Descriptive essay has a unique power and appeal. It evokes sights, smells, sounds, tastes and textures. Effective description focuses on a dominant impression. A dominant impression shows a mood or atmosphere in your essay.
Definition and Purpose of a Descriptive Essay
This mood can be expressed through effective descriptive writing. Another important thing for a descriptive essay is the usage of sensory details: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste to outline an impression in writing. The sensory details should create for the reader the same picture that you have in your mind. Instead of using ambiguous, general words, the sensory language should be precise. It makes the difference between vague and vivid languages. Descriptive essays also demands varying of sentence structure. Avoid using the same subject-verb patterns in the sentences. Interpose descriptive combining sentences.
A good descriptive essay has to:
- Give a vivid reception of the subject of description;
- Include all the smallest and important details;
- Show the emotional background of the subject;
- Demonstrate the author’s emotional response caused by the subject;
- Exclude every single irrelevant detail;
- Gradually indicate different aspects of the subject in each following paragraph.
Thus, a descriptive essay makes a strong accent on the observation and the descriptions performed by the author.
Structuring a Descriptive Essay
The major purpose of writing a descriptive essay is to describe subject, object, scenery, situation, person and other things in a vivid manner in order to make the reader sense like he sees all this himself. For these reasons, there is a particular structure of descriptive essays:
- Introduction. In this part the author represents the reasons why he describes a person, object or situation. It should start with a strong opening, for example, a quotation that grabs the reader’s attention. The writer uses a thesis statement that belongs to the described object, person, situation, experience, etc. at the end of the introduction.
- Body. Here, the writer builds up each of the pointers that he wrote before. Usually, one point can be painted in the details, in one paragraph. In the body there are three paragraphs:
2.1. Paragraph № 1 – The object itself (Here the author provides a vivid portrait of the object. He includes all the observed details and shows everything that referred to the object, person or situation).
2.2. Paragraph№ 2 – The surroundings. The author describes the atmosphere and surroundings of an object, person, or situation. The reader should have a feeling of involving in this environment. Metaphors and comparison are used in this paragraph).
2.3. Paragraph № 3 – Sensual and emotional description (The writer uses his senses of taste, touch smell, sound and sight and emotional description in order to make the experience “alive”. Metaphors and comparison are also used here).
- Conclusion. Conclusion reveals the importance of the described things in the essay. It re-frames the thesis statement. It also summarizes an emotional and physical attitude of the writer.
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There are some useful pieces of advice for effective structuring essays:
- Select the subject of description. You may choose a certain experience, a special memory, an interesting place, a thing or an object. You should try to use dominant and specific details. Avoid writing many adjectives and adverbs. Write only the most powerful words;
- Gather all the information related to the topic;
- Use fresh, descriptive words. Do not overload your essay with clichés and idioms;
- Make strong accent on the observation and the descriptions provided by the author.
Thus, keeping a descriptive essay structure helps writers easily compose their composition. It helps your imagination to catch the readers’ attention. Give them a chance to reconstruct in their minds the whole scene that has been shown to them. And remember, describe the things more correctly, use five senses and illustrate different figures of speech.