Descriptive essay structuring a descriptive essay

The waitress brought our thick milkshakes out on a tray and placed them in front of us on a paper doily. The jukebox in the back played songs that we all knew the words to, and we sang along until our food arrived, hot and enticing on the table. Outside I shivered in the cold air, but in the diner I was cozy, munching on crispy French fries and enjoying a hot, juicy cheeseburger. Can you feel the mood of this paragraph? The author is trying to convey a feeling of safety , comfort , and happiness. Notice how the author does not tell the reader she feels safe and happy.

She shows the reader through descriptive detail. Her dominant impression is one of comfort and happiness. Sensory description uses sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste to sketch an impression in writing. Consider a paragraph without sensory description. My sister and I walked along the boardwalk each afternoon of our vacation.

We watched the ocean and listened to the waves. Usually we stopped for a snack at one of the many stores that line the boardwalk. Afterwards, we walked along the beach and let our feet get wet. Now, consider this paragraph with all five sensory descriptors: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. My sister and I walked along the boardwalk one afternoon on our vacation. The hot boards warmed our bare feet. We watched the foam-covered waves topple over each other and then slide back into sea. The crashing water competed with the exuberant yells from the seagulls.

We bought a perfectly oval fluff of pink cotton candy that dissolved sweetly in our mouths. Afterwards, we walked along the edge of the water, letting the warm salty air blow our hair away from our necks as the cool water lapped over our toes.

The sensory details you select in your writing should create for your reader the same picture you have in your mind. Instead of using vague, general words, your sensory language should be concrete and sensory-packed. This makes the difference between vivid and vague language. Take a look at the comparison between vague and vivid sentences.

When using descriptive language, it is important to vary your sentence structure.

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Descriptive Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

Try to avoid using the same subject-verb pattern in all sentences. Embedding descriptive elements and combining sentences can help to avoid the routine subject-verb structure. Varying this sentence structure by embedding descriptive detail breaks the monotonous tone and the clipped, subject-verb style.

Racing down an empty hall, she skidded into the classroom, breathless, just as the bell clanged above her. Too many adjectives—retain only the most powerful words in your writing, deleting any unnecessary words.

How to Make a Descriptive Essay Outline and Write an Effective Paper

Too many adverbs—verbs are stronger than adverbs. She strolled into the room is more powerful than She walked casually into the room.


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Use fresh, descriptive words that go against rote thinking. The Kathleen Jones White Writing Center provides tutoring services, workshops, and writing resources. Toggle navigation Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A—Z Index Find People. Writing Resources.

Organization and Structure. Creating an Outline. Determining a Thesis. Introduction: Introduce the topic you're describing, and give a quick over view of what it is. Thesis statement: This is where you'll outline your description of the topic. You'll go into more detail in the main body. Main body: This can be taken by three separate paragraphs.

The first paragraph can focus on a detailed description of the topic itself. The second will cover the environment surrounding the topic. Finally, the third topic will focus on a sensual and emotive description, which covers how the topic affects those interacting with it. Conclusion: this will draw all your points together, without introducing anything new. How to Write Descriptive Essay First, look into the topic you've been given. At first, it may seem quite dry, but you can broaden the idea with some creative writing.

Gather any evidence you plan to use. Descriptive essays don't require as much research as others, but you'll still need to back up your points. Write an outline, using the example above. Write in bullet points, and lay out what you're going to say. Write your essay. You can fill in the blanks on your outline, and you'll find that it's much easier to write using this method.

Proofread and edit. Before you hand it in, give your essay a read through for any errors you've made. Descriptive Essay Topics A descriptive essay can be used to describe almost anything. Descriptive Essay Examples If you want some practice, here are some topics you can try writing about: Describe what it's like living in another country.

Describe the idea of freedom. Describe a normal day at your school. Categories Educational tips Essay writing assistance Guide.

What Is a Descriptive Essay? – Everything You Need to Know

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Class 10 English: Writing - Descriptive Essay

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