Descriptive Essay Writing Prompts: 20 Great Ideas For Students


Have you been set a descriptive essay? Are you worrying about what topic to choose? Are you frightened that you don't know how to write a descriptive essay? Do you even know what one is? Am I asking too many questions? Okay, okay, let's calm down and take one thing at a time!

  • A descriptive essay, as you might expect, is a paper that describes a person, place or thing. The purpose is to illustrate that you can show a subject through sensory observation.
  • These types of papers should be written creatively to portray a vivid portrait of the topic at hand.
  • Use powerful and distinctive words, for it's the language being used that will ultimately lead to an all sensory perception of the topic by the reader.
  • Select a subject that you know you can write about in detail with a rich vocabulary. This could be a friend, a pet, a place, your bike...
  • Choosing a topic that you're passionate about will certainly help.
  • Once you've picked your subject, plan what attributes you want to include.
  • Brainstorm different ideas and make lots of notes.
  • Create a study plan.
  • Organize your time well.
  • Study other examples of descriptive essays to aid your own.
  • Give as many details as possible. If you're telling a story about a person, you should include information on where they live, where they were born, what their job is- as much as describing the nature of that person as well.
  • The greatest key to producing a descriptive essay is to show rather than tell. In the example of our describing a person, telling would be something like: He was old. Showing would be more like: He wore many harsh, deep wrinkles in his face, forged by so many hard years.
  • Once you have written a first draft, you certainly shouldn't use that as your finished work. Spend some time polishing.
  • Make sure that the content flows coherently.
  • Ascertain that you have selected the right words to convey your meaning.
  • When revising, read through by imagining you are someone else reading it for the first time. Does it make sense? Have you put your points across?
  • Make certain that all grammar and spelling is correct. You can't afford to overlook this.
  • Ascertain that the structure is just as well managed as the content.
  • You will probably have been given formatting requirements by your tutor; with regards to word count, line spacing and so on. Make sure you stick to the requirements!
  • If you've studied some other examples, make sure you don't plagiarize anyone!


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