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Descriptive Writing: Definition, Tips, Examples, and Exercises

Don’t Tell…Show!

❶His weight is a hefty pounds; without a doubt, he weighs forty pounds more than other children in his grade level.

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Step 1: Choose a topic
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Step 2: Create a statement

You want to convey a mental picture to your reader. So you're bound to use words that might be unconventional or less-used. You will want to find words that exactly describe what you want to say, and will look for different words that mean the same. This will help you suitably build your vocabulary.

The success of descriptive writing lies in the details. The more detailed your depiction of a plot or a character or a place is, the more you engross your reader. You become a keen observer and minder of details.

You pay attention to the tiniest bits of information and appearance, which in turn helps you transfer the details into your writing. Since you have picked something to describe and have observed all its details, you are sure to understand the subject better. Thoroughly understanding what you're going to write about is exceedingly important to the process of writing about it.

Tips you Can Use Identify what you're about to describe As you start with descriptive writing, identify exactly what you are setting out to describe. Usually, a descriptive piece will include the depiction of a person, a place, an experience, a situation, and the like.

Anything that you experience or perceive about your subject can be the focal point of your descriptive writing. You build a backdrop by identifying an aspect of a subject that you want to describe. Decide why you're describing that particular aspect While it can be a wonderful creative exercise to simply describe anything you observe, in descriptive writing, there is often a specific reason to describe whatever you have set out to describe. Tapping this reason can help you keep the description focused and infuse your language with the particular emotion or perspective that you want to convey to your readers.

This will render the effort of writing useless as the various descriptions will simply confuse the reader. For instance, if you want to describe characters in a particular situation, begin by describing the setting, then proceed to the most important character of that particular situation, and then to the least important one if necessary.

Use Imagery Imagery is the best tool you can employ in descriptive writing. Since you cannot show your reader what you are imagining, you need to paint a picture with words. You need to make the depiction of your imagination so potent that your reader will instantly be able to visualize what you are describing.

However, don't go overboard. Make sure that the focus does not dwindle stray. Keep your descriptions specific to the subject in question. The writing must be able to draw in the reader; hence, the writer should say things that the reader can relate to or empathize with. An introductory backdrop can often provide an effective setting for the remaining part of the piece. Great descriptive writing has the ability to lure the reader, enticing him or her to continue reading right to the end.

While giving the details is important, it is how they are presented that makes the difference. Hone the senses One of the most effective ways to make the experience you are describing vivid for your reader is to use the five senses: When the descriptions are focused on the senses, you provide specific and vivid details in such a way that it shows your reader what you are describing.

So, when you describe a subject, depict it in such a manner that it involves the reader's possible sensory interpretations.

It must make the reader imagine what he would see, hear, smell, taste, or feel when he reads what you have written. She gently squeezed the juice out of the plump, red tomato. She blended this juice into the simmering mix of golden-brown onions and garlic in the pan, and watched as they melded into each other.

She then added the spice mixture that she had prepared, and the air was permeated with a mouth-watering aroma. Use strong nouns and verbs effectively, adjectives intelligently It is true that the purpose of adjectives is to describe a subject, but overuse of adjectives in descriptive writing can render the piece shallow and hollow.

Hence, make it a point to use other parts of speech to express the same sentiment. You'll be surprised how effectively nouns, verbs and adverbs can be used to describe something, sometimes even better than adjectives alone. For instance, look at the two sentences below. You could write about a character on your favorite TV show or video game. Pick a place or object to describe.

Another option is to focus on a specific place or object that you have strong feelings about. This could be a place like your high school, your workplace, or your childhood home. You could also write about an important family heirloom or a gift from a friend.

Select an emotion to describe. Some descriptive essays are about an emotion that you connect to or relate to. You may choose a strong emotion like anger, loss, desire, or rage. You could then try to describe the emotion using your own experiences with it.

These emotions can make for powerful descriptive essays. Make a list of sensory details about the topic. Once you have chosen your topic, draw five columns on a piece of paper or a word document on your computer. You can then use these notes in your essay. Part 1 Quiz True or False: Essays have to be about real things, events, or people.

Outline the essay in sections. Organize the essay by creating a brief outline. Do this in sections: The standard is to have a five paragraph essay, one paragraph for introduction, three paragraphs for body, and one for conclusion.

But you can also try having sections instead, allowing you to have as many paragraphs as you want for the body section of the essay. Create a thesis statement.

A thesis statement is the key idea or theme for the essay. It states the purpose of the essay and acts as a guide for the rest of the essay. The thesis statement should appear in your introduction and be restated in your conclusion. Write a strong introduction. The introduction to the descriptive essay should set the scene and introduce the reader to the subject.

Use the list of sensory details to describe the subject. Then, end the introduction with your thesis statement. She is a fierce protector and a mysterious woman to my sisters and I. Describe the topic with vivid adjectives. Use adjectives that express emotion. Be as specific as you can. Use metaphors and similes. Metaphors are when you compare one thing to another. Use metaphors to show the reader what you think about the topic, rather than simply tell the reader how you feel. Discuss your emotions and thoughts about the topic.

Do not be afraid to express your emotions in your essay. Do you feel joy, sadness, angry, or disgust with the subject? How do you respond emotionally to the subject? Wrap up the essay with a strong conclusion. Your conclusion should tie all the thoughts in your essay together.

Restate your thesis statement in the conclusion and end with a strong final sentence. Do not add anything new to your essay in the conclusion. Simply evaluate your thoughts in the essay and wrap things up with a short, final statement. Part 2 Quiz Which of the following is a metaphor? My mom sacrificed a lot for us. My mother is like a fierce warrior in battle. My mother is a workhorse. Read the essay out loud.

Once you have completed a draft of the essay, read it aloud to yourself. Listen for any awkward or unclear sentences. Circle these sentences so you can revise them later. This labelled list will help you to sort out your thoughts as you describe your topic — the taste, sight, touch, smell and sound of your topic can be sketched out among the columns.

List out in the columns any sensation or feeling that you associate with the topic that you are writing about. You need to provide full sensory details that help to support the thesis.

You can utilize literary tools such as metaphors, similes, personification and descriptive adjectives. Once you have the columns laid out you can start to fill them with details that help to support your thesis. These should be the most interesting items that you have noted in your columns and will the details that you flesh out into the paragraphs of the body of your essay. Topics are set out in each separate paragraph and a topic sentence begins that paragraph and need to relate to your introductory paragraph and your thesis.

The next step is to create an outline listing the details of the discussion of each paragraph. Students in high school are generally asked to write a five paragraph essay while college students are given more freedom with the length of their piece. The standard five paragraph essay has a particular structure including the introductory paragraph with the inclusion of a thesis statement, followed by three body paragraphs which prove that statement. Finally, the conclusion paragraph makes a summary of the entirety of your essay.

This conclusion also needs to reaffirm your thesis if necessary. Your conclusion needs to be well written because it is the final thing to be read by your reader and will remain on their mind the longest after they have read the remainder of your essay. It is important to take a break from your writing once you have completed the work.

By stepping away from the work for a short time you can clear your mind and take a short rest. You can then take a look at the essay with fresh eyes and view it in much the same way that a person reading it will when they first see the piece.

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The best descriptive writing appeals to all five senses―smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing―and is found in both fiction and nonfiction. In their own way, each of the following writers (three of them students, two of them professional authors) have selected a belonging .

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A BBC Bitesize secondary school revision resource for Standard Grade English on descriptive writing: word choice, observation, describing scenes and people Describing a piece of text. In the.

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Descriptive Piece of Writing: The Park Wandering through the park, engulfed by my thick coat, I stare around me with disgust. The once green and beautiful park is now grey and boring; damaged by youths. However, the park is the place where I can just come and think: it's quiet and peaceful and I feel free; away from the bustle and noise of the. Writers use the descriptive essay to create a vivid picture of a person, place, or thing. Unlike a narrative essay, which reveals meaning through a personal story, the purpose of a descriptive essay is to reveal the meaning of a subject through detailed, sensory observation.

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Description is an important part of daily life and has an even bigger role in writing. Descriptive writing is a literary device in which the author uses details to paint a picture with their words. The purpose of descriptive writing is to inspire imagination. When you put your mind into making a piece of writing more descriptive, you automatically begin to pay attention to detail and refine your perception about things.