A Descriptive Essay: Ultimate Guide on How to Write It

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4 minutes readingNov 26, 2020

Writing is an essential part of our life. We tend to write everywhere. Be it a simple message, a story, or homework, we are all involved in writing. Students will confirm that most of their home assignments are writing ones. There are many types of writing tasks you might have to complete. One of the most assigned ones is a descriptive essay. The article strives to explain this task's objective and its important parts to include. Make sure to read the entire blog, as there will be useful tips regarding writing techniques.

A Descriptive Essay: Definition

A widely accepted definition of the essay sounds like this:

The descriptive piece is a type of essay that requires describing specific items. It can be an object, individual, place, emotion, situation, occasion, etc. The essay's primary aim is to encourage a student to employ sensory details and portray a specific experience. Apart from that, it allows a person to write it, utilizing vivid descriptions and extraordinary adjectives to help the reader imagine it.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

Before writing an essay, you have to decide on a topic. Do you know the subject you will write about? If so, do you think it is relevant to the audience? Will the readers be satisfied with it? Will they discuss the piece afterward, or will there be silence? If you can't answer the previous questions, you need to take into account several factors that play a pivotal role in your work's success.

Pre-writing Methods

There are many ways to advance ideas for writing. If you are stuck with a topic for a descriptive essay, take a look at the following techniques:

  • Listing

Making a list will help you select the most crucial aspects to include. Since you don't know the subject at this point, list the top five or more situations you remember distinctly. Then you can briefly analyze them and select the one that is the most vivid.

  • Asking

Asking relevant questions may help you determine the direction you want to follow. For instance, it would be plausible to ask whether you want to focus more on a visual picture, sound, or smell.

  • Freewriting

The freewriting technique is one of the most prominent ones out there. Not only does it help you craft the first draft speedily, but you can also quickly come up with an idea for a descriptive essay. Simply write down everything that has occurred to you recently and what you remember well. Pay no attention to possible typos and mistakes.

Descriptive Essay Format and Structure

Usually, a descriptive essay comprises three focal elements called an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. They all carry specific goals and have to be written correctly. Let's look at each of them closer.


An introduction is the first paragraph and has to include an opening sentence, background information, and a thesis statement. Five hundred words is a common word count for a descriptive piece. Therefore, each section has to have approximately 100 words.

  • Opening sentence

An opening sentence, also known as a hook, strives to spark the reader's attention and entice them to keep reading your piece. Opening statements can be in the form of:

  1. Statistics
  2. Personal experience
  3. Anecdote
  4. Quotation
  5. U-turn

Depending on your topic, you may choose a different hook. For example, if you write about a piece of art, a quotation would be the most suitable opening.

  • Background information

This attribute goes after the hook and aims to introduce the reader to the topic you will write about. Ensure writing one to two short sentences about the subject in a broader scope.

Thesis statement

The thesis statement tends to be the most critical element. It has to be condensed, precise, and demonstrate the points you will develop within the document. The thesis statement is the last sentence of your introductory part.


As a rule, body sections take over half of your essay. That is, you should have three body paragraphs; each section must focus on one element stated in the thesis statement. The same as with the introduction, a body paragraph has its own structure.

  • Topic sentence

The topic sentence is the first sentence of your body section. It mentions a specific point stated in the thesis and has to be informative and understandable.

  • Development

A so-called climax follows the topic sentence. Here, you advance the point from the thesis statement and describe it entirely. You have to make sure that the reader can visualize the whole picture you strive to convey.

  • Transitional phrase

To end a section and let the audience know that you are moving on to the next body paragraph, you have to make your sentence coherent. Transition phrases guarantee your essay is smooth and readable. Such transitions can be, finally, briefly, for example, however, although, conversely, moreover, furthermore, likewise, contrary, etc.


Oddly enough, students are prone to facing severe difficulties when writing conclusions. Oftentimes, they misunderstand the primary purpose of it and include redundant points. They may even duplicate the thesis that under no circumstances should be done. The conclusion has three vital parts:

  • Answer

A successful conclusion starts with a thesis statement rephrasing. Remember to avoid repetitions, as it will decrease the text's overall comprehension.

  • Summary

After you revisit the thesis, make sure to highlight the focal points from the body paragraphs. It will be best if you compose no more than three complete sentences.

  • Significance

The last part is your chance to stand out. You have to convince the reader that a described day/situation/event is significant to you. You may also include how this particular story has changed you.

Descriptive Essay Outline

To join every mentioned point, check out how a standard outline of a descriptive piece should look:


  1. Opening sentence: set the tone and grab attention by a hook;
  2. Background information;
  3. Thesis statement: list the ideas for future papers.

Body Paragraph 1

  1. Topic sentence;
  2. First idea and description;
  3. A brief analysis and transition.

Body Paragraph 2

  1. Topic sentence;
  2. Second idea and description;
  3. A brief analysis and transition.

Body Paragraph 3

  1. Topic sentence;
  2. Third idea and description;
  3. A brief analysis.


  1. Rephrase the thesis statement;
  2. Highlight critical elements from the body;
  3. Closing sentence.

Following the mentioned strategy and tips, you will reduce the overall time spent writing a descriptive task. It might be a challenging task to compose something from scratch because of various reasons. In case you face trouble with writing an essay, you can always entrust your assignments to us.

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