Description Essay Organizing Details

Nov 2, 2009 Filed under:Descriptive essays — admin @ 8:11 am

Description Essay Organizing Details

All right, so you’ve gone through the entire process of choosing effective descriptive details that convey a dominant impression. Now, you need to figure out how you want to organize these details.

As you look over the details you’ve generated so far, you’ll want to again consider your main purpose for writing the description and decide how you want to convey your dominant impression. There are, in fact, three main ways to organize details: spatial order, progressive order, and chronological order.

  • Spatial order is especially effective if you’re describing a contained space such as a classroom or perhaps even an ecosystem. If it’s logical for you to move from front to back or left to right, this could be an effective way to organize details and prevent confusion on the part of your reader.
  • Progressive order works well when you are trying to persuade your reader to believe in your argument. When writing persuasive essays, many writers choose to leave the most startling or colorful details for last because they want to imprint a strong impression on the minds of their readers.
  • Chronological order is an option when you want to describe the subject as you would move through it or as events would occur. Chronological order is particularly effective in narration, because it’s easy for both the writer and the readers to follow the events as they occurred. You could easily explain what happened, first, second, etc., as you describe the event.

In fact, you probably know all the words you need to in order to write an effective description. The most important thing to remember, though, is to always be specific. Use specific and descriptive nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs to add flavor to your writing and to add to your dominant impression.

For instance, instead of “look” use “gaze”; substitute “meander” for “walk”; write “Newsweek” instead of magazine. As you look over your draft of a description, look for any general words and then work to make them more specific.

A final piece of advice is to remember that every sentence doesn’t have to be brimming with descriptive details. You certainly don’t want to overwhelm your reader with excessive details that drown out your dominant impression. It’s perfectly fine to follow a highly descriptive sentence with a less descriptive one to provide balance to your paragraph.