Characteristics of Descriptive Essays

Nov 16, 2009 Filed under:Descriptive essays — admin @ 6:11 am

Characteristics of Descriptive Essays

The Descriptive Essay:

  • Uses sensory details relative to the subject matter (increase the reader’s experience as they read your essay)
  • Sight--paint word pictures; help the reader create a mental picture
  • Sound—allow the reader to hear what you describe
  • Smell—evoke odors both appealing and non-appealing
  • Taste—allow the reader to share the tastes of things good or bad
  • Touch—descriptions of textures, temperatures and weights
  • Uses Active verbs and varied sentences.
  • Creates a dominant impression overall attitude, mood, or feeling about the subject
  • Uses connotative language effectively—feelings and attitudes associated with a word.
  • Uses comparisons—with similes, metaphors, and personification
  • Assumes a vantage point—the point or position from which one writes a description
  • Fixed vantage point—describing what you see from a particular position.
  • Moving vantage point—describing your subject from a number of different positions.

Follows a method of organization:

  1. Spatial order
  2. Chronological order
  3. Least-to-most or most-to-least order

Has clear essay structure

An effective introduction that will:

  1. Spark reader’s interest
  2. Present your subject/setting
  3. Include any background information readers may need
  4. Create a dominant impression or stated or suggested in thesis
  5. Introduce the kind of organization the writer will use

Body paragraphs with topic sentences and other sentences that contain sufficient evidence, sensory details, and comparisons  to support the dominant impression/thesis.

A strong conclusion that reinforces/references the dominant impression/thesis and draws the essay to a close