How To Write Good Descriptive Essays

A descriptive essay allows a reader to understand the essay's subject using illustrative language.

Descriptive essays are great because, in a sense (pun intended), they can help us see places we might not be able to go ourselves, hear new things, taste different flavors, smell foreign smells, or touch different textures.

The warm sun brightly shone on my face and greeted me, 'Good afternoon'.' Based on this paragraph, where is the author? Thanks to the five senses, you can gather that he or she is just waking up from what seems like a really peaceful nap in a hammock on a beach somewhere. Based on the description, we can see waves hitting the shore as the tide comes in, hear the water as it hits the sand, smell the salty air, and feel the warm sun.

See how the senses use concrete things we've all probably experienced to some degree in our own lives to help you visualize a new scene?

The author shows us, rather than tells us, what the afternoon on a beach is like.

Rather than saying, 'I heard the waves as the tide came in,' the author says, 'As the waves leisurely collided with the shore, I could hear the delicate lapping of the water as it met the sand.' The extra detail really helps us visualize the scene that the author is trying to create.He or she shows us what it's like to be out there on the beach when the tide comes in during the afternoon, rather than just giving us a play-by-play.The same vivid language also helps the author to create a mood for this description.The smell of salt air and a warm afternoon wafted through the sky.Slowly, I awoke from my slumber, cuddled in a hammock that surrounded me like a cocoon.One option is to organize your essay from general to particular.For example, if you were describing the new Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas, you might start out by describing the setting - the smell of the corn dogs frying, the crowds of people, the happy children dodging in and out of the midway games - then get into his grandiose size - after all, everything is bigger in Texas, right?When you hear the word 'describe,' what does it mean to you?For most people, describing is a way of illustrating something with words.As you can see, similes and metaphors are another tool to help make your descriptions more vivid.They paint a more detailed picture for your reader, making it easier for them to understand what you're saying, not to mention more interesting, because you are showing them what you have in your mind's eye, rather than just telling them.

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