What Are Descriptive Essays?

Descriptive essays are a fairly simple form of essay. Students have at their disposal a number of means to explain the topic to the reader. Here’s what you need to know to write a descriptive essay.

Things You Need to Do Before

Understand the purpose of the descriptive essay. This type of the composition is designed to explain a certain theme. Students need to tell about a certain fact about the subject and uncover it using evidence.

  • This is one of the simplest types of essays students have to deal with. There is no need to prove anything, as, for example, in a convincing essay. Instead, you just need to describe something.
  • For example, if the theme of your composition is the career of Jane Austen, you can write about the stages of Austin’s career, but you do not need to draw any conclusions or argue about any literary topics that she has included or not included in her works.

A Good Topic Is Halfway to Success

A good topic should be specific enough so you could reveal information on several pages. At the same time, it shouldn’t be very specific so that you could find enough information about it.

  • Consider any prompts that your professor suggests. Usually, he or she reports a general theme, from which you must select a more specific subtopic.
  • For example, if your professor gives you the theme “World War II,” you do not need to write about the whole war. Instead, focus on one particular period of the war. You can choose the specific moment of the war, for example, landing troops in Normandy or Pearl Harbor, or some other aspects of the war, for example, using dogs or other animals to help soldiers.

Appropriate Sources for the Composition

Your sources should cover the whole topic and be reliable.

  • Traditionally, books and scientific journals are the best sources. Scientific, government, and other verified websites, newspaper articles and magazine articles are also a good choice.
  • Some professors allow the use of encyclopedias, but, as you reach a higher level in writing essays, these sources will usually be limited, as they are considered too general.

Researching and Taking Notes

Reread your sources and note any significant facts in each of them, writing out information in a notebook.

  • You should also note the page numbers associated with this information that you wrote out.
  • Copy the output of every source for a bibliography list or citation references. This page should be structure in accordance with the instructions of your professors.
  • Write down important dates, statistics, and quotes.

Before you start writing your work, you must form your own conclusions. Despite the fact that you do not need to give arguments, you still need to know what you are writing about. The them that you choose will ultimately have to be reflected in your theses.

Preamble Paragraph

Get the attention of your audience with a spectacular position. The first sentence or suggestions of your preamble should draw the reader’s attention and do not let it go. Preamble should act as a fishing hook when a fisherman catches fish.

  • There are various ways to attract the attention. You can enter a quote that relates to your topic, present an interesting fact or statistics, suggest a definition or ask a rhetorical question. You can also tell an anecdote, give an analogy, or a general observation on your topic.

Providing Additional Information

To rephrase, it will sound provide context. Start the preamble to the topic by providing general information that gives your audience an idea of what you are planning to write about.

  • For example, if you’re telling about a book, specify the title, author name, and summary.
  • If you’re telling about a certain date in history, sum up the events of the day and give explanation how it matches a wider historical context.
  • If you write about a person, give his or her name and present a brief biographical sketch.
  • The context should be embedded in your theses. Explain all that the audience needs to know in order to understand your topic, gradually narrowing the information until you get to the topic itself.

Give Your Thesis Statement

It is one sentence that clearly defines the theme of your work.

  • Highlight the thesis from the conclusion you made at the end of your study.
  • The thesis in descriptive essays shouldn’t contain any arguments or controversial points of view.
  • For example, if you decided to write about using dogs during World War II, a good thesis might be something like “The dogs used by the US Marine Corps during World War II played a significant role in the Pacific theater of operations.”
  • A bad thesis might be something like: “The US Marine Corps never had to use dogs during the Second World War.”

Briefly introduce your main ideas. This part is optional, but it often helps build a transition to the main section. Summarize the main points of the body of your composition in one sentence. The main points should be directly related to the first sentence of each paragraph in the main part.

Main Body

Know how many paragraphs should be in the composition. Generally, there are 5 paragraphs, but descriptive essays can be much longer.

  • If your composition will have five paragraphs, the main body should have three paragraphs, hence the three proving evidence that reveal your thesis.
  • Even if your composition includes more than five paragraphs, apply the same method.

Start with a topic sentence, which contains a general statement on the theme. Such a sentence contains the theme and the idea of the entire section. It must include evidence that backs up and develops a thesis statement and, if you mentioned the main ideas in your preamble, it should be directly related to one of these basic ideas.

If you’re writing on the application of US Marine dogs during the Second World War, your topic sentence might be like this:

  • “The dogs had an active role in the mission of the Marine Corps in the Pacific theater of operations.”
  • “The Doberman Pinscher was the US Marine Corps’ official dog during World War II, but dogs of all breeds are suitable for the role of war dogs.”
  • “Military dogs were entitled to get military awards for their services.”

Developing Supporting Evidence

Offer specific evidence to explain the statement made in the topic sentence of each paragraph in the body of descriptive essays.

  • The course of thought looks like this: the thesis is confirmed in the topic sentence of each paragraph in the body, and then every statement made in the first sentence of the paragraph is confirmed by the evidence presented within each paragraph.
  • Evidence may include quotes, retelling, and notes from your study.
  • It can also be anecdotes, interviews, or personal experiences.
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  • Try to offer at least 2–3 proofs in support of your position.
  • For example, for the paragraph “Military dogs even had the right to get awards for their services,” the proof of the evidence could be a list of animals and awards that they received.

Study the significance of every major idea. Include one or two sentences in each paragraph, in which provide explanation how the main idea of this paragraph supports the thesis.

  • Often this can be done with the help of supporting evidence.
  • You should not, however, analyze the facts in a subjective form or make a conclusion on the topic.

Concluding and Moving On

Ideally, every paragraph is logically related to the next one. Conclusion of every one of them sums up the main idea and at the same time shows how it is connected to your next thought.

For example, if you included a paragraph like: “The Doberman Pinscher was the US Marine Corps’ official dog during World War II, but all breeds could have be trained as war dogs” to the paragraph beginning like: “War dogs actually had the right to get awards for their military services,” your final phrase should include the idea of connecting dog breeds with obtaining combat awards.

  • The link between the paragraphs can be read between the lines: “Even though the Doberman Pinscher was the most common dog breed used during World War II, it was certainly not the only breed of dog that deserved recognition for its help.”

In the End

In the first proposal of your final section, you should change your thesis basing it on the given evidence.

  • Do not repeat your thesis word for word. Express it in other words, but make sure it means the same thing.
  • If your initial thesis was “The dogs applied by the US Marine Corps during World War II played an important role in the Pacific theater of combats,” you can rephrase it like this: “All breeds of dogs played a crucial and well-deserved role in the Second World war, particularly in the Pacific.”

Note that this reiterates the information presented in the original thesis in a new way, hinting at the facts that you have inserted in the main body.

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