4 Things You Need to Know About Descriptive Essays

4 Things You Need to Know About Descriptive Essays

Descriptive Essays
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The world of essay writing is broad and diverse, and there are hundreds of ways to go about writing all sorts of different essays. Today, we’re going to deep dive into the topic of descriptive essays and all that you need to know about them. 

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Moving on, here’s all you need to know about descriptive essays: 

1. Overview: What is A Descriptive Essay

If you don’t know what this genre of essay is, then let’s begin by going over its main description, and let’s clear any confusion once and for all. This genre of essay encourages students to describe something as vividly as possible, and it could be about anything, from a person to a place, to an emotion. Two things:

  • The main goal is the story and not the storyteller.
  •  Descriptive essay writing should be immersive and not just informative. 
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This is what differentiates a descriptive essay from other genres of essays. It engages readers in writing that stimulates emotion and intellect. It is expressive, and through good writing, the pace of the experience is slowed down or sped up, depending on the writer’s choice. 

It’s almost like painting a picture or directing a movie, but instead of using images, the weapons are your words. 

2. Characteristics Found In Descriptive Essays

Descriptive essays will have vivid imagery, precise language, and figurative language. What do these signify? Well, let’s take a look and clear that up: 

  • Vivid imagery: showing vivid imagery in writing is like directing a mental movie through your words. It’s sensual and detailed writing. Imagine writing about a beach and how it looks. Instead of writing: “The beach has sand and a shoreline,” descriptive writing would look more like this: “White sand decorated the shore, and the ocean glinted in a deep turquoise blue under the scorching summer sun.” 
  • Precise language: precise language signifies adjectives that successfully describe specific details.
  • Figurative language: using figurative language in writing enables writers to make comparisons between two ‘unlike’ things. Figures of speech, similes, personifications, and metaphors are all tools of figurative language. 

A figure of speech can look like this: “You’re as light as air,” while a simile can look like this: “The way she dances reminds me of a graceful swan.” Personification gives human qualities to a nonhuman element. It can look like this: “The ocean’s waves howled like a madman in the night.”

On the other hand, a metaphor is similar to a simile but does not make use of a connective word. Metaphors describe a thing as something else directly. For example: “This beach is heaven on earth.”

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Descriptive Essays 

3. Two Approaches

Personal Essay

When writing in this genre of essay, there are two approaches. One of them is called the ‘personal essay.’ It has a lot in common with how one writes a narrative essay, where one writes about their sentiments and responses in order to immerse the reader in their experience. 

Personal essays typically use vivid language, which is also evocative. The goal is to express their perspective on the experience they had. Personal essays can be a refreshing task to accomplish from the majority of other writing tasks, which can prove to be boring, rigid, and dry. 

If you have the chance to complete the task of writing a personal essay in a rigid academic setting, then it can be your chance to express more of your individuality and skill through writing. 

Formal Description

Formal descriptions are similar to argumentative essays, and it’s less sentimental than a personal essay. The goal is to convey and communicate some crucial points, but not as an argument. The key is to communicate the points descriptively, in meticulous detail, while following a clear structure. 

The formal description connects and relates information and weaves them together to provide a rounded portrait and the wholeness of a specific topic. It should be engaging, as it is a form of descriptive essay. 

4. Details Matter in Descriptive Essays

Details truly make a good descriptive essay. Show and immerse whoever reads the essay enough, so they feel like they’re experiencing it themselves. Don’t just tell them a story, like second-rate gossip; show it. Be a storyteller. 

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Use vivid verbs that depict action and that stimulate the imagination. For example: “I was twenty when I gave birth to my first child, and the colors of autumn were screaming from the ground I was standing on. I stood on a pile of dead leaves so orange. They didn’t seem to stop falling.” 

Details that relate to the senses can paint a fantastic and engaging picture. Immerse and capture them by using extended internal representations that stimulate the imagination; what better way to do so than to make them imagine their senses being stimulated. Sight, sound, taste, and touch. 

And details also play on word choice. Be playful with how you write, don’t be predictable or dull. Write stallion instead of a horse; write ecstatic instead of happy. It’s important to understand the basics of storytelling when it comes to writing these types of essays because it’s essential not to write in a boring fashion.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to descriptive essays, it’s important to remember what they are, what makes a descriptive essay, and the tools you can use in order to write a great one. Writing can be challenging, and not everyone is inherently good at it, but that’s why we’ve written this article – in the hopes of you reading it and learning something new. 

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