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How to Take Your Descriptive Essays from Average to Exceptional – The Best 7-Step Guide

How to Take Your Descriptive Essays from Average to Exceptional

So, you’ve got an assignment or homework and have to write an outstanding descriptive essay. Your grades are at stake, and you can’t take any risks, or maybe it is a competition you are desperate to win. No matter what the case, now the result is, you are sobbing in the corner of the room, a laptop in your hands, and a blank page on the screen.

Don’t worry. We’re here to save you from the anguish of a good descriptive essay and let you in on the secret of the best tips and tricks that are certain to take your average essay to an exceptional one. Let’s get started.

But first, let us help you understand what Descriptive essays really are and why they are important. Why get into the unnecessary details, you say? Let us assure you this part is the most essential one.

Many students deem these kinds of essays the easiest type without having full knowledge of them, and when the deadline finally reaches, they find it hard to write this essay at the last moment. How do we know that you ask? Trust us; we’ve seen countless students struggling with descriptive essays and have helped even more in honing their essay writing skills. That’s why when we say we’ll give the best descriptive essay writing advice, you’ll know it’s coming from the experts.

Grasping the Basic Concept of Descriptive Essays

Ever seen that fried chicken advertisement? A man bites into a freshly fried golden piece of a drumstick. The crispy exterior gives way to tender, juicy meat on the inside, and an explosion of salty, savoury flavours in his mouth takes him into the next world. From the sharp but crunchy sound to the satisfying sight of crimson sauce dripping from the corner, everything about that ad is enough to make our mouth water and crave a crispy fried chicken for ourselves. Well, in simpler terms, that’s what a descriptive essay is.

Descriptive essays are academic writing that aims to vividly describe a person, place, event, object, or experience in great detail. The goal of a descriptive essay is to create a picture in the reader’s mind by using sensory details, such as sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.

In a descriptive essay, the writer should paint a vivid and engaging picture using descriptive language, sensory imagery, and figurative language. A well-written descriptive essay should give the reader a clear image of the subject, allowing them to experience it through the writer’s eyes.

Why Do We Write Descriptive Essays?

Descriptive essays can be a powerful tool for creating empathy and understanding between people. These pieces are written for several reasons. Firstly, they allow the writer to practice their writing skills by developing a detailed and engaging description of a particular subject. This can help writers to hone their ability to communicate effectively and paint a vivid picture for their readers.

Secondly, descriptive essays are useful in many academic contexts, as they help convey information about a particular topic more engaging and memorable way. This can be especially useful in fields such as literature, art, and history, where a detailed and evocative description can help to bring a subject to life.

The 7 Tips to Craft an Engaging Descriptive Essay

Writing descriptive essays isn’t as easy as it sounds. However, we’ve got you covered in this area. Engage your readers with these tried-and-tested tips that will help you write a descriptive essay that’s sure to stand out. Bonus tip: Add this blog to your bookmark tab so the next time you write a descriptive essay, you won’t have to browse infinite guides, all stating the same thing.

1.      Get Personal

Picking a topic for your descriptive essay is the most crucial step that can either make or break your whole essay. Many students make the mistake of choosing a topic that is either very mainstream that it fails to stand out or so profound that they are unable to describe it. How can you describe something well if you haven’t experienced it well? Let’s be honest. Not everyone has the skills of Stephen King, whose vivid description can send chills down your spine. Or JK Rowling, who described the magical world of Harry Potter so well that it had us all waiting for our Hogwarts Letter.

Therefore, our advice here is to choose a topic close to your heart, something you know very well and have a deep interest in or a rich experience of so you can describe it well.

2.      The Magic of Five Senses

Now that you’ve chosen your topic, time to move on to the next step, incorporating the magic of the five senses.  This step is the key to producing an engaging essay for your reader. Get into the details of what you saw, and illustrate the size, shape and colours with your words. Describe what you heard, how it sounded, and how it smelled, was it an odour or a scent? How did it feel on the skin, and if it has a taste?

When you’re done answering all these whats, whys and hows, you’ll be able to have a rough sketch of what you are going to describe in your essay.

3.      Harness the Show Don’t Tell Rule

We admit the Show Don’t Tell rule isn’t easy to follow, and it gets very complicated when your writing skills aren’t as par as a professional. To be honest, the whole point of writing a perfect descriptive essay depends on this single rule and harnessing it isn’t something everyone can do. But there’s always room for learning and practising to improve your writing skills. The secret to Show Don’t Tell is letting the reader experience what you are telling instead just reading it out of a paper. Here’s an example to elaborate.

“I was walking on a road in a jungle. Autumn was approaching, and the leaves were lying on the ground. I heard a branch of the tree get broken near me. I got terrified.”

Now, if we were to describe this scene with the Show Don’t Tell rule, it’ll be like this.

“I strolled down the narrow path deep into the forest. The yellowing leaves of early autumn rustled beneath my suede boots. Suddenly, a branch broke on my left, making every fibre on my body stand in unison.”

Noticed how instead of just stating everything generally, we tried to paint a vivid picture in the reader’s mind just by adding and erasing a few words. For example, instead of saying I heard a branch broke, we said A branch broke on my left. Simple editing like this can make a difference while writing your descriptive essay and allow you to hone your Show don’t tell skills.

4.      Don’t Miss Out on the Research

No matter what kind of essay it is, you can’t write it perfectly without researching first. Gathering information and data is an important part of producing an impactful essay. Descriptive essays also require efficient research and observation in their formation.

When you’ve chosen a topic, gathering information about that subject is vital. The appropriate lexicons and vocabulary should also be a part of this research. Moreover, you can also look up essays or short stories on a similar topic to get an in-depth idea of how to write an effective descriptive essay.

5.      Formulate the Structure

Done with research? Time to formulate your essay. When it comes to descriptive essays, like any other, it is important to follow the standard format that governs them. Usually, essays like these include an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs and a conclusion. The tip here is to begin your introduction with an engaging line that hooks the reader immediately and an effective conclusion that gives the reader a sense of closure and briefly concludes your essay and the idea behind it. Use metaphors, examples, and emotions to create more weight in your writing.

6.      Write a Draft

Drafts are an amazing way to bring out your raw thoughts on paper. These writing pieces help you shape your essay in the most organized form while allowing you to filter out the unnecessary parts and keep the sections worth adding to your essay. After you finish the draft, you can begin writing the final document you hope to submit.

7.      Proofread and Submit

The last step before the submission is to proofread your piece for any mistakes or grammatical errors. Of course, it’s always better to let someone else proofread for you, too, because they can look at your writing with a fresh point of view and detect your shortcomings effectively.

Now that you have followed all these steps and are done with the final editing, it’s time to take a proud glance at your document and hit the submit button without any regrets. What’s next, you say? Nothing, just be ready to get the grades you’ve always wanted!


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