How to Write Descriptive Essay- Tips and Examples

Crafting a descriptive essay requires creativity and rich diction. Essentially, you need to describe your subject in the most exciting way to keep the reader hooked. However, creativity is not a skill every student possesses. Therefore, most students find it challenging to create a good essay.

A descriptive essay needs clarity of mind and concentration. But with a hefty workload, hectic schedule, and pressure to create time for your family, writing an assignment sounds like a nightmare. But don’t worry. This guide provides critical tips to help you in the descriptive writing process.

What is a descriptive essay?

You are walking to work and meet a particular lady walking down the stairs. Then after a few meters, someone asks you whom you met on the stairs. Your answer can be, “I met a beautiful lady with blond hair, twinkling blue eyes, and a pale face.” What you just did is to describe the person you met.

Now, that is what a descriptive essay does. It is an assignment or composition that describes a person, event, or object. Ideally, this form of paper should charm the reader’s senses. Writing a descriptive essay is all about appealing to the emotions of your audience.

What is the purpose of writing a descriptive essay?

The descriptive essay purposes to give a detailed, vivid description of your given subject- it could be an event, a person, or a place. Your professor assigns you this paper to taste your creativity. More so, the paper tests your ability to convey the message and give the reader a memorable image.

Unlike most essays, the descriptive paper does not rely heavily on research, rather on your imaginative prowess. You can be asked to describe something or a place from your experience. or something you have never experienced. For instance, describing what it feels like living on a different planet is an imaginative descriptive essay.

What are the essential elements of a descriptive essay?

An excellent descriptive essay should be structured. It makes you put your thoughts together and make your paper flaw brilliantly. The elements of descriptive essays included:


Introduce your subject to the audience by keeping the introduction brief and stimulating. Always remember the first paragraph is what will keep the reader reading or stop reading altogether. Therefore, grabbing the audience’s attention should be your priority.

Give detailed background information by telling the reader about your subject and its importance. Remember to create a precise descriptive essay thesis. Keep the sentences short yet enthralling at the same time.

For example, when describing love, “Love can be unexplainable, but it makes people conquer hurdles. However, I wouldn’t dare to fall in love again!”

Body Paragraphs

The number of body paragraphs entirely depends on your professor or you. However, having three paragraphs is an ideal structure, with each section covering a point or an argument. When writing paragraphs, ensure you start with the topic sentence and add sensory details.

More so, your paragraph should end with an introduction to the next one. Thus, use transition sentences to create a well-flowing essay.


End your descriptive essay with a summary. The conclusion should not introduce a new argument or point; instead, it should summarize the main ideas. Proofread your work at least three times to ensure it is error-free. You can also ask a third party to read your paper and give you a general view of your descriptive narrative essay.

Guidelines for writing a descriptive essay

Having a good structure is not enough to make your essay remarkable. You need to incorporate your ideas to bring the subject of your description to life. Use strong words, figurative language, and unleash your creativity.

Choose the Right words

Ensure you make use of adjectives correctly, as well as your nouns, verbs, and adverbs. Use clichés to provide an intentional way of describing your subject. However, be more careful not to overuse thesaurus because it can lead to ridiculous sentences.

Make Use of Figurative Language

This is where you use simile and metaphor to create memorable effects and give your paper a creative edge. However, avoid using figurative language in every sentence. Instead, use it sparingly to keep the reader engaged as you convey your message uniquely.

Use Your Senses

Writing a descriptive essay requires you to make good use of sensory details. Apart from giving the physical attributes of your subject, also include how it smell, taste, sound, and touch. For example, “I can smell her alluring perfume as she approaches the counter.”

It is obvious you cannot apply all senses in a sentence, but it is a good idea to include it to make your paper interesting to read.

Descriptive essay example

Here is a short descriptive essay sample: The Rain

“I love spending Sunday afternoons in my backyard, as the smell of flowers keeps me relaxed. But this particular Sunday was quite different. Dark clouds were hanging angrily in the sky, and the rolling tide was visible.

The first drops were hitting the ground softly, creating rhythmic ripples. The petrichor emanating from dry, dusty land was insanely pleasant. I sauntered to my house as I allowed sprinkling drops to cloak my entire body. The pounding rain intensified the storm, and electric flashes became more prevalent.”

Descriptive essay FAQs

How do you start a descriptive paragraph?

The descriptive paragraphs have a solid focus, and they can also depict a memory or an emotion. Firstly, identify the topic and talk about subjects you are familiar with. More so, you need to figure out the goal of your descriptive paragraphs.

Examine and explore the topic from every possible angle. Furthermore, organize your information to make sense for your topic. The writing will be over when you edit and proofread your paragraph.

What type of essay is a descriptive essay?

A descriptive essay is an essay that gives a sensory description of something, person, situation, or event. This type of essay can be loosely structured, but the catch is in your choice of words and use of figurative language. A descriptive paper also helps you unleash your creativity and imagination.

How do I write an outstanding descriptive essay about myself?

When the professor gives you an essay on “myself,” it means giving details about your experience, achievements, or personality. With this type of essay, you need to consider things you like most and those you dislike. For example, talk about your interests, hobbies, favorite subjects, future goals, or academic achievements.

Beginning the introductory paragraph with words like, “Hello, I am…., from…,” makes you sound too obvious. Instead, start your essay like, “With my long, sharp needle in my hands,” “Unfortunately for me, dark forest is not in my adventure list.” Ensure the statement wins the attention of your readers.


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