Descriptive writing is vivid, colorful, and detailed. Follow these In descriptive writing, the author does not just tell the reader what was seen, felt, tested, smelled, or heard. Rather, the author . I can make all the tables turn. Rose gardens filled.
The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe something—object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal of which is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader).
One might benefit from keeping in mind this simple maxim: If the reader is unable to clearly form an impression of the thing that you are describing, try, try again!
Here are some guidelines for writing a descriptive essay.
If your instructor asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you jot down some ideas before you begin describing it. For instance, if you choose pizza, you might start by writing down a few words: sauce, cheese, crust, pepperoni, sausage, spices, hot, melted, etc. Once you have written down some words, you can begin by compiling descriptive lists for each one.
This means that words are chosen carefully, particularly for their relevancy in relation to that which you are intending to describe.
Why use horse when you can choose stallion? Why not use tempestuous instead of violent? Or why not miserly in place of cheap? Such choices form a firmer image in the mind of the reader and often times offer nuanced meanings that serve better one’s purpose.
Remember, if you are describing something, you need to be appealing to the senses of the reader. Explain how the thing smelled, felt, sounded, tasted, or looked. Embellish the moment with senses.
If you can describe emotions or feelings related to your topic, you will connect with the reader on a deeper level. Many have felt crushing loss in their lives, or ecstatic joy, or mild complacency. Tap into this emotional reservoir in order to achieve your full descriptive potential.
One of your goals is to evoke a strong sense of familiarity and appreciation in the reader. If your reader can walk away from the essay craving the very pizza you just described, you are on your way to writing effective descriptive essays.
It is easy to fall into an incoherent rambling of emotions and senses when writing a descriptive essay. However, you must strive to present an organized and logical description if the reader is to come away from the essay with a cogent sense of what it is you are attempting to describe.
The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe If your instructor asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you jot.
Many of you do not know about the existence of different types of essays. Students for the most part cannot distinguish one type of essay from another. For example, let’s say you are assigned to write a descriptive essay. If you are interested in learning how to write a descriptive essay perfectly, then this post is what you need. We will tell you about this type of paper and the correct structure, as well as give advice that will teach you to write such essays in English quickly and competently. Before you understand how to write a descriptive essay, first of all you need to understand what it is. What is a descriptive essay?
A descriptive essay is a type of essay that allows you to describe something and to paint a picture for the reader in words.
Students who are not able to create essays in an interesting subject based on impressions, literary works, pictures, or videos can read through one of the descriptive essay examples to get some ideas on how to write their own papers. A descriptive essay is one of the most complex forms of a student’s activity and our sample will make it easier for you. In this case it is necessary to begin working on your paper by reading though a sample. Our descriptive writing examples are presented only for viewing, and you can’t present them as your own paper. However, you can use them to get some ideas on how to write your essay.
Click the images to see their full size.
Describing the appearance of a person, his or her face, body, gestures, and clothes, is one of the types of descriptive writing techniques students use. The main thing in this type of description is to find the characteristic features, the main qualities in the appearance of a particular person, and be able to convey them in words. The description of a person’s appearance is one of the most difficult kinds of descriptions.
According to the source in these descriptions, one can single out the description of a person’s appearance from memory, life experience, special observations, from what he or she has read, according to the imagination, or from a picture. The description of a person’s appearance, as well as other types of descriptions, can be scientific, artistic, or for business.
Naturally, not all types of descriptions can be dealt with by students easily. Students should have an idea how to deal with scientific description. The business description needs to be given more attention, since in life the ability to indicate the signs of a person’s face can be useful. In addition, this kind of work, requiring the ability to see the characteristic details of a person’s appearance, develops the skill of observation for students. Much attention should also be paid to the artistic description of a person’s appearance, since work on this type of description is of particular importance for enriching students’ speech.
Work on the description of appearance helps to develop observational skills and increase attention to the people around you, and to enrich the speech of students with “portrait” vocabulary, which they do not know enough. Work on the description of appearances prepares students for writing on literary topics.
If you are assigned to write a descriptive essay about a particular place, it may not be a very difficult task, as we all have beautiful places in our minds. You can write about a place that makes you happy for a long period of time. If you can’t recall a particular place from your memory, try to imagine it. You can write about the place in which you grew up. It can be an apartment, a house, a town, even a whole region. Write about the characteristics and features of the place you are describing. Don’t forget to mention the nature: mountains, forests, meadows, and so on. Write about the animals that live in the place you are describing.
A descriptive piece of writing is like a window into another world. Using creative examples and details, the author can present a scene that can vividly describe a person, place, or thing. The best descriptive paragraph includes all five senses – smell, sight, touch, taste, and hearing. You can see them both in fiction and in scientific literature.
All such pieces of writing include places, persons, or things that have a special meaning to the author. After defining the places or things, authors describe them in a way that is personal to them. While writing descriptive essays, it is important to bind all paragraphs together mentioning the personal value of the thing that is described.
There's no one way to teach descriptive writing. That said, teachers can:
1. Good descriptive writing includes many vivid sensory details that paint a picture and appeals to all of the reader's senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste when appropriate. Descriptive writing may also paint pictures of the feelings the person, place or thing invokes in the writer. In the video section below, watch a teacher use a Five Senses Graphic Organizer as a planning strategy for descriptive writing.
2. Good descriptive writing often makes use of figurative language such as analogies, similes and metaphors to help paint the picture in the reader's mind.
3. Good descriptive writing uses precise language. General adjectives, nouns, and passive verbs do not have a place in good descriptive writing. Use specific adjectives and nouns and strong action verbs to give life to the picture you are painting in the reader's mind.
4. Good descriptive writing is organized. Some ways to organize descriptive writing include: chronological (time), spatial (location), and order of importance. When describing a person, you might begin with a physical description, followed by how that person thinks, feels and acts.
The Show-Me Sentences lesson plan from ReadWriteThink was created for students in grades 6-12. However, elementary teachers can modify the Show-Me sentences to make them interesting for younger students.
The Writing Fix provides a lesson plan for using Roald Dahl's The Twits as a mentor text to teach descriptive writing.
Teacher Laura Torres created a lesson plan that uses images to jumpstart vivid writing: Three Descriptive Writing Picture Prompts.
Through descriptive writing, a student learns to write paragraphs and essays in a In order to make the descriptive paragraph appealing to the readers, you.
As a writing teacher, you probably feel like your mantra is “show don’t tell!” Getting students to write descriptively is a real challenge. Here are five writing challenges and prompts to try.
You can grab a free descriptive mentor text & analysis here!
Here is where a mentor text will help. Provide your students with a few texts that exemplify this. Great examples aren’t difficult to find; the opening scenes of a dystopia novel or historical fiction text can provide you with great examples – and you only need a paragraph or two.
I have a worksheet in my resource library that you can use — you can get it here.)
Go through the mentor text with your students, locating and annotating descriptive writing. I try to focus on sensory words and vivid verbs. You can make an anchor chart as you go or just have students create their own observation notes as you analyze the text.
But don’t stop there!
Now put your students to work to find their own examples of mentor texts that “show not tell.”
They don’t have to go any further than your classroom library or their independent reading texts. Use their sentences to create a class poster of “sentences that show.” They can also create a “sentence collector” page in their notebooks to record favorite sentences. (As a side note, this is a great opportunity to reinforce the use of quotes and citing sources!)
Grab a descriptive mentor text & analysis lesson here!
Once your students have some examples, give them the opportunity to practice.
One of the easiest challenges is to ask students to write a descriptive paragraph (any topic – soccer practice, the lunch room, your locker) and NOT use any verbs of “to be.” Or — limit them to one or two per paragraph.
The focus of this activity:
The aim is to help students try out different verbs.
In this challenge, students are asked to write a five sentence description using a different sense in each sentence.
Have students write a five sentence description — (their right shoe, backpack, text book, top of their desk, etc.). When the paragraph is finished, have them revise their writing so that each sentence uses a different sense.
Now, here is where this assignment gets interesting:
Sense of taste! You don’t want your students to be licking the tops of their desks! However, by writing, “the golden, honey wood glistens as the sunlight streams across it” does have a sense of taste — honey, right? You can “taste” it as well as “see” it in your mind as you read. Use this sense as an opportunity for students to think about word choice in a different way.
The focus of this writing activity:
Students will need to think about their word choice in order to use all five senses.
One of my favorite exercises in trying to help students “show not tell” is to challenge them to write a gross description. The grossest description wins!
I put a lot of restrictions on this one including:
The focus of this activity:
If your students can gross you out, they are writing descriptively! They will need to use all of their writing skills to create an experience for the reader. How will they do it? Through description.
A fun descriptive writing activity is to ask students to bring in a picture (or provide them) of a vacation spot.
Day 1: Have students write a descriptive paragraph for their pictures. Encourage them to make them so descriptive that readers will be able to see the picture in their mind.
Collect the writing and pictures.
Day 2: Hang the pictures up around the room. Have students work with a partner. Provide each pair with two descriptive paragraphs that were written the previous day. Have students read, discuss, and match the description with what they believe is the correct picture. Allow students to tape descriptions below the pictures. If there is more than one paragraph that students think belongs with the picture, allow it to be taped below the picture.
Analyze: Which pictures and descriptions were correctly matched up? Why? How did the writer(s) paint the picture in the reader’s mind?
Hints about this assignment:
Helping students write descriptively is a huge challenge! They will remember to do this on an in-class exercise but will forget to apply that skill to their next writing assignment! Consistent practice does help. By repeating any one of these activities throughout the school year, you will be reinforcing their “showing” skills.
If you need additional writing prompt ideas, you might be interested in creating RAFTS or using a journal jar. Both great ways to help students practice their writing skills!
What do you think? Are there activities you use with your students that strengthen their descriptive writing skills? Let us know in the comments below!
Need a mentor text to teach this? Grab one here!
Want more? Check out this complete resource for teaching descriptive writing — using mentor texts, sketches, & self-assessments. Plus more writing support in my shop!
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In writing a descriptive essay, first you need to know how to start a descriptive essay. Then you have to make sure that you have the format of the essay at your .