Many have felt crushing loss in their lives, or ecstatic joy, or mild complacency. Tap into this emotional reservoir in order to achieve your full descriptive potential. Leave the reader with a clear impression.
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