Barbara P.
Barbara P.

Descriptive Essay - Definition, Tips, And Examples

6 min read

Published on: Jul 7, 2020

Last updated on: Dec 25, 2022

Descriptive Essay

On This Page On This Page

A descriptive essay is a written form of communication that uses imagery and detailed language to represent an object, person, feeling, or place.

Writing a descriptive essay is way much easier than writing any other type of essay. It is the simplest type of essay that high school and college students get to write.

If you are looking for a guide to get help with your descriptive essay, then you are in the right place.

Read the blog below and learn to write an excellent descriptive essay. You can also check out the examples to understand them better.

Descriptive Essay Definition

A descriptive essay is a type of essay that demonstrates something in detail, i.e. a place, person, object, emotion, etc. This essay aims to provide a detailed description for the readers so that they can easily imagine it.

This genre of essay awakens the writer’s creative writing skills. It encourages the writer to create a written account of a particular experience. It creates a vivid picture in readers’ minds by engaging their five senses, i.e. touch, smell, sight, taste, and hear.

Order Now

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job

Features of Descriptive Essay

The primary purpose of a descriptive essay is to explain something in such a way that paints a picture in the reader’s mind. Capturing an event through descriptive writing requires you to pay close attention to the little details.

Here are the key features of a good descriptive essay:

  • Vivid Description

It provides vivid sensory details of something in a way that makes the reader feel as if they have experienced it themselves. It paints a picture in the reader’s mind and clearly describes a feeling, sound, or emotion.

  • Engage Five Senses

The descriptive essay appeals to all of the senses, i.e. touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing whenever it is appropriate. It helps the reader see what they might not see themselves, feel different textures, smell a strange smell, or taste different flavors.

  • Show Instead of Telling

The writer shows us through vivid language, rather than telling us what Maldives beaches look like. The vivid language contemplates the sensory-based description.

  • Organized

Descriptive essays are the kind of stories that the writer shares with the reader, so they are properly organized. Some ways of organizing your essay are; the order of importance, spatial (location), or chronological (time).

Difference Between Narrative and Descriptive Essay

Descriptive EssayNarrative Essay
Written in first or third personWritten in the first person
Its purpose is to describe somethingIts purpose is to narrate a story
Does not account the time factorPresented in chronological order
It's the actual description of somethingIt could be a real or fictional story

How to Start a Descriptive Essay

One of the keys to writing an incredible descriptive essay is to engage all the reader’s senses. If you can do this, then your essay is a success, if not, then you have to do a lot of work.

Here are some tips that help you give a good start to your essay:

  • Take some time to brainstorm different ideas of how you describe your subject.
  • Capture the reader’s attention with a strong hook statement.
  • Give a sensory description of what you are going to describe in detail later.
  • Focus on the topic
  • Choose a vivid language to paint a picture in the reader’s mind.
  • Appeal to the sense of the reader

Descriptive Essay Format

The typical 5 paragraph descriptive essay follows this format:

  • Introduction: Introduces the subject to the reader to give an idea of what you will discuss. Write a strong thesis statement that presents the central theme of the essay.
  • Body: Provides a detailed description of the subject to make it clear for the reader. The body paragraphs give sensory details of the subject.
  • Conclusion: Leaves the reader with a clear impression and a strong message.

Order Now

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

The descriptive essay allows for great artistic freedom. It reveals the actual meaning of the topic through the detailed description and sensory observation. It employs all human senses and the power of language to bring life to a subject for the reader.

Here are some tips for writing an incredible descriptive essay:

1. Choose the Topic

The first step in writing an essay is choosing the subject. The essay topic should focus on a single person, place, or object. The topic is the first thing that a reader sees in your essay, so make sure you choose an exciting topic.

2. Create an Outline

Take some time to brainstorm different ideas to describe the subject in an engaging way. Create an outline to organize those ideas into a proper structure. Note down the key points in the outline so that you can refer back to them while writing your essay.

3. Consider Your Point of View

Descriptive essays are usually straightforward, but using a creative perspective enables the reader to see the subject in a new light. The vivid description helps the reader imagine the subject. Don’t shy away from sharing your point of view. It might enhance the subject’s influence.

4. Use Your Senses

As descriptive essays appeal to the reader’s senses, you need to be smart with engaging the reader’s senses. Explain how things smell, taste, feet, sound, or look.

5. Use Vivid Language

Vivid language helps you describe your subject clearly and paints a picture in the reader’s mind. Be clear with your language and word choices, and take a close look at adjectives and adverbs you use. Avoid vague and complex sentences and look for some simple and descriptive words. Using metaphors and smilies can also help you create a vivid image of your descriptive writing.

6. Be Organized

Although descriptive essays don’t account for the time factor, they still need to be organized. For example, if you are writing about a person. First, you’ll describe his appearance, then his behavior, and so on. The reader should get what you are attempting to describe.

7. Don’t Tell. Show.

The descriptive essay doesn’t tell but shows through figurative language. It does not rely on facts and evidence like an argumentative essay. Instead, it is based on the writers’ ability to create a mental picture for the reader.

8. Proofread and Revise

Most writers ignore the importance of proofreading and revision. That is the biggest mistake they make. Proofreading and revision enable you to make your essay perfect.

Check your essay for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Check whether your essay is in a logical flow. Ask your friend, a family member, or a professional writer to read your essay. It is easier for them to catch mistakes.

Descriptive Essay Example

“What is a descriptive essay example?”

Below are some amazing examples to help you understand the function of a descriptive essay.

Descriptive Essay Topics

Below are some topic ideas to give you a quick start for writing your essay:

  • My best friend
  • The best capital city in the world
  • A stranger on the street
  • The fatal car accident
  • A special time I had with my family
  • A memorable concert
  • A visit to the museum
  • The fun of kite flying
  • The biggest shock of my life
  • My first day at job

Use this guide and examples to get help with your descriptive essay writing. And if you still feel confused, hire an expert essay writer at We are a professional essay writing service that offers top-notch essays at reasonable prices.

Feel free to place your order now.

Frequently Asked Question

What are the 4 elements of descriptive writing?

A descriptive essay paints a vivid picture of the subject for the reader by engaging their senses. Thus, the 4 basic elements of descriptive writing are the senses of touch, hear, smell, and sight.

What is the descriptive essay all about?

Good descriptive writing appeals to all of the reader's senses and paints pictures that evoke feelings. Good descriptive writing includes many vivid sensory details, such as sights, sounds, textures, or tastes when appropriate.

What are the two types of descriptive essays?

The two types of descriptive essays are:

  1. Objective description essays
  2. Impressionistic description essays
Barbara P.


Barbara P., Literature, Marketing

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

Share this article

Your first order with us is FREE!

Can’t Write It?

Learn More