What is the purpose of a descriptive essay?
According to a descriptive essay definition, a descriptive essay is a piece of writing which is aimed at describing an object, a place or a person using illustrative means of language. The description is a good way to help a reader create a vivid picture of the topic described. A descriptive essay is a picture in words. But unlike a painter, who uses paints to create a picture, a writer uses words. Writing a descriptive essay a writer uses his senses. Five senses are those instruments which help form a five-dimensional picture. Readers have a possibility to see any place they might be unable to see otherwise, they can hear sounds, smell various smells, taste flavors, and touch the things with different textures. What is more, descriptive essays may describe feelings which might be invoked in readers. It should be added that bright and vivid descriptions create the mood of the story so that readers feel the atmosphere of the scene being described. A good way to create the mood is to use various stylistic tropes. Epithets, similes and metaphors are among the most widely used stylistic means to create the atmosphere.
A simile is an expression which compares two objects which are quite different. So, instead of saying “The man seemed to be very calm and self-possessed”, you say “He was as cool as a cucumber” so that that the story sounds humorous. Another stylistic trope which is widely used in a descriptive essays is a metaphor. The function of metaphor is the same as that of a simile, but there is no explicit comparison of the objects.
A descriptive essay may contain the description of a person, a place or a building, a festival, a celebration and the like.
The structure of any descriptive essay should consist of an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. Each paragraph of a descriptive essay usually begins with a topic sentence. This sentence introduces the subject of the paragraph. While describing a person, following aspects should be considered: the appearance, the character, and the behaviour. Examples must be used to support the description. Writing a descriptive essay about places and buildings, one should include the following points: identification of the location, main aspects of the place or building in detail, and a conclusion, in which feelings and final thoughts about the place are presented. To describe a place you can use static and moving features, a variety of adjectives, and our senses.
How to start a descriptive essay
A good introduction is very important because it makes the reader want to read the story. There are various techniques to begin a descriptive essay to make it gripping. One of the techniques to start an essay is to create a feeling of mystery or suspense, e.g. “It was very late at night. I couldn’t see anything because it was completely dark. My heart was beating fast as I was speeding along the desert street”. Another way to start a descriptive essay is to address the reader directly or use a rhetorical question, e.g. “Why is it that good things tend to happen when the situation seems to be at its worst?” Another writing technique to begin a descriptive essay might be to refer to the feeling or moods of the people, or to describe the reactions of people. Anecdotes can be a good way to start an essay. They make descriptions more vivid and close to life. You may start a descriptive essay by setting the scene. In order to do this, you should imagine that you are looking at a picture and try to describe the place, the time, the weather, the people, their moods and feelings.
Descriptive essay ideas and topics
It seems that choosing topics for a descriptive essay is really easy. Virtually everything may be described: the places, the people, the memories or the experiences etc. Descriptive essay topics may range from the description of real events to imaginary situations. The following may be the ideas for descriptive essays: describe your saddest memory, describe the happiest moment of your life, describe the strangest experience you have ever had, describe the ideal holiday resort, or describe the most influential person in your life. A good idea for a descriptive essay might be to describe one object from different points of view. For example, you can describe any fruit, say an apple, characterizing various aspects. The purpose of one essay might be to describe an apple from the point of view of its physical characteristics; another essay may be the description of an apple as a living creature being the main character of a fairy-tale. As for the third option, you may describe the fruit considering legends and myths connected with it.
Following all the above tips you will certainly succeed in writing a perfect descriptive essay.