How to write a good descriptive essay

How to write good descriptive essay

A descriptive essay provides students with an opportunity to display their creative skills. It gives the freedom to use all his creative writing techniques to paint an interesting picture of what he is describing. A descriptive essay reveals to the audience the meaning of certain experiencing using visual features. The author needs to use beautiful language to engage all human sense to attract his audience attention.

Apart from just describing what the writer observed, descriptive essay requires a concrete reason for writing a specific topic. The topic can be about anything what makes a good essay is how the author describes his subject. The author needs to engage his audience throughout the process by providing a detailed observation about the authors’ experience.

Steps for writing a descriptive essay

Writing a descriptive essay starts with a good plan, the writer needs to develop a plan, including a checklist of questions he needs to answer when writing. The first consideration is to understand the target audience and ask him what or who he wants to describe, what the reasons for writing this description are and what are some of the essential elements the essay wants to focus on. The first step before starting to write is to think about the topic to write about.

Topic choice

Writing descriptive topic needs an interesting topic that generates detailed descriptions. Some of the common topics include:

  1. My worst nightmare
  2. A friends or family member’s house where you enjoy spending time
  3. A train ride
  4. My pet
  5. A camping trip
  6. A perfect fantasy vacation destination
  7. Describe a museum you visited recently
  8. Describe a time you met someone you will never forget
  9. Describe one of the happiest moments in your life
  10. Describe a time that something totally unexpected happened
  11. Describe your  family
  12. Describe one famous person you would like to meet
  13. Describe your best friend
  14. Describe the house you grew up in
  15. Describe your favorite store
  16. Describe your favorite food
  17. Describe something special to you
  18. Describe one of the oldest memory you still cherish
  19. Describe  a special time you spend with your family
  20.  Describe a place that you imagine that you will one day visit

An interesting essay is about detailed description. The next step is to think about what needs to be described; all the topic details should include the surrounding, or where the place is located. When thinking about a topic to describe, the author should not just talk about the features, but also present the feelings the situation invokes in him.

Descriptive essay structure

Essay outline

An outline of a descriptive essay includes important key points of the topic, for example, when describing a place I recently visited, the outline will be as follows:

  • Title
  • Opening statement, for example, what made the writer visit this particular museum
  • Subject being described  this includes the  why I focused on this museum
  • Historical background of the museum and why it is significant
  • Detailed description of the place, including the locality and factual data, including other sensory detail about the museum
  • Conclusion, which includes the closing statement, including the feeling of the whole museum and what was significant.

When writing about my favorite place, the outline should include; Introduction. The first paragraph of the essay describes why the topic is important and includes a thesis statement justifying the reason for choosing the topic including any sensory detail. The body includes accurate descriptions about the place, providing comparisons with other places to explain why this place is preferable to the author. The body needs to describe the surrounding using emotions like smell, the touch to make a vision picture for its audience. Conclusion restates the original statement about the place and emphasizes on why the place is important and finally summing up with a lasting impression. An outline is important because it guides the writer throughout the process. The outline helps the author stay on track and present an appealing story to his audience.


The first paragraph of the introduction describes the ideas of the essay, including the background of the topic being described and a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a short sentence about what the author intends to inform his audience. In each paragraph, a topic sentence should be stated at the beginning to enable the reader to know what each of these paragraphs will contain.  Below is an example of an introduction, “Everyone needs to take some time off from the busy city life once in a while. When I look around, I can’t see a better place to spend my weekends than going to View Park”.

The body

The body of the essay justifies the thesis statement; the essay body needs to provide all the necessary factual details of what is being described.  These include where the place is, or what are other main features found in the place, who lives in these places and what feeling does the place generate to the writer. When writing a descriptive essay body, enrich the descriptions with all the sensory details of smell, taste, touch, sound and sight. The essay can use writing techniques like similes, personification, metaphors to make his description more vibrant.

In the body paragraph, the author describes every aspect of the topic depending what he considers to be important.  The descriptive essay uses adjective and adverb to make the essay lively. The writer can include examples to make the audience understand what he is trying to explain. The body provides an in-depth insight into the author’s view about a pale or an event. Writing a descriptive essay requires clear and concise language. The words need to be carefully selected based on what the writer is describing. The language should be vivid to attract readers attention, for example, word like you can use rich words like instead of writing violent you can use a word like tempestuous.

When describing a place or a situation, the wording needs to be appealing to the person reading. An explanation like how the place smelled, how he felt and how they placed looks like to attract his readers and make them feel more interested to know more about the place. If the author can describe his emotions relating it to the topic, the readers will feel more connected to the story. Decorating each moment using these senses makes the essay credible. A descriptive essay should leave the readers with a visual picture of what is described. The wordings should not be ambiguous; the author should utilize sensory features when describing the subject that just uses simple words like good or beautiful.


In the final paragraph, a conclusion should summarize the whole story in the essay. The conclusion should be presented well because it is the final part of the essay. The audience needs a lasting impression about the story; hence the conclusion should end on a higher note.  The conclusion needs to restate the earlier thesis statement to convince the audience that the event is worth reading.

Reviewing and finalizing the essay

After writing the draft essay, it’s important to take your mind off the paper for a while before reading it again. After taking a break, the writer needs to re-read the essay again putting the audience in mind. During the review, the author should ask himself if the essay would make sense to anyone reading it. If the reader can understand the topic or if the paragraphs are confusing and need to be adjusted. The choice of words is important because it would convey what the author is trying to describe.

The author needs to check if the information provided can form a clear picture of the subject when presented to his audience. Finally, before submitting the essay, the author should carefully review his essay to check for spelling and grammar errors. The author needs to review if any sentences are incomplete or do not make sense and make all the necessary corrections before finally submitting his paper. The sentences should be rewritten to make the essay look professional.

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