How to write a descriptive essay

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In the real world, a descriptive essay is something you can write about with a fair amount of flexibility. You will often see them without conclusions, and you may see some with an analysis and evaluation section, but if you are writing your descriptive essay for educational purposes, then the first tip on this article is to color between the lines. Keep your structure simple, boring and “standard” because your professors will not have a marking guide that grades “creativity”. Here are a few other tips to help you write a descriptive essay.

Were you given a topic or can you choose your own?

If you were given a topic then be sure you understand it. Ask for a few notes from your professor if you are unsure. The English language is very slippery and flexible, which means a descriptive essay about an uprising may not mean what you think it does.

Tip – If you pick your own essay topic then do not pick a tired one

There are some topics that your professor is sick of reading about. You should avoid tired and stale topics, which also includes the ones in your textbooks.

Make notes and write down research references for later

You should make notes as you do your preliminary research, and when you do you should make a note of where you saw interesting points. Make notes that show points you may like to add to your essay later, and make notes of the places you find facts and statistics that support the points you wish to make.

Look at the essays other people have done

This is not in order to copy the essay; it is just to make sure you are not going completely down the wrong track. It will help you see how others have structured their work on similar topics.

Start with a plan for your essay

Your plan is what you refer to as you write. You can add in the research notes you made earlier, and you can plan how your essay is going to make its point. Start with the structure, which is introduction, body and conclusion, then figure out your hypothesis, and then how you are going to set out your descriptive essay and what points should come first and last. Connect a few of your points and ideas and plan how you are going to set it out on your essay so it makes the most sense.

Tip – A bullet point plan is fine

Your plan doesn’t have to be a new bible. It can be a bullet point list with notes attached, just so long as you understand it.

If you were given a marking guide then use it

Using it means using it for your plan. It also means using it when you check your work for consistency, flow and accuracy. Mark your own work and ask yourself if your word count for each point or section covers the amount of marks the marking guide says you should get. –

Touch upon the relevant things you have covered in class so far

Your professor probably set the descriptive essay to see if you understood what was going on and being said during the term, so find things in your class notes that are relevant to your essay and consider putting them in the essay.

Tip – You can research and reference after writing your essay

If your essay looks as if it is lacking a few references, then pick out a point in your essay and research it. Once you find somebody that agrees with you or a fact that supports your point then add it in as a references. The research may not have inspired you to enter the point in your essay, but your professor doesn’t know that.

Mark things off your plan as you add them to be sure you touched upon them

You can use your plan as if it were a checklist and mark things off it as you add them to your essay. You probably have some interesting points in your essay plan that will help give your essay a little more kick and power. Making sure you add them all is imperative, which is why you should check off the points and ideas on you plan as you go.

How to write a descriptive essay
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