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Writing Tips and Topic Ideas for a Descriptive Essay

Writing Tips and Topic Ideas for a Descriptive Essay

Creative writing essays are a staple for high school and English compositions. Unfortunately, many students lack the skills to properly define a person, place, or event in a manner that recreates the image in a reader’s mind. 

If you are struggling with your descriptive essay, this article will highlight the descriptive essay format and highlight tips to help you have an enjoyable writing experience. We will also highlight some descriptive essay topics to inspire your topic selection. 

What is the purpose of a descriptive essay?

Before discussing the process of writing a descriptive essay, it is crucial to establish the purpose of the essay. These essays usually target to describe a person, a place, an event, an animal, an event, or a behaviour.

Descriptive essays usually require various elements of language that highlight the features, emotions, and key details regarding your subject. Often, descriptive essays are assigned to gauge students’ capacity of expressing themselves, helping improve their narration and creativity. 

Format of a descriptive essay

the descriptive essay comprises the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. 


The introduction of this essay usually serves to hook your reader, introduce the background of your topic, and share your thesis statement. For instance, if you were writing about a forest, you may share a fact that will reel your reader in, followed by a background discussion of the issues you might be touching on. 

You may mention how human interference is slowly ruining the population and diversity of the forest. Finally, share your thesis to give your reader a gist of the perspective you will take in your description of a subject. 

The body

This part comprises the paragraphs where you expound on various characteristics of the essay subject. When writing the body paragraphs, we recommend that:

  • You use figurative language to paint a mental image of the subject. These tools of language include metaphors and similes.
  • Use words that evoke the senses, immersing your reader into the scenario you are building through your narration. For this, you could start by listing all the sensory details you can recall about an experience.

For instance, what smells did you encounter, how did the chirping of birds sound, and how did you like the sound of the waves? All these details ensure that you create an immersive paper that grabs your reader’s attention throughout your narration. 

The descriptive essay conclusion

Finally, give a summary of your experience and share your parting shot. 

How to write a descriptive essay

The approach you take when writing your essay is equally definitive of the quality of your final paper. For a great result, we recommend the following steps for writing your essay.

1. Brainstorm

Before penning your essay, start by recalling all the details you can bring to mind regarding a subject. What did you like about it? What features did you dislike? How did you feel at various points of interaction? 

These details allow you to plan your story and also to spice up your narrative in a manner that appeals to the reader. 

2. Come up with a thesis

After brainstorming, create a statement of purpose that defines the relevance of your paper. For instance, highlight why your subject stands out, to give your reader a gist of what they expect in your paper. However, note that this statement should be limited to one sentence. 

3. Develop an outline

Making an outline of a descriptive essay is a great way to gauge the extent to which you have expounded various ideas. Your outline should highlight the key idea in each paragraph with some hints on the emotions you want to evoke in various sections. 

This outline makes it easy to write your paper as you can easily ensure flow without the influence of various conflicting ideas. 

4. Write

After preparing your outline, write your first draft. Here, use all elements and try to recreate your emotions and the subject using words. Here, don’t bother with grammar and structural issues. Instead, add meat to your outline to have a smooth transition between various ideas.

5. Edit

After drafting your paper, revise it to fix various errors. For this, you can consult your peers, and experts or use various editing tools. 

How to start a descriptive essay

Your introduction should grab your reader and set a platform for your entire paper. When you are writing your introduction, start by highlighting a fact or sharing imagery that hooks a reader to learn more about a subject.

Ideally, use a hook and a smooth transition to your thesis. Your thesis should highlight the reason why you find a subject intriguing to sustain your reader’s attention. where possible, close with a point that transitions to your first body paragraph to ensure flow within your work. 

Ideas for a descriptive essay

  • My preferred location in my hometown
  • My father is the most fascinating person I know
  • How I learned to ride a horse for the first time
  • This was the ideal date for me
  • The activities I did while visiting my grandparents
  • My favourite concert ever
  • Something I enjoy doing in my spare time

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