Have an expert improve your writing
Check your paper for plagiarism
Get inspired by free writing samples

How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Tips and Structure

Written by Sarina Jones
Posted: November 5, 2021
Last update date: March 22, 2024
10 min read

There is no need to add that descriptive essays are extremely common. These are types of essays you will have to write and write on a regular basis during your education. When it comes to descriptive essay writing, you need to pay close attention to the details and the language you use. But we will share all the facts and details you need to know below. We have all the latest facts, and all the one’s experts will recommend them, and your professors will want to read your papers.

What Is a Descriptive Essay?

In order to understand the features of a descriptive essay and also learn how to write like an expert, you need to know what this type of written essay is. Only then can you understand descriptive writing and focus more on the things you need to include in your sentences. All descriptive essays are used to describe a person, object, place, or something else. However, they may be about explaining an emotion or a feeling you had at a specific time.

This can make them even harder. As always, you will need a perfect descriptive essay outline in order to complete the task well and with the best outcome possible. Your professor may ask you to describe almost anything. It is important to add that you will have to explain it in detail and use vivid language. The goal of such a paper is to enable the reader to create a mental picture of the subject.

To achieve this, a writer must employ colorful language to convey the central essay topic. The writer must also be able to use literary devices such as similes and metaphors to provide sensory details on the subject. At this point, the five major senses (sight, smell. touch, taste, and sound) should come to mind. The writer must, however, avoid providing unnecessary and/or redundant descriptions as this would have the reverse effect of turning readers off. As you may already know, writing a descriptive essay begins with choosing a topic that identifies it as such; to drive home this point, a list of some topics is shown below:

  1. A short trip to Miami
  2. A close look at diamonds
  3. How a telephone works
  4. My first time in a red district
  5. The day I had my first child
  6. Grandma`s wrinkled face

Stuck with finding the right title?
Get plenty of fresh and catchy topic ideas and pick the perfect one with PapersOwl Title Generator.
Get topics

Choosing a topic is often not where the problem lies, as it is even provided in some cases. The main task before the writer is to show and tell the audience whatever information he wishes to convey. For instance, instead of saying “the room was silent,” the writer could express it as: “The room was such that one could clearly hear the sound of a pin drop.” That is just a simple illustration of how to “show” and not “tell” when writing a descriptive essay. We now turn to examine the basic steps in writing one.

Descriptive essays are aimed to create an image within the reader’s mind. This type of work requires a certain structure and proper usage of ideas. A step by step plan and following the following writing tips will help to fully develop the topic and write me an essay of the best possible quality.

What Is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

The purpose of these papers is obvious. You need to use your language to explain a thing that will help the reader understand it 100%. In other words, a reader must know all about that place, object, or thing you had to describe completely like he saw it or used it. Due to the fact this is one of the hardest things to write, some students opt for a descriptive essay writing service that helps them with the writing and always gets them the grade they want and need.

The subject of your essay will be the main element here, and you need to tell the readers as much information as you can. More details will usually make this paper better and more detailed, hence a better grade. Obviously, you need to understand the topic or have a vivid recollection of the details in order to explain and describe them as well as possible.

Need help with writing a descriptive essay?
Get your paper written by a professional writer
Get Help

How to Begin a Descriptive Essay?

This type of writing process is not as easy as you may believe. There are a few steps you will need to use only to start the writing. Keep in mind that you need to use a descriptive essay format that is provided by the professor or mandated by the school. Once you know this, you need to use the following steps. Yes, there are a few steps you will use only to start the writing process. The actual writing has even more steps, and it is more complicated.

  1. Select The Topic or What You Want To Describe
    The first thing you will need to start your writing process is to choose what you will describe. In some cases, you can describe anything you like. In others, you will get the object you need to describe. It is always a better option to choose what you want to describe. It makes the whole process better and easier. At the same time, you will use your own details and specifics that can make the paper much better. Try to understand that you need to know all about the thing you will have to describe. There are a lot of topics in this case scenario. Here are some.


Describe the most impressive person you know.

  1. Gather Information
    The next step is to collect all the information. You will need details about the person, place, sensory details, and so much more. Once you have all of these, categorize them in notes and divide them. Always keep in mind that you can use write my essay for me option and get the paper done within hours. This can be a more appealing choice if you don’t like the topic you must write on. Anyway, using specific categories of information is beneficial. You can have all the details you will need to use, which will make writing better and easier. Don’t forget that this process will take time, so you may need days or weeks to collect all the information you must use.
  2. Start With The Outline
    Once you have all the descriptive essay topics and all the details, you will have to make the outline. This is the plan for your writing process. If you use literary tools such as metaphors, you will have to list them here. In general, you will make a list of all the points you will use in your essay. Each paragraph will be planned, and each one will have the claims you want to describe in them. This makes writing much easier and better in the end.
  3. Write Introduction
    How to write a descriptive essay introduction? It is the most complicated thing here and the one that can determine the outcome of your paper.  At the end of the introduction, you will have to provide a thesis statement. The intro is very important because it can attract your readers to read the whole paper or skip the reading. Hence you can imagine the effort you will need to present here. It is always a great idea to start the first sentence with the hook. This is something that will attract your readers completely and keep them engaged longer.


I watched an aeroplane taking off during the storm that made the sky black and the ground filled with water.

Writing the Main Body of a Descriptive Essay

The body is where the writer conveys much of the information on the subject. In a 5-paragraph essay, this should be the second, third, and fourth paragraphs. Each paragraph is begun with a topic sentence that instantly conveys the main idea of the paragraph. This topic sentence is followed by a thesis sentence. This thesis sentence develops an argument that the paragraph would be centered on. The remaining sentences in the paragraph should be used to do justice to the argument. Most importantly, the final sentence of each paragraph should transition smoothly and beautifully to the next one.


For instance, the “hidden” motive for our sample, “Grandma`s wrinkled face” could be to reflect on how sad grandma is; and not necessarily how old she is. Sentences like this could help convey this “hidden” message: “It seems that grandma has been aging faster and faster ever since she lost her husband, her only source of happiness”. A statement such as this should be able to draw the reader’s attention to the emotional state of grandma instead of just dwelling on the “wrinkles”.

How to Conclude a Descriptive Essay?

In a way, a descriptive essay is a story and should have a logical and memorable ending. It, therefore, behooves the writer to use his creative imagination to leave the reader feeling satisfied. There are several ways to bring an essay to an end, but all of them involve summarizing the essay’s main ideas. The first sentence of the final paragraph should give the reader a strong hint that the discussion is drawing to a close. Here are a few hints on how to do this:

  1. It could also begin with “To summarize…
  2. Begin with “In conclusion…
  3. Begin the lead sentence with “Finally…
  4. The final paragraph could begin as: “In all…

In conclusion, a writer must recognize that the last sentence of any essay is likely what will stay with the reader; therefore, the writer must craft this sentence as creatively as possible. The best thing that can happen to a writer is for his work to remain alive in the mind of a reader, and writing a beautiful conclusion is one good way to ensure this.

Descriptive Essay Tips

Your paper needs to have a good thesis statement and a detailed outline and present as much information and details as possible. When all of these are present, and you also have writing tips from below, you can expect the best outcome. Descriptive writing will test your patience! A professor can easily tell how much time did you invest into writing and why you liked those descriptive essay topics. Due to all of this, you will need to use the tips we have here. These are essential and can help you more than they may look.

  • Start With Brainstorming
    This type of academic writing will need one thing from you. You need to have the time to brainstorm all the information, details, and ideas you may have. This may sound obvious, but it is essential. Once you have all the ideas and all the details you like, writing will be easier, and you will need more time.Try to do this step when you have the time and when you are relaxed. In other words, try to complete this step when you are motivated to do it and not when you have to do it. Write down the whole list of ideas you may have that are based on the thing you have to describe.


If you want to describe a car, write down, make, model, size, color, performance, and more. Describe each element.

  • Use Only Vivid Language
    This means that the words you must use should touch the imagination of the reader completely and help him see the object or the person as you saw it. You can use strong and special words that will help you with that. For instance, you can use stallion instead of using the word horse. People will hear the word horse countless times per year. But they will hear the word stallion once or twice. This will make them more engaged in your paper and, at the same time, leave a stronger impression on the reader. The goal is to use as many words of this kind as you can. It will make the whole paper firmer, and this is something you will want.
  • Concise and Clear Language Is A Must
    Always choose words that are related to the thing you want to describe and that has a huge role in the paper. This is not a well-known tip, and many students will fail to use it. But, if you are careful and you take the time, you can use all the words of this kind. This will make the whole paper more detailed and more special. It also described the thing much better, and it is easier for a reader to understand it.
  • Organize Your Paper
    All we can say here is that writers must organize the details they want to present to the readers. This means that you need to present one point of view in detail before you move to the next one. In the end, you will present all the main points, but the reader will be able to understand all of them and remember all the details you have provided. Just remember that once you start explaining one element of your paper, explain it completely before you move to the next one.
  • Use All Your Senses
    The thing you will explain must come with appealing to the senses, and you must transfer this to the readers. What this means is that you need to explain how something felt, tasted, smelled, looked, and what you have heard at that time. Believe it or not, using the sense of smell has a huge role here, and it can make a massive difference.
  • Leave All Your Readers With Clear Impressions
    In the end, you need to have a paper that will describe the thing or the object completely so all the readers will feel like they have tested the food you have described, or they have visited that place.
Papersowl contacts


Just fill out the form, press the button, and have no worries!

By clicking “Send”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related emails.

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.