Description Essay Writing

Oct 12, 2009 Filed under:Descriptive essays — admin @ 1:10 am

Description Essay Writing

The five senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. When writers hone in on these different sensory impressions and use them to communicate an experience to their readers, they are writing a description. The use of mental pictures in writing helps readers to access the writer’s own experience and understand the meaning of that experience.

Consider the differences in the following sentences. The first one is taken from the first paragraph of Garrison Keillor’s “Walking Down the Canyon.”

“I prefer parks, ones with radios going chuckawaka chuckawaka and the delicious whiff of bratwurst and cigarette smoke.”

Now, take a look at the following sentence, which has eliminated all the elements of description.

“I prefer parks with radios and lots of smells.”

Quite a difference, isn’t it? The first sentence makes the entire scene come alive for the readers, who feel as if they can actually hear the radio and smell the mingled scents. The second sentence is what happens when a writer is lazy about using descriptive details and assumes that the reader can visualize the scene without any help. When you are able to skillfully convey mental pictures to your reader, you’ve learned to harness the power of words.

Now, on to the main purposes of descriptions. Descriptions can function in three ways: to entertain, inform, and persuade. Garrison Keillor’s essay is an excellent example of a descriptive essay that entertains his readers through clear mental pictures. Description is often effectively used in the workplace, when people have to inform their customers about their company or the services that their company provides. Description can also be used to persuade readers about the effectiveness of a certain product or the value of one issue over another.

You’ve probably heard teachers remark in the past “show, don’t tell,” and that’s exactly how description functions. This type of writing can be very helpful when writing a persuasive essay, because even if you have a strong thesis, you still need to prove it to your audience. However, writing descriptions can also work in other classes other than composition.