A descriptive essay greatly differs from any other written assignments, as it doesn’t require analysis of sources, statistics or any other details. That is why it is considered quite a simple task to complete. However, it still has its own peculiarities and you need to master all of them to get outstanding grades.
The first and the most important thing you need to remember is that a winning descriptive essay should appeal to all senses of the reader, i.e. sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. If you engage all of them, your paper will surely reach its main goal. Below is a list of the main steps you need to complete to make your descriptive essay outstanding.
Select a Topic
When you are assigned with a descriptive essay, you need to focus on a single thing you are asked to describe. It can be an object, a subject, a certain place or event. Your task is to convey the picture of this matter to the reader not by telling but by showing. This means that you need to illustrate the topic in a vivid and clear language, encouraging the audience to read further.
When choosing a topic, try to select the one, which appeals to your senses and motivates you to open up your creativity and feelings. In such a way, you will always be passionate and will do your best, when completing an essay.
Your essay should have a clear structure, which allows the topic to be easily readable and understandable. If you are asked to write about a certain event, you should always use a chronological order. This will help you to connect all the events together and assist the reader in making his or her own conclusions.
If you are describing a person or a particular location, you should always move from general details to specific ones. This will keep the tension and lead to a logical conclusion. Don’t forget to add key details to your introduction and explain the main goals of your essay.
Write a Thesis Statement
Not depending on a task, a thesis statement is a must. It should be included to the introductory section and render the main idea, which will run throughout the whole text.
Your thesis should be a sentence or two long and explain the main goal of your essay, giving the reader a clear image of the described matter. Be clear and add a hook to your sentence if it is appropriate. It can be a joke, interesting data or a relevant quote.
Structure All the Five Senses
To make sure you won’t miss anything, take a separate sheet of paper and make five columns, each of which representing one of five senses. Such a list will greatly help you to sort all of the thoughts you have and describe the topic to the fullest.
If you wish, you can make sketches and express all the senses (sight, taste, sound, smell and touch) in drawings. Just note down every emotion or feeling you have, when thinking of the topic. Be very detailed, as it will help you to create a bright and interesting picture of the issue.
In addition, you can use personifications, metaphors and adjectives to enrich your language. When all the columns of your essay are drawn, you can gradually complete them and eventually support the main statement.
Details of this column should be inserted into the body paragraphs in a logical way. Don’t forget to start every paragraph with a topic sentence and continue with providing additional details.
Make an Outline
Now you can make an outline of your essay. Unfortunately, most of the students consider it a non-important detail and try to skip such a necessary stage.
However, as practice shows, an outline (a plan of your work) may greatly save your time and help not to forget important details. Usually a descriptive essay should be around five paragraphs long if else is not indicated.
This means that your outline should contain every section of the future essay and a list of the main things they should contain.
Think on the Conclusion
Once you are done with the body paragraphs, you need to write the final section of your paper. It should contain a restatement of your thesis and remind the main elements of the whole work. Make sure you don’t introduce new ideas or details, as it may puzzle the audience.
It will also be great if you manage to encourage the reader to learn more about the topic.
Properly Revise Your Text
While most of the students deliver their essays immediately after typing the last word, you should go another way. You may greatly improve your final score for an essay simply by paying additional attention to its lexis and grammar.
Take a break and put your essay aside, clearing your head and grabbing some coffee. This will help you to give a fresh look on the paper and see flaws you couldn’t notice before. In such a way, you will see imperfections the way the reader will see them.
Ask yourself whether your essay makes sense and will the reader be able to understand the thoughts you were trying to convey. Should any of the paragraphs be rewritten or completed with additional details?
Is your essay easily readable? The language you choose should give a clear picture of what you are trying to describe, so make sure you don’t add unknown terms and definitions to your text or flood it with too much details and numbers.
You should reread your essay a few times, preferably aloud. In such a way, you will easily detect sections, which stand out from the rest and need to be improved. You can also ask your friends to read the paper and see whether something should be changed. Make sure they understand every thought you were trying to deliver.
In addition, you can use special software, which detects and fixes mistakes.
Finish Your Essay
On the last stage, you need to read your descriptive essay again and check whether there is any punctuation or any other mistakes left. Make sure you delete cliché phrases, as it may influence your final grade. If you find any of the sections weak, rewrite them, adding new details or improving its language.
Remember, the more times you read your essay, the better it will become. That is why, when starting working on the task, you need to leave a day or two for the final stage of completing the assignment.