Writing an Effective Descriptive Essay

A key aspect of horning a student’s aptitude in school entails doing a descriptive form of essay. Descriptive essay pieces aim at creating pictures in the mind of the audience by appealing to the five senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch. When a student successfully paints an image through writing, then they can pass themselves as capable of developing a good descriptive essay piece.

It’s always easier said than done however, because a student needs to learn other aspects of essay writing to effectively paint a picture. But you don’t need to worry because the following steps will enable you to create an excellent groundwork in developing a great descriptive essay.

Steps in Writing an Effective Descriptive Essay

  • Pick a subject

An effective descriptive essay piece should focus on a particular person, event, item, or location. You have to get a unique subject that will allow you to effectively describe it to your intended audience. Show rather than narrate your description of the topic through careful illustration and painting of the specific picture in the audience’s mind.

Structure your essay in a way that will make your topic relevant. It can help if you order your paragraphs chronologically when writing an event’s description. Alternatively, you can begin with a generalized approach before narrowing down to specifics when doing a piece about a place or person. 

  • Develop a thesis statement

You must develop a thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. The statement represents a prominent idea that your essay will pursue throughout. As such, it becomes key in setting the essay’s purpose and regulates the conveyance of the information. The introduction should set the framework for your topic.

  • Correctly identify the senses

It can prove beneficial when you create and label five columns, with each having a distinctive sense. The columns will assist in ordering your thoughts during the description of the subject. Try and avoid shying away from using literary tools like similes, metaphors, descriptive adjectives, and personification when outlining the sensory details in line with the topic on the labeled columns.

Once the columns fill up with the supporting details of the thesis statement, flesh them out into body paragraphs. Each topic sentence should start a separate paragraph and relate to the introduction and the thesis statement. 

  • Make an outline

You then have to outline with a list of the discussion details for every paragraph. The number of paragraphs depends on the level of learning as college students have the freedom to write any amount of paragraphs while high school stipulates a maximum of five paragraphs. The paragraph stipulation dictates the order and structure of the essay, though a standard high school essay should have five paragraphs (introduction, three paragraphs for the body text, and a conclusion) 

  • Conclusion

The conclusion often summarizes the essay in entirety. It should reaffirm the thesis statement if it’s necessary and effectively written so that it can appeal and last in the mind of the audience. 

  • Finally, review the whole essay piece and edit them where necessary. You can decide to do this after taking a break to have the right eye when it comes to spotting mistakes with the flow. Proofreading and editing also comes to play at this stage to ensure your essay piece proves quality for any audience. 


Writing an effective descriptive essay piece can prove enjoyable when a student understands what the essay requires of them.