Descriptive Essay -3 parts, 3 Components and 6 steps in writing Descriptive Essay

Descriptive Essay -3 parts, 3 Components and 6 steps in writing Descriptive Essay

The idea of what “description” entails must have been imbibed in you while you were coming of age, but for the sake of one and sundry that weren’t informed, what it meant while the distinctive features of Roosevelt were being highlighted or what many supposed was what appeared to be Richard wrights bigger Thomas from native son is in similitude what the entire meaning of a descriptive essay contains.

In layman’s language, a descriptive essay is an essay that inspires you, the writer, to give a real test of a situation, environment, person, or adventure, you are expected to fine-tune text till it generates a mental image of what the supposed is all about.

A descriptive essay is a long piece of writing which demands a thorough, vivid and realistic description of a particular subject matter. The term ‘subject matter’ in this context could refer to a place, an object, a meal or even an abstract subject like empathy. In other words, a descriptive essay can be defined as a form of essay which requires the proper description of a particular subject matter.

The aim of a descriptive essay in academia is to ascertain the creative capabilities and abilities of the student. A descriptive essay demands nothing short of creativity from its writer and thus, it tends to be a lot more flexible and even more fun to write than other types of essays.

As fore mentioned in the text, descriptive essays are related to the description of specific subject matters. The term ‘Description’ in this context refers to the representation of a specific subject matter in writing. Thus, the question format for a descriptive essay is quite easy to spot. If one is asked to represent a specific subject matter in words or give a detailed account of a particular thing, it is a descriptive essay.

Does this really have importance? What purpose does a descriptive essay have?

One key factor you should grope while pondering over the whole concept of a descriptive essay is that; the major objective of this essay is to overhaul the ability of a writer to express himself (herself) while detailing down experiences whether chimerically engineered or tailor-fitted by reality. It hones the mentality of students to needlepoint—this would further lead to the expansion of knowledge in various fields of the profession which is why a descriptive essay has been made an essential element of learning.

This unlike an argumentative essay is not bent on convincing or persuading or even arising factual data for any purpose rather it just paints a vivid picture in detail with words for the reason of displaying important details of chosen subject to readers to broaden the subject and make comprehension valid.

Is that understood? Are things getting clearer?

For you to develop an awestricken descriptive essay it should be an incentive to master the act of narration this is typical as it goes in line with the conjecture, description, as they say, goes hand in hand with narration.

You should be able to relay every aspect engulfed around your area of concentration, subject, and topic without omitting any vital information.  The quality of what you deem a descriptive essay rest upon your ability to time warp your reader to the episode of what you have described, every point must contain clarity and be uniquely imprinted in your signature- it must be central to your text style of writing.

But before you hallmark the containment of a blank sheet as a descriptive essay, be sure it contains these 5 fundamental components;

  •   Sensory details: sensory details? This involves you capitalising on Aristotle’s perception of what sense are, and building up sensory details you are required to create images that arouse emotion and intertwines your reader’s mindset with yours—with what you have painted down, this would help the readers engage well and perceive what you are going about. Take the excerpt below as an example

“…As they waltzed through the cave, Isabelle couldn’t help but twitch her nose, the environment was dank and musty and from the thick wet walls emitted a pungent odour that could disorient an effectively trained Doberman.

It wasn’t long before a howl filled the environment —a hellish cry that brought them to a halt, and it didn’t take much longer before a 6 ft. creature appeared, it was hairy with an elongated neck that seemed to want to fall off each time it moved, a brief section of it was covered with a mane.

It was bony and it had a large head that suffered the entire structure of its body, its eyes were glimmering under the dark atmosphere, as it cautiously licked its discoloured teeth, it marched towards them gingerly using its four limbs as a mechanism for movement, ‘wooooollllllfffff’ Emmanuel cried out.”

As the above has indicated, it is already evident that the scenario painted was one that hinged on sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste.

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Example of keywords to look out for when identifying a descriptive essay includes:

  • Describe.
  • Depict.
  • Give a detailed account of..
  • Give a vivid/thorough description of..

Examples of descriptive essay topics include:

  • Give a detailed account of the experiences doctors face when they lose patients.
  • Describe the feeling of empathy.
  • Give a thorough description of your previous experience at the Governor’s house.

Oftentimes, the questions given to writers of descriptive essays do not necessarily depict places or experiences that they have faced directly. One would have to use his/her imagination to make the piece of writing look persuasive and realistic. This is basically what the readers or teachers look out for when going through the written work.

3 important parts of a Descriptive Essay

A well-structured descriptive essay consists of three basic elements namely:

  • The introduction.
  • The body of the essay
  • The conclusion.


The introductory part of the essay introduces the topic of the essay is its first point of reference. It ought to consist of the following elements:

  • A proper definition of the main word constitutes the subject matter of the essay.
  • A topic sentence which introduces the essay topic.
  • More sentences to support or surround the topic sentence.

For example, if one is asked to write a descriptive essay about his/her last experience at the park, the essay ought to begin with a definition of the main subject matter in the essay, which is the term ‘Park’. After that, the writer could either go ahead and give the reader a brief history regarding how parks, in general, came to be or the writer can state its uses in an intricate but brief way.

The next step would be to state the name of the last park which was visited and a brief summary of the events which occurred in the park. These events which will be briefed in the introduction will serve as topic sentences for the body of the paragraph.

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The body of the essay constitutes paragraphs which are basically an extension of the events or points that were briefly summarized in the introduction of the essay. Depending on the length and nature of the essay, these paragraphs will tend to vary. However, an ideal descriptive essay ought to contain a minimum of three paragraphs.

Each paragraph will begin with a topic sentence, and the rest of the paragraph will be dedicated to further explanations of the topic sentence. The writer is permitted to commence these paragraphs with words like Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly, Similarly or the topic sentence as it is, in its most formal and organized tone.


As the name implies, the aim of the conclusion in an essay is to round up the essay. This is done by compiling all the topic sentences in the paragraph in the most summarized way possible. The writer is not permitted to introduce new points in the conclusion.

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However, he/she can chip in how the overall experience or particular take on the subject matter was/is. Since it is the conclusion, it ought not to be as broad or lengthy as the body paragraphs in the essay, hence, it ought to be summarized like the introduction.

Also ReadWriting Essay Introduction -5 steps to Write a Catchy Introduction for your Essay


3 main components of a descriptive essay

The components discussed here include figurative language, lingua, organisation,

  • Figurative language

This is one of the most vital components of a descriptive essay. The application of metaphors, and extended metaphors, similes and analogies, etc. helps to outline characters and sketch out subjects. This outline would help marginalize the reader’s mindset with the vision of what is intended e.g.

  • “…he was bulked in the body to divine perfection, but  yet he fought like a wounded lion…”
  • “Chinanza has been accused falsely, she is not a person known to be economical with the truth. She wears her heart on her sleeves.”
  •   “Tinubu has the heart of a lion.”
  • Central theme

This regulates the direction in which the entire essay is expected to go, it helps to organize details and as such should be seamed out carefully and must focus on a single point.

  • Lingua

The effect of what you are trying to paint with words depends on how precise your wordings are. Always remember clarity is key, there is no downside to being straightforward and transparent. If by reasons beyond human autonomy you decide to bombard your essay with heavy dictions how certain are you that your message would be received? Work to make your work understandable before anything else. Always bear in mind that what can’t be read, doesn’t deserve to be read.

  • Organization

Appropriating the skeletal structure of your work would enable the flow of knowledge and information. For the benefit of simple and complex-minded individuals employ the use of an outline so as to align your thoughts and enable readers to feed off them, this cannot be overemphasized; things distorted would have a hard time receiving tributes.

Is there a formal approach to descriptive writing/essay that involves all these?

Frankly, yes there is in fact an approach that cumulates all the above components, this approach involves; the selection of a topic, organization of ideas, outlining, introduction, thesis statement, paragraphing, and conclusion.


6 Steps to writing a Descriptive Essay

Selection of Topics for Descriptive Essay

The manner in which emphasis has been laid upon this specific factor is absolute essentiality.  Before you elect to begin, settle down on a singular idea. As much as it would prove a half-hearted endeavour to narrow down what you have in mind to paint a thesis statement.

At this point, the thesis statement shouldn’t voice your personal two cents but rather dispense information that would deliver a prevailing impression in the mind of readers. Also put in mind that you would need to tackle what can be tackled, don’t break your back trying to explain something that would impair your mind—select a topic that you can handle, that is if you wield the prerogative authority to make that decision.

Once you have resolved that proceed to compile all information unearthed by the above process. The best kind of descriptive essay is also combusting with novel names, background names, physiques, and sensory information that would make avail opportunities to plant in your concepts into the mind of readers.

Here are some topics you can go with

  • “Depict the London castle in your own words”
  • “Make a description of what the Eiffel tower looks like”
  • “Portray George Weah as a role model”
  • “Describe your favourite teacher”


This is the crucial point where you line up all concepts to unfold in sequential order. See it as something sharing similarities with a storyline; this is to be the frame structure of your work—how it would begin and how it ends. For the single of abating confusion, it is needful to employ the use of an outline

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Write an introduction

Like every written work, there must be an introduction that would usher in the main topic and parade potent points before the attention of the reader is taken down to other points. The introduction entails a brief overview of what would be discussed in the contents.

Create a thesis statement  

The thesis statement of a descriptive essay is expected to define the scope and objective of the entire essay. It is a slender subject line that is expected to be precise and clear. This for the reason of it being for a descriptive essay should be lettered down in a creative manner.


First off, one of the major significance of paragraphing is that it clothes the entire piece upon first sight with understanding, depending on how you chose to go about it can paint your work in the mind of the reader as attractive or not.

Take an article, essay, or story, for example, one that is devoid of proper spacing and paragraphing would surely discourage you from reading on owning to its disarranged and grungy appearance. So for that purpose alone the beating need for paragraphing cannot be overstressed.

While paragraphing, be sure to act accordingly as detailed in your outline, effect transitioning with new points while explaining your thesis statement.


This is the final bus stop and ending point of your essay. Once more if conjecture is anything to go by, this is where you get your final opportunity to leave a positive imprint on the face of your reader.

While concluding your essay, it demands that you letter down appropriate wordings. It would be obtuse to write “firstly” or “before I begin” and stamp it as a final remark.  You can blatantly write “before I conclude”, “In conclusion”, “lastly”, “finally”.  The final paragraphs of written works are mostly perceived as enforcers of thesis statements, yours should follow in similitude.


Important points to note while writing a descriptive essay

In order to come up with a well-mannered and composing descriptive essay, the writer ought to adhere to the following instructions;

  • Make use of figurative language

A figurative language is a literal form of writing which requires the use of figures of speech as a means of making the words more effective and insightful. It can also be defined as a form of literal writing which requires the comparison of words side by side in order to paint more effective or insightful imagery in the mind of the reader. Examples of figures of speech which can be used as figurative language include Metaphor, Oxymorons, Synecdoche, Personification and so on.

The main aim of figurative language in a descriptive essay is to create a more pictorial setting of the object being described for the reader(s). That way, it will sound more persuasive and realistic even if the object or event being described is unreal.

An ideal example of figurative language includes:

The subtle melody which emanated from the violin danced around the building, putting everyone in a sober mood.

Make room for extra creativity

Oftentimes, students are asked to write descriptive essays on abstract objects or things that they have not experienced first-hand before. This makes such type of essay seem tasking or demanding especially when posed during an exam. This is so because students try to restrict their imaginative capacity to only academic-related themes or settings.

It should be noted that the main issue which teachers examine, apart from one’s proper use of English, is the capability to create something persuasive and realistic within a short period of time. Hence, students are advised to be a little more creative when composing a descriptive essay. Compile your daydreams in a formal tone and write them down if possible.


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