Descriptive writing describes someone or something or a place, and may include action, such as what happens in a special ceremony. Often, a mood or atmosphere is created too, so that the audience feels what the writer feels about the subject. For example, if you are describing a person, the description reveals whether you love, or hate, or despise, or admire the person.
Your choice of subject to describe, and knowing some descriptive words to do it, are most important. You need to be very familiar with the topic, and you need to know some relevant, interesting or appropriate descriptive words and imagery. Take care to focus closely on the subject of your description, and give interesting details to make it come alive in the mind of the reader. (In an examination report, markers said some candidates lost marks because they wandered off topic.)
Some descriptive essay topics are:
What are some of the features of a descriptive essay?
Here are points to note about such an essay:
How to plan a descriptive essay
Check on the length of essay required for your grade. Most essays are about 250 words and have 3 – 8 paragraphs.
Use process writing. That means you always try to follow these recommended steps, even in the examinations:
You could plan a descriptive essay like this:
Opening paragraph: This should hook the reader with something unusual or dramatic, and introduce the topic or subject of the description.
Middle paragraphs: Give details about different aspects or parts of the topic.
Closing paragraph: Round off and conclude by giving a view on the topic. This could be personal, or a general observation.
Should you choose a descriptive essay in an exam?
A descriptive essay may be a suitable choice in an exam because you do not need to think of a plot (narrative) or figure out and present a logical argument (argumentative) or have views about something (reflective). However, you should only attempt it if you know something about the topic and know a good number of suitable descriptive words or phrases to use. You should be able to come up with some fresh, interesting figurative language to do with the topic too, avoiding clichés.