descriptive essay introduction paragraph

Descriptive Essay: Your Guide to Writing an Effective One

descriptive essay introduction paragraph

A descriptive essay is one of the four main types of essays, alongside narrative, argumentative, and expository essays. Among these, descriptive essays can be particularly challenging because they demand a keen eye for detail and an appreciation for aesthetics. By vividly describing scenes and details, you engage your reader’s senses, making your essay memorable and engaging. In this guide, our essay writers will break down the writing process for you, offering step-by-step instructions, practical examples, and clear definitions to help you excel in your next assignment.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

Descriptive writing aims to vividly portray something through essays, helping readers visualize and feel the scene or object being described. Such essays draw on detailed descriptions to create a clear and impactful image that not only presents the subject but also evokes emotions and memories.

There are three main techniques used in descriptive writing: naming, detailing, and comparing .

Naming identifies the subject and its characteristics, answering questions like 'What is it?' and 'What features does it have?'

Detailing elaborates on these features, providing answers to detailed questions such as 'How many are there?' and 'What is its value?' Techniques like synesthesia and comparisons enhance these descriptions.

Comparing uses similes and metaphors to make descriptions more vivid, linking the subject to familiar concepts.

Description vs. Descriptive Essay

What Is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

The purpose of a descriptive essay is multifaceted. Primarily, it allows writers to give readers a vivid impression of a person, place, or event, making the subject come alive through words. By using detailed descriptions, writers can help readers visualize settings and characters as if they were seeing them firsthand.

Additionally, descriptive essays can serve to clarify abstract ideas. By describing these concepts with concrete images and examples, writers make complex ideas easier to understand and more relatable to the reader.

Descriptive essays also aim to make information more memorable. When details are vivid, they are more likely to stick in the reader's mind, enhancing recall and engagement with the text.

Lastly, it can bolster an argument by providing concrete, detailed evidence that supports a point of view. This helps persuade the reader by making the argument more tangible and credible.

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Descriptive Essay Topics

When you're tasked with writing a descriptive essay, you'll usually get a prompt that asks you to describe something. These descriptive essay prompts allow you to explore different settings, time periods, and imaginative scenarios in your essays. 

Personal Prompts:

  • Describe a favorite childhood memory.
  • Describe a treasured family heirloom.

Imaginative Prompts:

  • Describe a day in the life of a pirate.
  • Describe what it would be like to explore an underwater city.

Historical Prompts:

  • Describe the atmosphere of a bustling ancient marketplace.
  • Describe the experience of witnessing a significant moment in history, like the moon landing or the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Nature Prompts:

  • Describe the sights and sounds of a peaceful forest at dawn.
  • Describe the feeling of standing at the edge of a majestic waterfall.

Everyday Prompts:

  • Describe the chaos of a busy morning commute in a big city.
  • Describe the tranquility of a sunset picnic in the countryside.

If you need topic ideas for other essay genres, consult our guide on narrative essay topics .

How to Write a Descriptive Essay in 8 Steps

Now that you understand the essence and purpose of this type of essay let's explore some fundamental yet valuable tips for writing a descriptive essay. 

How to Write a Descriptive Essay in 8 Steps

Step 1: Select Your Topic

The first step in creating a captivating descriptive essay is choosing the right topic. Start by paying close attention to your surroundings. 

  • Consider describing a person you know well in your life, like a sibling, a close friend, or a teacher who has made a significant impact on you.
  • Alternatively, you could focus on a specific place or object that holds sentimental value to you, such as a favorite vacation spot, a cherished childhood toy, or a meaningful piece of jewelry.
  • Another option is to explore a strong emotion that you have experienced, like excitement, nostalgia, or determination. 

Avoid using overly technical or jargon-filled language in your topic selection. Instead, aim for simplicity and clarity to ensure that your chosen topic resonates with your audience and allows you to convey your unique perspective effectively.

Step 2: Gather Details

Once you've selected your topic for your descriptive essay, the next step is to gather details that will bring your chosen subject to life on the page. Start by closely observing your subject, whether it's a person, place, object, or emotion. Pay attention to its appearance, characteristics, and any unique features that stand out to you.

For example, if you've chosen to describe your childhood home, take note of its architectural style, color scheme, and any distinctive elements like a front porch or a cozy fireplace. Recall memories associated with the home, such as family gatherings or quiet moments spent reading in your favorite spot.

If your topic is a person, like a close friend or family member, observe their physical appearance, mannerisms, and personality traits. Consider the ways in which they interact with others and the impact they have on your life.

Step 3: Draft an Outline

When structuring your essay, you can organize your paragraphs from top to bottom or near to far, chronologically, or from general to specific. Here's a simple descriptive essay outline from our custom writers to guide you: 

Step 4: Develop a Thesis Statement

When developing your thesis statement, consider the main points or aspects of your subject that you want to highlight in your essay. Think about the emotions or impressions you want to evoke in the reader and tailor your thesis statement accordingly.

For example, if you're writing about your favorite childhood memory, your thesis statement could be: 'My summers spent at my grandparents' farm were filled with laughter, adventure, and a sense of belonging.'

Or, if you're describing a beautiful sunset, your thesis statement might be: 'The breathtaking colors and serene atmosphere of the sunset over the ocean evoke a sense of peace and wonder.'

Step 5: Craft the Introduction

Start your descriptive essay introduction by hooking the reader with an engaging opening sentence or anecdote related to your topic. This could be a vivid description, a thought-provoking question, or a surprising fact. For example:

  • Growing up on my grandparents' farm, each summer brought new adventures and unforgettable memories that still warm my heart to this day.

After hooking the reader, provide some background information or context for your topic. This could include brief details about the setting, time period, or significance of your subject. For instance:

  • Nestled in the rolling hills of the countryside, my grandparents' farm was a sanctuary of simple pleasures and cherished traditions.

Finally, end your introduction with your thesis statement, clearly stating the main point of your essay. This ties everything together and gives the reader a roadmap for what to expect in the rest of your essay. 

Step 6: Compose the Body Paragraphs

Once you've crafted your introduction, it's time to compose the body paragraphs, where you delve into the details and descriptions that bring your topic to life.

Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or detail of your topic, expanding upon the ideas presented in your thesis statement. Use vivid language, sensory details, and descriptive devices to paint a clear picture for the reader.

For example, if you're writing about summers spent at your grandparents' farm, you could dedicate one body paragraph to describing the sights and sounds of the farm:

  • The rolling fields stretched out before me, golden waves of wheat swaying gently in the breeze. The air was filled with the sweet scent of wildflowers, mingling with the earthy aroma of freshly turned soil.

In another body paragraph, you might explore the adventures and activities that filled your days:

  • From sunrise to sunset, there was never a dull moment on the farm. Whether we were exploring the woods, splashing in the creek, or helping with chores, each day brought new excitement and adventure.

Continue with additional body paragraphs, each focusing on a different aspect of your topic and providing rich, detailed descriptions. Be sure to vary your language and sentence structure to keep the reader engaged and interested.

Step 7: Conclude the Essay

The conclusion should bring together all the ideas presented in your essay. Avoid introducing any new information in the conclusion. Instead, focus on evaluating your thoughts and reflections on the topic. End with a strong final sentence that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

For example, if you were writing about summers spent at your grandparents' farm, your conclusion might reflect on the significance of those memories:

  • 'As I reminisce about the summers spent amid the rustic charm of my grandparents' farm, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude for the simple pleasures and cherished moments that shaped my childhood. The laughter echoing through the fields, the adventures awaiting around every corner, and the sense of belonging that enveloped me there will forever hold a special place in my heart.'

Step 8: Refine Your Essay

Once you've finished writing your essay, it's time to refine it for clarity and impact. Start by reading your essay aloud to yourself. Listen for any sentences that sound awkward or unclear. Mark these sentences so you can revise them later.

You can also read your essay aloud to others and ask for their feedback. Invite friends, family members, teachers, or mentors to listen to your essay and share their thoughts. Ask them if there are any parts that are difficult to understand or if they have trouble picturing the subject you're describing.

Be receptive to constructive criticism and feedback. Use it as an opportunity to improve your essay and make it stronger. And if it sounds too demanding right now, you can buy cheap essay to sidestep the hassle and reclaim some much-needed free time.

Descriptive Essay Format

The standard format for a descriptive essay typically includes five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, you can also organize your essay into sections, allowing for flexibility in the length of the body paragraphs.

Introductory Paragraph: This paragraph sets the scene by describing where, when, and to whom the experience occurred. It should include descriptive words to capture the reader's attention.

First Body Paragraph: Here, the writer provides details that allow the reader to visualize the situation. Descriptive language is key in painting a clear picture for the reader.

Second Body Paragraph: More details are provided, with a focus on using descriptive adjectives. Figurative language, such as metaphor (e.g., describing the city as a 'jungle of concrete'), can enhance the imagery.

Third Body Paragraph: The writer continues to appeal to the reader's senses with visually descriptive words. Figurative language, like personification (e.g., describing the wind as a playful dancer), adds depth to the description.

Conclusion: The conclusion alludes to another sense, such as touch or sound, and uses strong words to signify closure. It ends with a powerful concluding sentence to leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Descriptive Essay Examples

In this section, you'll discover essay examples that demonstrate how to captivate your readers' attention effectively. After exploring these examples, you might find yourself tempted to ask, 'Can someone do my homework for me?' - and that's completely understandable! We're here to help you become more confident and articulate communicators through your writing!

3 Additional Tips for Writing

While writing a descriptive essay, your goal is to make your subject come alive for the reader. Unlike more formal essays, you have the freedom to be creative with your descriptions, using figurative language, sensory details, and precise word choices to make your writing memorable.

3 Additional Tips for Writing

Use Figurative Language: Figurative language, like metaphors and similes, adds flair to your descriptions. Instead of sticking to literal descriptions, use comparisons to create unique and memorable imagery. 

  • For instance, describing a city as a bustling beehive of activity ' or a forest as ' a blanket of whispers ' adds an unexpected twist that captures the reader's attention.

Engage Your Senses: In a descriptive essay, don't just focus on what something looks like; appeal to all the senses. Describe how things smell, sound, feel, and even taste, if applicable. This adds depth and richness to your descriptions, making them more immersive. 

  • For example, instead of just describing a beach visually, include sensory details like feeling the warm sand between your toes , hearing the rhythmic crash of waves , and t asting the salty sea breeze.

Choose Your Words Carefully: Use effective adjectives, verbs, and nouns to convey your impressions vividly. Avoid clichés and opt for original, precise language that reflects your unique perspective. Take the time to review your sentences and consider if there are better word choices that could enhance your description.

In Wrapping Up

To sum it up, descriptive essays are all about encouraging students like you to explore your surroundings and unleash your creativity by describing scenes in detail with words. When you carefully select and organize these descriptive details, it not only enhances your writing but also sharpens your critical thinking skills. Plus, diving into this expressive writing style allows you to appreciate the beauty of language and feel more connected to written communication. And remember, if you ever need a little boost in your writing journey, our descriptive essay writing service is here to help!

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How To Write A Descriptive Essay?

What is a descriptive essay, what is the purpose of a descriptive essay.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

descriptive essay introduction paragraph

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • New samples
  • New information on each of the rest sections 

Axelrod, R. B. and Cooper, R. C. (2008). The st martin’s guide to writing. (English Edition). New York: Bedford/St Martins

Okono, U. M. (2021). Descriptive essay: An assessment of performance by undergraduates of AkwaIbom State University. Erudite Journal of Linguistics and Languages . https://www.globalacademicstar.com/download/article/descriptive-essay-an-assessment-of-performance-by-undergraduates-of-akwa-ibom-state-university.pdf

Okono. U. M. (2020). “Qualities of a good essay: An assessment of the writings of Nigerian undergraduates.” International Journal on integrated Education. 3: vi.

https://irsc-asc.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/8/1/31813909/e7__descriptive_essay_guidelines.pdf

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How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

Imagine painting a vivid picture with words, capturing the reader’s imagination, and transporting them to a different world. That’s the power of a well-written descriptive essay. But how does one harness that power and create a masterpiece? In this comprehensive guide on how to write a descriptive essay, we’ll explore the intricacies of descriptive essays, from understanding their purpose to mastering the language, and everything in between.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Essay Writing: Key Takeaways

  • Descriptive essays strive to create a vivid experience for the reader through concrete details and sensory language.
  • The purpose of descriptive writing is to provide an engaging representation of the subject, aiding in forming understanding.
  • Through self-review, peer feedback and editing tools one can craft a polished essay that leaves a lasting impression on readers.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

Descriptive essays are more than just a simple narration or description of a subject. They aim to provide a detailed and vivid depiction of a subject using concrete details and figurative language, engaging the reader’s senses. Whether it’s describing a family member, a favorite food, or a memorable experience, the goal is to paint a picture so vivid that the reader feels as if they’re experiencing it firsthand. A good descriptive essay achieves this by striking the perfect balance between narration and sensory details.

To achieve this, writers must use vivid language and create a strong sense of imagery. They are.

Purpose of a Descriptive Essay

The primary objective of a descriptive essay is to create a clear and detailed picture of a subject, allowing the reader to visualize and understand it. It’s about immersing the reader into the world the writer has crafted, much like an argumentative essay, which seeks to convince readers of a particular viewpoint.

A descriptive essay, however, focuses on creating a sensory experience, engaging the reader on a deeper level with the subject, rather than just communicating facts.

Characteristics of Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing possesses certain key characteristics, which include organization, detail, sensory language, factual information, and the abstention of opinions. Organization is crucial as it helps the reader comprehend the essay and follow the writer’s line of reasoning.

Detail and sensory language bring the subject to life, creating a vivid image in the reader’s mind, while factual information and the absence of opinions ensure an accurate and unbiased portrayal of the subject.

Choosing Descriptive Essay Topics

The beauty of descriptive essays lies in the versatility of their subjects. From people and characters to places, objects, emotions, and experiences, there’s a whole world of topics waiting to be explored. When selecting a topic, consider aspects of your own experience, things that interest you, or subjects that hold personal significance.

The key is to choose a subject that you can describe in detail, allowing your reader to immerse themselves in the vivid world you create.

People and Characters

Descriptive essays about people and characters allow you to dive deep into the intricacies of their personalities, traits, and relationships. You can focus on family members, friends, teachers, or even fictional characters. When writing a personal essay about a person, consider aspects such as their physical appearance, personality, behavior, habits, and accomplishments.

This provides a comprehensive and engaging portrayal of the entire essay that will captivate your reader.

Places and Settings

Places and settings provide a rich canvas for descriptive essays. They can be real or fictional locations, such as hometowns, schools, or imaginary worlds. When describing a place, focus on its physical characteristics, cultural significance, or historical importance. This will create a multi-dimensional image that transports your reader to the location and enables them to experience it as if they were there themselves.

By focusing on the details of the place, you can create a vivid and engaging description.

Objects and Items

Descriptive essays about objects and items give you the opportunity to examine everyday items or objects with personal significance in a new light. From a cherished family heirloom to a simple household item, the possibilities are endless.

To create a vivid description, focus on sensory details such as texture, color, smell, taste, and sound. By exploring these aspects, you’ll breathe life into the object and make it come alive for your reader.

Emotions and Experiences

Emotions and experiences are a goldmine for descriptive essays. By delving into your own feelings and personal reflections, you can create an intimate and powerful portrayal of an emotion or experience. Consider topics such as love, fear, happiness, or sadness, as well as personal experiences, memories, and favorite things.

Through sensory details and reflection, you’ll create a palpable connection with your reader, allowing them to share in your emotional journey.

Crafting a Descriptive Essay Outline

An outline is an indispensable tool in crafting a descriptive essay. It helps organize your thoughts, create a smooth flow, and ensure that your essay is structured coherently. A typical descriptive essay outline consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

By following this structure, you’ll ensure that your essay flows seamlessly from one section to the next, making it easy for your reader to follow along and understand your message.

Introduction

A strong descriptive essay introduction, also known as an introductory paragraph, is essential for capturing your reader’s attention and setting the stage for your descriptive essay. It should be brief, engaging, and introduce the subject you’ll be describing. The introduction should also include a well-crafted thesis statement, which provides a succinct overview of the main arguments of your essay.

By starting with a compelling introduction, you’ll entice your reader to continue reading and immerse themselves in the world you’ve created.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your descriptive essay should focus on specific aspects of your subject, using vivid language and sensory details to create a rich and immersive experience for your reader. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that encapsulates the main idea of the paragraph and connects it to the overall thesis statement. By following the descriptive essay format, you can ensure a well-structured and engaging piece of writing, such as a five paragraph essay.

Remember to use transition words to guide your reader through your essay and maintain a logical flow. These words can help you to move from one idea to the next, and to connect the ideas.

In the conclusion of your descriptive essay, it’s important to restate your thesis statement and provide a brief reminder of the topics you’ve covered. This helps to reinforce your main points and bring your essay full circle.

Consider leaving your reader with something to ponder or a memorable phrase that encapsulates the essence of your essay. A strong conclusion will leave a lasting impression on your reader, ensuring that your descriptive essay is not soon forgotten.

Mastering Descriptive Language

The key to a captivating descriptive essay lies in the language you use. Mastering descriptive language involves harnessing the power of figurative language, sensory details, and strong word choices to create a memorable and vivid description. By employing these techniques, you’ll not only paint a vivid picture for your reader, but also evoke their emotions and engage their senses, creating a truly immersive experience.

Using figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, can help you to create a vivid visual.

Figurative Language

Figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, can add depth and creativity to your descriptive essay. These literary devices help convey unique perspectives and create memorable effects. For example, instead of simply describing a park as green and lush, you could use a metaphor to compare it to a paradise or a simile to liken it to an oasis.

By using figurative language, you’ll breathe new life into your descriptions and leave a lasting impression on your reader.

Sensory Details

Sensory details are the secret ingredient that makes your descriptive essay come alive. By appealing to your reader’s senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, you’ll create a vivid and immersive experience that goes beyond mere description. For example, instead of simply saying that a room is warm, you could describe the gentle caress of the sunlight on your skin, the soft hum of the air conditioner, and the faint scent of cinnamon in the air.

By incorporating sensory details, you’ll transport your reader into the world you’ve created.

Word Choice

The words you choose can make or break your descriptive essay. Precise and original words can help you avoid clichés and create a strong impression on your reader. Be mindful of your word choice, and consider using a thesaurus to find alternative words that better capture the essence of your subject.

By selecting the right words, you’ll not only create a vivid image in your reader’s mind, but also convey your unique perspective on the subject.

Reviewing and Revising Your Descriptive Essay

The final step in crafting a captivating descriptive essay is to review and revise your work. This process involves self-review, peer feedback, and the use of editing tools to ensure that your essay is polished and error-free.

By carefully reviewing your work and incorporating feedback, you’ll ensure that your descriptive essay is the best it can be, leaving your reader with a memorable and vivid experience.

Self-Review

Self-review is an essential part of the revision process. Start by taking a break from your essay to gain a fresh perspective. Then read your essay aloud, listening for awkward phrasing or unclear sections.

Ask yourself questions to ensure clarity and coherence, such as “Does the essay make sense?” and “Are there any areas that require additional clarification?” By critically evaluating your work, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement and make the necessary changes.

Peer Feedback

Peer feedback is another valuable resource in the revision process. Sharing your essay with classmates, friends, or family members can provide fresh insights and suggestions for improvement. Be open to constructive criticism and consider the feedback you receive before making any revisions.

Remember, the goal is to create the best possible version of your descriptive essay, and sometimes an outside perspective can help you see areas for improvement that you might have missed.

Editing Tools

Finally, consider using editing tools to help polish your descriptive essay. Programs like Grammarly can help you identify and correct grammatical errors and improve the overall quality of your writing.

By using editing tools, you can ensure that your essay is not only engaging and vivid, but also polished and professional.

Descriptive Essay Examples and Analysis

Analyzing descriptive essay examples can provide valuable insights into effective writing techniques and strategies. By examining the work of others, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to craft your own descriptive essay and learn new approaches that can help you bring your subject to life.

In this section, we’ll look at two different examples of descriptive essays and discuss the techniques used to create vivid and memorable descriptions.

Consider this descriptive essay example, which showcases classic approaches to descriptive writing: “The small, sunlit room was filled with the scent of freshly brewed coffee and the sound of soft jazz playing in the background. Every surface was covered in a layer of paint splatters, a testament to the artist’s dedication and passion.

The large canvas in the center of the room captured the essence of a summer day, with vibrant colors and bold brushstrokes. This example employs vivid sensory details and strong word choices to create an engaging and memorable description that transports the reader into the world of the artist.

In this second example, the writer takes a different approach to descriptive writing: “The city was a maze of towering skyscrapers, their reflections shimmering in the glassy surface of the river below. The buzz of traffic echoed through the canyon-like streets, while the aroma of street food vendors wafted through the air.

It was a place where dreams and realities collided, each vying for dominance in the ever-changing landscape.” Here, the writer uses figurative language and a more poetic style to convey the atmosphere and energy of the city, creating a vivid and captivating description that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i start a descriptive essay.

To start a descriptive essay, begin by describing an event, place, object, or person in the opening sentence to engage the reader’s attention. Then provide relevant information to support your description, compile pertinent information on the topic, and create an outline prior to writing body paragraphs and a conclusion summarizing the essay.

Lastly, look for ways to enliven your language to make it more vivid and compelling.

How can I write a good descriptive essay?

To write a good descriptive essay, focus on a specific topic and compile information to create an outline. Use vivid details, figurative language, precise language and thoughtful organization to make your writing come alive for the reader.

Include a hook sentence in the introduction, a clear thesis statement and make sure to end with a summarizing conclusion.

What is the format of a descriptive essay?

A descriptive essay is a written account of a particular experience, with a good thesis statement at the beginning of the introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

It is written in a coherent style using formal language.

What are the 4 components of descriptive writing?

Descriptive writing typically employs sensory detail, vivid imagery, figurative language, action-packed verbs, and an overall evocative tone to create an engaging narrative for readers.

This type of writing can help readers visualize the story and feel as if they are part of the action. It can also help to draw readers in and keep them engaged with the text.

What is the main goal of a descriptive essay?

The main goal of a descriptive essay is to provide the reader with a vivid and detailed picture of the subject, enabling them to visualize and understand it.

By using descriptive language and sensory details, the writer can create a vivid image in the reader’s mind. This can be done through the use of metaphors, similes, and other literary devices. Additionally, the writer should use vivid verbs.

In conclusion, writing a compelling descriptive essay requires a combination of organization, detail, sensory language, and strong word choice. By understanding the purpose and characteristics of descriptive writing, selecting engaging topics, crafting a well-structured outline, and mastering descriptive language, you’ll be well on your way to creating vivid and memorable essays that captivate your reader.

Remember to review and revise your work, taking advantage of peer feedback and editing tools to ensure a polished final product. With practice and dedication, you’ll soon be painting vivid pictures with words, transporting your readers to new worlds, and leaving a lasting impression.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

descriptive essay introduction paragraph

This could be something as simple as your favorite flavor of ice cream or as complicated as the politics of 13th century Vienna. Different than a simple description, a descriptive essay allows the writer to really show off both their imagination as well as their writing skills.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay is a type of academic writing that asks the writer to fully describe a place, person, situation, event, or thing. They can be simple or they can be very complex depending on the subject matter and audience written for. These types of essays train a writer’s ability to express themselves accurately as well as build compelling sentences and arguments.

Descriptive Essay Ideas

There is no exhaustive list of things that can be described, but these are some of the most common things you may be asked to write about. 

A Location - The goal of writing about a place is to make the reader feel as if they are there. Words, similes, and metaphors that ignite the reader’s imagination are essential. Try and immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of the place you are describing. Examples could be a city, a view, a particular building like your house, etc. 

A Time Period - Similar to writing about a location, the goal is to make the reader lose themselves in the time you are describing. This requires great research to be able to describe physical characteristics as authentically and as well as possible. This could include how you felt a year ago, an ancient time period, or the future.

An Event - The goal of describing an event is to explain a series of interesting circumstances. Typical storytelling elements like describing the plot, setting, and characters are useful, but make sure you focus on the chain of events.

An Emotion - The goal of describing an emotion is to make the reader feel the sentiments of the character you are describing. Metaphors and similes are very useful when trying to evoke an emotion in a reader along with physical descriptions that express the emotion. 

A Person - The goal of writing about a person is to make the reader understand something about that person. This includes physical descriptions of what they look like, what kind of clothing they wear, a sense of the physical presence along with their profession,  as well as how they behave. 

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Descriptive Essay Outline and Structure

Though a descriptive type of essay is quite different from a typical academic paper, it still follows a classic 5 paragraph format. Always follow any directions though, sometimes you may need more or fewer body paragraphs. This is a general structure you should keep in mind for this type of essay.

Introduction

  • Introduction/background information

Body Paragraphs

  • Topic Sentence
  • Sensory Information
  • Physical Descriptions
  • Transition Sentence
  • Summary of the main points
  • Restate the thesis

An outline is always a good idea for any kind of writing, but it is particularly useful for this type of essay because it collects your thoughts and makes sure your essay stays on track. 

Introduction 
  • Hook - The sting of salty water, the hypnotic crash of the waves, the breathtaking sunsets, the best vacation spot?
  • Background information - Everyone is different and everyone likes different types of things. When it comes to vacations though, there is a place that almost everyone enjoys.
  • Thesis - In my opinion, the beach is the best possible vacation spot because of the variety of ways one can enjoy it. 
Body Paragraph 1 
  • Topic Sentence - The beach has many kinds of natural beauty
  • Sensory information - The unlimited expanse of the ocean combined with glorious sunrises and sunsets.
  • Physical descriptions -The crunch of sand below your bare feet and the crash of waves on your body.
  • Transition sentence - There’s more than just natural beauty though, there are physical activities to enjoy as well 
Body Paragraph 2
  • Topic Sentence - The beach has unlimited activities for physical enjoyment.
  • Sensory information - The thrill of battling with the ocean, the joy of falling on the sand, the wind streaming through your hair, and the pleasant tingling of the sun on bare skin.
  • Physical descriptions - Water sports like surfing, jet skiing, and the like allow you to exercise in one of the most fun ways possible. Not to mention sports like frisbee, volleyball, beach soccer, and more.
  • Transition sentence - If you just want to relax, the beach is perfect for that too!
Body Paragraph 3
  • Topic Sentence - The beach is ideal just to relax, destress, and take it easy. 
  • Sensory information - To relax as you are massaged by either human hands or the sun is a pleasure. Lazing around might be frowned upon, but the beach is the ideal place to spend some time taking care of yourself and letting the stresses of the world melt away.
  • Physical description - Whether it’s reading a book, or enjoying a refreshing beverage with umbrellas in it, you can get taken care of on the beach. Building sandcastles, painting, and meditating are other activities easily and freely enjoyed. 
  • Transition sentence - The beach has so much to offer.
  • Summary of the main points - Whether it’s nature, physical exercise, or simple relaxation, the beach can offer all of that and more. 
  • Restate the thesis - That’s the main reason that a beach is the ideal vacation spot, it allows for diverse ways of having fun. 
  • Closing statement/Clincher - Think about the last time you went to the beach, don’t you want to go again?

What is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

It should leave the reader with a clear idea of the topic of the essay. The goal is to explain things in a comprehensive and interesting way so that the information stays with the reader. Let’s go into the details of how to accomplish this. 

Did you like our inspiring Descriptive Essay Guide?

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Writing Process & Descriptive Essay Examples

It may seem challenging to write a successful essay of this type, but if you follow the advice below, it will be a breeze. 

How to Start a Descriptive Essay

Making sure you choose the right topic is the first hurdle to cross. A topic for a descriptive essay is vital because it is the main subject you will be writing about. Spend at least 20 minutes brainstorming different topic ideas and make sure you choose a topic that you know well.

Next, create an outline to better structure your thoughts and figure out the pieces of information you need to find out more about. The more time you spend creating a well-researched outline, the better your endpaper is going to be, and you’ll end up spending less time on actually writing the paper. Now you can move on the writing the descriptive essay introduction.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay Thesis

A thesis statement is the main argument you are trying to make in your paper. It is the main point you are trying to describe. A good thesis statement for descriptive essay is particular without being too brief. It should include not only just what the topic is, but also mention why the topic is important.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

You can have as many body paragraphs as you think are necessary to achieve the goal of describing something clearly. This means you could have just one body paragraph, the standard three, or more. 

Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that explains what the main purpose of the paragraph is. Next fill in sensory details, describing the emotions before moving on to describing the actual physical details. End each body paragraph with a transition sentence that helps each paragraph flow into the other. Not only does this make your writing stronger, but it also helps you create an immersive experience.

How to Write the Conclusion 

Summarize the main points of your essay and make sure that you reiterate the thesis statement. This reminds people of the point of your essay and ensures that when writing, you don’t stray too far from the point. 

Descriptive Essay Format 

There are 3 main formats of citation types for essays. Though the most common one is MLA, it is possible that you may have to use APA or Chicago Style citations. 

MLA stands for Modern Language Association and is used primarily for the arts and humanities.  MLA uses in-text parenthetical citation in the format of (Author, Page). The page at the end that contains all the sources is called the Works Cited page. The format of these entries is unique to MLA but is easy to make with a citation generator. 

APA stands for American Psychological Association and is used mostly for the sciences and social sciences. APA uses in-text parenthetical citations in the format (Author, Date). The page at the end that contains all the sources is called the References section

Chicago Style is used primarily for Business, History, and the Fine Arts. In-text citation can be either as footnotes or parenthetical citation in the format (Author, Date). The page at the end that contains all the sources is called the Bibliography. 

Most descriptive essays will follow the MLA style of citation, but if you need any more help, find a guide on Studyfy.com for more information about citation styles in general. 

Descriptive Essay Topics

The topic is crucial, because all the research you do, and the entire paper, will specifically be about describing the topic. Here are some descriptive essay prompts to inspire you!

The person you’ve most admired in your life
A movie scene that made you feel strong emotions
The time period you would travel to if you had a time machine
Why a beach is better than the mountains for a vacation (or vice versa)
The taste of a drink when you are incredibly tired
An author that inspired you 
Your favorite cuisine
The best place in the world to be by yourself
The best Christmas morning you’ve ever had
An accent that you really enjoy 
A time when you wanted something so much it burned
Describe the day in the life of your favorite celebrity 
The joy of escaping into a video game
What dancing means to you 
A life philosophy you believe in 
The feeling of holding a baby in our arms
The sound of crashing waves
Standing in front of a gorgeous view
A vacation that was meaningful 
Why fireworks are magical 
The first time you cosplayed 
How it feels to listen to music that you hate 
The best thing you have ever eaten in your life
What would it be like to live 100 years in the future
Why hearing people laugh is beautiful 
A day in the life of your favorite animal 
A strange superstition you believe in
The strangest person you’ve ever met
Your favorite tv show 
Playing your favorite sport 
What it’s like to be in love

Descriptive Essay Tips

Before we end, let’s go over some of the key points of information in this article.

  • Use figurative language including metaphors and similes 
  • Use your senses
  • Choose appropriate words
  • Show don't tell 
  • Focus on specific details
  • Spend time choosing the right topic
  • Create a detailed outline
  • Forget about the purpose of the essay
  • Submit your first draft
  • Make it too complicated
  • Ignore your audience 
  • Ignore any directions

In addition to the information provided in this article, there are various resources available to help with your writing needs. If you are struggling to write your descriptive essay, you can turn to professional writers and editors for assistance. You may consider hiring a research paper writing service or seeking help from dissertation writers .

Additionally, if you need someone to " write my admission essay ", there are various options available. You can hire a writer for a custom writing service or seek help from online tutors and teachers. Furthermore, if you need to write a strong admission essay, there are services available that specialize in providing guidance and assistance with this type of writing.

It is important to note that before submitting any work, it should be proofread and edited thoroughly to ensure its quality. Studyfy offers a range of services to help with this, including professional proofreaders and editors who can check your work for grammatical errors and ensure that it meets academic standards.

In summary, there are various resources available to help with your writing needs, including professional writing services, proofreaders, and editors. By utilizing these resources and following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can write a successful descriptive essay that effectively conveys your ideas and engages your readers.If you are looking for the query " I need someone to write an essay for me ", Studyfy has got you covered

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Descriptive Essay

Descriptive Essay Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

How To Write An Impactful Descriptive Essay?

By: Cathy A.

12 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Dec 17, 2019

Descriptive Essay

Wondering how to write an impressive descriptive essay? Writing a descriptive essay is both fun and challenging. You need to describe the main topic in detail and by engaging the five senses of the readers.

Students usually get this type of essay in high school and college. Writing a descriptive essay is different from other essays.

You need to focus on describing a certain person, place, or event.

Luckily for you, the following blog post will provide some helpful tips on how to create an engaging essay.

Continue reading to learn how to write an A-worthy descriptive essay.

Descriptive Essay

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What is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay is a detailed paper that describes a place, person, situation, object, or emotion. Different people have different points of view and your job is to explain yours in detail.

You may be asked to write a descriptive essay about the beach or forest or about a person or situation. The purpose of this essay is to test the writer’s ability in expressing and explaining their experiences.

Descriptive writing should create a picture in the reader’s mind. You may be required to write a descriptive essay as a high school or college essay assignment.

For a compelling essay, using adjectives and adverbs, details, and figurative language is fundamental. Without proper usage of words, you will not be able to invoke the readers' emotions.

What is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

The purpose of a descriptive essay is to describe a person, place, or personal experience in vivid detail so that the reader can create a picture in his mind.

The descriptive essay is written to get the reader to understand by using descriptive language. It is different from narrative essays, where the writer tells the story about someone else. Usually, it starts with a real-life event and then the content follows the author's imagination.

Descriptive essays are not intended to persuade the reader or show facts and figures to prove something. Descriptive essays are like word paintings that contain personal and descriptive details and these are mostly assigned to students of creative writing.

How to Start a Descriptive Essay

A strong start for your descriptive essay is essential. Analyze your topic from every angle and document the following details:

Analyze the main subjects in detail and observe minute things.

  • Start with observing all the possible aspects of the subject.
  • Don't just observe the object but also its surroundings.
  • Focus on details and features of the subject and develop opinions about them.
  • Be thoughtful; this first step will be the basis for the essay.

Physical Settings

Describing the physical settings is a must in a descriptive essay. When describing, keep the following points in mind.

  • Focus on the subject's position and observe nearby objects
  • Note the time of day and kind of lighting: natural or imitated
  • Physical settings: all the basic and decorative elements
  • The position and shape of the objects
  • Alignment and any other observable information

Physical Features

When describing the physical features of the subject, living or nonliving, consider the following points.

  • Living or nonliving; describe the features in detail
  • The subject's skin color, texture, smoothness, expression, and age
  • The features of inanimate objects in the picture, color, surface, and texture

Create Drama

Storytelling and drama are the life and blood of a good descriptive essay. It turns your essay into an exciting and interesting piece of writing. However, be subtle about adding drama to your sentence structure and add it to complement your story only.

Focus On Your Feelings

Focus on how you feel about the particular topic or person and stick to it. It is easy to get involved when working on the essay. But, focus on your own feelings and write an essay based on them.

Use Of Specific Vocabulary

Vocabulary is important. Select the best words for describing an action or object. Don't always use the first word that comes to mind.

Write slowly and thoughtfully, and use specific words to convey your thoughts.

Psychological Aspects

Writing about a certain situation or behavior of a person focuses on the mental aspects and emotions involved in them.

For Example, describe your emotions when your friend misplaced your notes right before the exam.

You may have had several emotions in that incident. Maybe you were prepared for exams, but this situation put you under pressure and made you feel frustrated and hurt.

Explore those emotions and describe the feelings they aroused. Describe the body language also, if relevant.

Ask Yourself, WHY?

This is the most valuable tip for students. When you are looking at a particular subject, and having difficulty analyzing its aspects, ask yourself "WHY".

  • Why is the subject the way it is?
  • Why does the person you are describing have such a deep-set and cold eyes?
  • Why is the animal so wounded and terrified?
  • Why is this particular place famous?

It is a good practice and after some time you will do it naturally. Knowing the why is important if you want to describe your topic properly.

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How To Write A Descriptive Essay?

When you write a descriptive essay, you help your readers visualize an event, a person, or a story. It is written to make your readers feel what you feel about the respective subject.

A descriptive essay seeks to appeal to some or all of the audience’s five senses. Some key things to consider are:

  • Discussing your subject thoroughly
  • Focusing on details and adding them in your essay
  • Sharing your personal feelings and experience about the subject
  • Observing and describing all sensory details of your subject

Here are the steps to write a descriptive essay easily.

1- Choose an Engaging and Focused Essay Topic

An important step that all strong descriptive essays share is having a focused topic. Before you make the outline, identify the purpose of your essay and use it to create an appropriate thesis statement.This type of paper does not require much personal opinion from you. Its main goal should be focusing on information that will make a dominant impression in readers' minds instead.

2- Research and Gather Important Details

When writing a descriptive essay, it is important to make sure you include as many details and sensory information as possible. This helps your reader fully understand the images that are being presented in their mind's eye.You can organize these ideas into categories so they're easy for you to access when needed.

3- Create an Outline of Your Essay

Your essays must be organized by having subheadings that are clear and concise. Group your main points into individual body paragraphs, each of which should only cover one idea or topic at a time.

4- Write your Essay’s Introduction

A good introductory paragraph is much like a road map because it provides direction to your readers.

It provides relevant background information before diving into more specific details related to how something works or why something happens. These could include statistics or stories from real-life scenarios.

5- Write the Main Body Section of Your Essay

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that keeps the reader hooked on what you are saying. Use specific details instead of making generalized statements, and make sure to give examples if necessary.

6- End with a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion of an essay is the final paragraph, and it should summarize all that you have said throughout. It's a good idea to restate the main points and key details from the essay in this section.

It is important so the reader has everything they need for better understanding before ending off on something new.

If necessary be sure not to introduce anything odd or unusual, to avoid any confusion.

7- Proofread and Revise the Essay Carefully

Once you are done writing the essay, proofread and revise it carefully. Make sure that it is free from all kinds of errors.

Descriptive Essay Outline

Like all the other essays, a descriptive essay also follows the usual 5-paragraph essay structure and format.Before starting, it is important to create an outline. Following are the fundamental elements of your descriptive essay outline:

Descriptive Essay Introduction

The introduction sets the footing for the entire essay. Before heading towards the body section, the reader will come across the introduction.

It is the first impression of your work. It is very important to write an engaging introduction so that the readers read the essay till the end.

Start the essay in an easy-to-understand way and language. Provide background information on your topic so they can understand it and its importance.

To make sure the reader feels your emotions and decides to continue reading further, incorporate the following points in your introduction.

The following tips will guide you on how to write a good introduction for a descriptive essay.

  • Attract the reader's attention with an interesting fact, phrase, or quote
  • Don't bombard them with information
  • Go straight to the main pointsInclude enough information to introduce the topic and its significance.
  • Summarize the argument and the main topic and craft your thesis statement

Descriptive Essay Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is an integral part of your essay. It focuses on the argument and the writer’s main idea, which is to be discussed in the essay.

This statement also provides the writer with a chance of explaining the purpose and scope of the topic. It is intriguing and engaging.

A thesis statement is written at the end of the introduction, it is mainly a single sentence that describes the essay objective. The thesis statement should act as a guide to the reader on what to expect in the essay body. It is like a table of contents of a book, to the reader on contents you will get an idea of what the book is all about so you get to understand it better.

It is like a table of contents of a book. By reading it, you will get an idea of what the book is all about.

A good thesis should contain the following things:

  • Define the essay scope - it should narrow down all the points to clarify its purpose.
  • Avoid using common words - you should be creative with your choice of words.
  • Create suspense - it should attract the reader to the body paragraphs of the essay.

For further information on how to write a thesis for a descriptive essay, check out the following examples.

  • Descriptive essay example about a Place

“Even though monarchy is long gone, Buckingham Palace is here to remind us of the aesthetic beauty of that era.”

  • Descriptive essay example about a Person

“One of the characteristics of Spider-Man is his youthfulness, and the fact that he talks to himself more than Hamlet.”

  • Descriptive essay example about an Emotion

“For numerous reasons, the dark forest is my greatest fear, though not a fear which is necessarily smart to face.”

Descriptive Essay Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs of the essay come next after the introduction and thesis statement. It is the main part that continues your essay.

Usually, an essay consists of three body paragraphs but you can add more if needed.

Don't add more than one central idea in one paragraph. Fusing different ideas will confuse the reader.

Build your paragraphs according to the thesis and introduction.

  • Start each body paragraph with the main sentence
  • Use transitions to move between paragraphs smoothly
  • Each paragraph should be five to six sentences long

Descriptive Essay Conclusion

The concluding paragraph is the last part of an essay, and probably your last chance to impress your reader.

The last part that the reader can keep in mind is the conclusion, which is as important as the rest of the essay.

To make it interesting and thought-provoking, include the following points:

  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Summarize the main points
  • Add an intriguing closing statement

After writing the conclusion, make a review of your essay, identify the mistakes and maintain a good tone throughout the essay.

Descriptive Essay Format Sample

Here is the descriptive essay format to help you understand how you can write a winning descriptive essay.

DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY FORMAT (PDF)

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Descriptive Essay Topics Ideas

Descriptive essay topics are often related to physical settings, locations, living beings, and objects.

Make sure that your essay includes the five senses, touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, or at least one of them. It depends on the topic and the kind of feeling that you want to arouse.

Below are some descriptive essay ideas and ways to achieve them.

Living Beings

When you want to write about a person like a family member, consider the following elements:

  • Gender, age, complexion, and expressions
  • Physical features
  • Height, body type, and approximate weight
  • Kind of clothes

These details will add depth to the description and your readers will actually see your narrative.

When animals are the subject, you can add the above points plus the following details:

  • Species and animal
  • Size, weight, color
  • Behavior patterns
  • Temperament
  • Trained or wild?
  • Real or fictional?

Inanimate Subjects

Geographic locations and structures.

When your subject is a place or a building, add the following points:

  • Research about the place and its historical background
  • The color and the building's type
  • A famous place or landmark to draw a comparison and inspire interest

Human behavior and psychology is a compelling descriptive essay subject. When writing about it:

  • Describe the consequences of a particular behavior
  • Discuss the emotional dimension of the topic and how you perceive it personally

Event Or Travel Experience

A travel experience makes a good descriptive essay since you have experienced the event first hand.

Give a detailed description of the place, people at the venue, and the atmosphere of the location.

Idea, Concept, or Occupation

When writing on such topics, focus on how an idea or concept affects society and its different aspects.

Example Descriptive Essay Topics for Students

Choosing a topic for your descriptive essay is quite interesting. You get to choose something that you have an emotional connection with.

When writing a descriptive essay about a person or place, adding their personal traits will be helpful.

Some examples of descriptive essay topics include:

  • Compose a detailed descriptive essay about your best friend.
  • Describe a fancy place that you have created.
  • Describe your dream vacation destination.
  • Describe your favorite mall or store.
  • Describe your childhood home.
  • Descriptive essay about nature.
  • Descriptive essay about a place you visited.
  • Describe the personality of your Maths teacher.
  • Discuss the main characters of your favorite movie.
  • Descriptive essay about chocolate.
  • Write an essay using unique Words to describe yourself.
  • What makes me unique?
  • My first love.

Descriptive Essay Examples

Study these descriptive essay examples and sample papers to understand the main idea, structure, and purpose of descriptive essays.

DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY ON MARKET (PDF)

DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY EXAMPLE PERSON (PDF)

To help you understand how to write a great descriptive essay, we have a whole blog post dedicated to it. We know that talking about something is one thing and demonstrating it is completely different.

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5StarEssays.com academic writing professionals are ready to help you. They read the essay details before writing and make sure that they incorporate all the details in it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the features of a descriptive essay.

A descriptive essay provides a perfect opportunity for writers to express their feelings on any subject. Descriptive writing has rich sensory details which appeal to all of your senses.

How do you start a descriptive essay introduction?

The introduction to the descriptive essay should set the scene and introduce the main topic. You can use these sensory details to get a sense of what the essay is all about.

What are the two types of descriptive essays?

There are two types of descriptive essays. The first type deals with people, and the second one is about objects.

What are the elements of a descriptive essay?

Here are the key elements of a descriptive essay.

  • Sensory details
  • Figurative language
  • Central and main theme
  • Precise and clear language
  • Proper organization of ideas

What makes good descriptive writing?

Good and effective descriptive writing consists of vivid sensory details that appeal to all senses including the sense of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Moreover, these essays also explain people’s feelings in writing.

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How to Start a Descriptive Essay

Last Updated: May 14, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 113,519 times.

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Brainstorming Topics for the Essay

Step 1 Choose a person to describe.

  • If you are writing the descriptive essay for a college application, you may choose a person who is a role model or a mentor to you. Describing this person in the essay will give you the chance to discuss why this person is important to you and the lessons you have learned from this person.

Step 2 Describe an object.

  • For example, you may choose your favorite childhood toy as the topic for the essay. You could then describe the toy and what it meant to you growing up.

Step 3 Select a place to describe.

  • For example, you may choose the most beautiful place you have ever been to. You can then describe the experience of the place and how it made you feel.

Step 4 Pick an event or memory to describe.

  • For example, you may choose the first time you got your period or the first time you visited a relative in the hospital.

Outlining the Essay

Step 1 Go for a chronological pattern.

  • Paragraph 1: Introduction
  • Paragraph 2: Scene 1
  • Paragraph 3: Scene 2
  • Paragraph 4: Scene 3
  • Paragraph 5: Conclusion
  • You can use five paragraphs for this outline or have more than one paragraph for each scene.

Step 2 Use a spatial pattern.

  • Paragraph 2: Location 1
  • Paragraph 3: Location 2
  • Paragraph 4: Location 3

Step 3 Try a climatic pattern.

  • Paragraph 2: Least important point or detail
  • Paragraph 3: Second least important point or detail
  • Paragraph 4: Key point or detail

Step 4 Create a thesis...

  • For example, if you are writing about a person who is your role model in the essay, your thesis statement may be, “Based on her actions that day in my 6th grade classroom, she taught me how to rise above negativity and be confident in my abilities as an artist.”

Creating a Strong Opening for the Essay

Step 1 Begin with a hook first line.

  • For example, you may describe the first time you held an important object, “The first time I held the All American Girl doll in my hands, with its porcelain skin and glassy blue eyes, I swore to protect it with my life.”

Step 2 Provide context and background.

  • For example, you may briefly explain why the object was so significant to you based on your experience or knowledge at the time. You may write, “Up to this point, I had never owned a doll before and while other little girls waved around their dolls in the playground, I had to wait until my fifth birthday to get my own.”

Step 3 Use sensory details.

  • For example, rather than write “The doll was pretty,” you may write with sensory detail. “The doll felt soft and cold in my hands. It smelled like flowers and baby powder. It sounded hollow when I pressed it to my chest.”

Step 4 Show, rather than tell.

  • For example, you may describe how it feels to be in your childhood home by writing, “The best memories in my childhood home appear on the walls, dents, scratches, and markings made by my siblings and I when we wrestled or ran around inside.”
  • If you are writing about a person, use examples of their behavior to show the reader their character, rather than simply tell the reader what to think.
  • For example, you may write, “Mrs. Sands showed me compassion by always taking the time to work with me after class. I would sit on the small wooden chair by her desk, pencil in hand, while she explained how to conjugate a verb. 'To be,' she said, her voice patient but firm.”

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  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://essaypro.com/blog/descriptive-essay/
  • ↑ https://www.collegeessay.org/blog/descriptive-essay-writing/descriptive-essay-outline
  • ↑ http://www.scoolwork.com/EssayWritingGuide/how_to_write_a_descriptive_essay_on_any_topic.aspx
  • ↑ http://www.grammarcheck.net/how-to-write-a-descriptive-essay/
  • ↑ https://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/descriptive_essay.html

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What is a descriptive essay?

The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe something—object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal of which is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader).

One might benefit from keeping in mind this simple maxim: If the reader is unable to clearly form an impression of the thing that you are describing, try, try again!

Here are some guidelines for writing a descriptive essay.

  • Take time to brainstorm

If your instructor asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you jot down some ideas before you begin describing it. For instance, if you choose pizza, you might start by writing down a few words: sauce, cheese, crust, pepperoni, sausage, spices, hot, melted, etc. Once you have written down some words, you can begin by compiling descriptive lists for each one.

  • Use clear and concise language.

This means that words are chosen carefully, particularly for their relevancy in relation to that which you are intending to describe.

  • Choose vivid language.

Why use horse when you can choose stallion ? Why not use tempestuous instead of violent ? Or why not miserly in place of cheap ? Such choices form a firmer image in the mind of the reader and often times offer nuanced meanings that serve better one’s purpose.

  • Use your senses!

Remember, if you are describing something, you need to be appealing to the senses of the reader. Explain how the thing smelled, felt, sounded, tasted, or looked. Embellish the moment with senses.

  • What were you thinking?!

If you can describe emotions or feelings related to your topic, you will connect with the reader on a deeper level. Many have felt crushing loss in their lives, or ecstatic joy, or mild complacency. Tap into this emotional reservoir in order to achieve your full descriptive potential.

  • Leave the reader with a clear impression.

One of your goals is to evoke a strong sense of familiarity and appreciation in the reader. If your reader can walk away from the essay craving the very pizza you just described, you are on your way to writing effective descriptive essays.

  • Be organized!

It is easy to fall into an incoherent rambling of emotions and senses when writing a descriptive essay. However, you must strive to present an organized and logical description if the reader is to come away from the essay with a cogent sense of what it is you are attempting to describe.

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Humanities LibreTexts

3.5: Descriptive Essays

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  • Page ID 107758

  • Kathryn Crowther et al.
  • Georgia Perimeter College via GALILEO Open Learning Materials

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Writing a Description Essay

Choosing a subject is the first step in writing a description essay. Once you have chosen the person, place, or object you want to describe, your challenge is to write an effective thesis statement to guide your essay. The remainder of your essay describes your subject in a way that best expresses your thesis. Remember, you should have a strong sense of how you will organize your essay. Choose a strategy and stick to it. Every part of your essay should use vivid sensory details. The more you can appeal to your readers’ senses, the more they will be engaged in your essay. You can read two sample essays at the end of this section.

Sample Thesis Statement

Although Minnesota may seem drab and cold to outsiders, natives of the state find it a wonderful place to live.

We can see in this thesis statement that the writer will attempt to show the aspects of Minnesota that make it a great place to live. After detailing a thesis statement, you should come up with a list of sensory words that provide vivid detail and support the thesis. You may start by thinking about the five senses. How does your particular place look, smell, feel, taste, and sound like? How can you best describe these senses so the reader feels what you feel? By organizing the elements of descriptive language into easier to handle sections, like the five senses, you are able to more specifically engage in what elements of the description are most useful.

Order of Presentation

The writer in this case could choose to present the positive aspects of Minnesota in terms of the seasons and weather changes. The details could be presented linearly, starting with spring and going through the winter, highlighting the aspects of each season that most closely support the thesis, that Minnesota is a great place to live.

Prior to starting the essay, give some thought to the audience of your piece. Who is going to read the essay, and what effect would you like it to have upon the readers? An awareness of audience is important in choosing the level of formality you take with your writing. Knowing your audience will also help you distinguish which details to include throughout your essay. Assume that your audience knows very little or nothing about your subject matter, and include details that may seem obvious to you.

Example Audience: In this particular essay, the writer wants to show an outsider to the state why Minnesota natives are so happy to live there. The essay should help break down stereotypes for those outsiders about Minnesota’s cold weather and apparent drabness. Because the essay is designed for those who do not live in Minnesota, and maybe have never been there, it is important to include details about the state that may seem obvious to a native.

With the preparatory work complete, it is time now to begin writing your essay. Use your thesis statement to begin to construct an introductory paragraph. The introduction should set up the basis for your essay, and the thesis statement should state its purpose.

Example Introduction

Many who have not traveled to the state of Minnesota only hear of its cold weather and boring reputation. They are sure missing out on the great opportunities that Minnesota affords. Each season offers different senses that native Minnesotans and tourists know and love. Although Minnesota may seem drab and cold to outsiders, natives of the state find it a wonderful place to live.

With the introduction complete, it is time to start constructing the body paragraphs of your essay. Each body paragraph should have a central theme in itself, and that theme should be represented in a topic sentence. Consequently, each sentence of the paragraph should relate to and support the topic sentence. The body paragraphs are where the majority of the details should be given. When writing the first draft of your descriptive essay, include as many details as is reasonably possible. You can always eliminate the ones that do not serve the essay as well when you are revising your draft. In the case of the Minnesota nature essay, we have decided to set up the body paragraphs in terms of season, starting with spring.

Example Body Paragraph

Spring in Minnesota brings new life to the state after the long winter season. The rain washes the landscape clean, leaving its fresh aroma for all to enjoy. The flowers soak up the golden sun’s rays and begin to show their vibrant colors. The first birds can be seen and heard throughout the woods and fields, telling their stories in beautiful songs. The lakes begin to show their glossy finish as the ice melts away slowly under the heat of the season.

With the body paragraphs complete, it is time to bring the essay to a close with the conclusion. The conclusion should draw a conclusion based on what has been presented throughout the body of the essay. It needs to return to the thesis, but not in an overt way. The conclusion should give the reader a final sense of what the essay was meant to portray. Remember that there should not be any new material introduced in the conclusion, and the way it is worded should give the reader a sense of finality.

Example Conclusion

The variety of activities and distinct seasons found in Minnesota reveal diverse beauty of this state. As one considers the benefits of each season, it becomes clearer why so many native Minnesotans are content with their home state. Minnesota is truly a wonderful place to live.

With the essay complete, it is time to reread and revise your essay (also see revision sections of this textbook). Read your first draft and pinpoint all of the descriptor words you used. If possible, go back and add more after the ones you already used in the essay. If you can, read your essay aloud to a friend and have him/her tell you what images are vivid and what images need more development. Rework any images that are cloudy with more descriptions. Also, check to see if your descriptions have made use of all of the five senses: sound, smell, texture, sight, and taste. Repeat these steps as many times as necessary until you are happy with your product.

Sample Descriptive Essays

America's Pastime

As the sun hits my face and I breathe in the fresh air, I temporarily forget that I am at a sporting event. But, when I open my eyes and look around, I am reminded of all things American. From the national anthem to the international players on the field, all the sights and sounds of a baseball game come together like a slice of Americana pie.

First, the entrance turnstiles click and clank, and then a hallway of noise bombards me. All the fans’ voices coalesce in a chorus of sound, rising to a humming clamor. The occasional, “Programs, get your programs, here!” jumps out through the hum to get my attention. I navigate my way through the crowded walkways of the stadium, moving to the right of some people, and to the left of others, I eventually find the section number where my seat is located. As I approach my seat I hear the announcer’s voice echo around the ball park, “Attention fans. In honor of our country, please remove your caps for the singing of the national anthem.” His deep voice echoes around each angle of the park, and every word is heard again and again. The crowd sings and hums “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and I feel a surprising amount of national pride through the voices. I take my seat as the umpire shouts, “Play ball!” and the game begins.

In the fifth inning of the game, I decide to find a concessions stand. Few tastes are as American as hot dogs and soda pop, and they cannot be missed at a ball game. The smell of hot dogs carries through the park, down every aisle, and inside every concourse. They are always as unhealthy as possible, dripping in grease, while the buns are soft and always too small for the dog. The best way to wash down the Ball Park Frank is with a large soda pop, so I order both. Doing my best to balance the cold pop in one hand and the wrapped-up dog in the other, I find the nearest condiments stand to load up my hot dog. A dollop of bright green relish and chopped onions, along with two squirts of the ketchup and mustard complete the dog. As I continue the balancing act between the loaded hot dog and pop back to my seat, a cheering fan bumps into my pop hand. The pop splashes out of the cup and all over my shirt, leaving me drenched. I make direct eye contact with the man who bumped into me. He looks me in the eye, looks at my shirt, and tells me how sorry he is. I just shake my head and keep walking. “It’s all just part of the experience,” I tell myself.

Before I am able to get back to my seat, I hear the crack of a bat, followed by an uproar from the crowd. Everyone is standing, clapping, and cheering. I missed a home run. I find my aisle and ask everyone to excuse me as I slip past them to my seat. “Excuse me. Excuse me. Thank you. Thank you. Sorry,” is all I can say as I inch past each fan. Halfway to my seat I can hear discarded peanut shells crunch beneath my feet, and each step is marked with a pronounced crunch.

When I finally get to my seat I realize it is the start of the seventh inning stretch. I quickly eat my hot dog and wash it down with what is left of my soda pop. The organ starts playing and everyone begins to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” While singing the song, putting my arms around friends and family with me, I watch all the players taking the field. It is wonderful to see the overwhelming number of players on one team from around the world: Japan, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Canada, and Venezuela. I cannot help but feel a bit of national pride at this realization. Seeing the international representation on the field reminds me of the ways that Americans, though from many different backgrounds and places, still come together under common ideals. For these reasons and for the whole experience in general, going to a Major League Baseball game is the perfect way to glimpse a slice of Americana.

Student Essay

In the following student essay, notice how the writer uses sensory details to describe not only the visual appearance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tomb, but also the experience of visiting such a historically significant and emotionally moving monument. Pay particular attention to the organization of the description; how does the author move us around the monument and describe its characteristics? Is it effective?

Professor Smith

English 1101

11 June 2014

The King’s Tomb

The water is always so beautiful, a hypnotic shade of baby blue, with a few autumn colored leaves floating in the ripples made by the wind. This isn’t a natural body of water. No wildlife swim in the shallow waves, but this water is as full of life as any ocean. In the middle of what is fittingly called the Reflecting Pool lies the closest thing African Americans have ever had to royalty. Here lie the remains of Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King.

Nestled between the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church is a beautiful white marble monument, warmly bathed in the lights circling the tomb of our late civil rights leaders. Following Dr. King’s assassination in April 1968, he was first interred at South View Cemetery, a final resting place largely reserved for African Americans during that period. It took nearly a decade before he was exhumed and placed in the beautiful ivory stone structure that he now shares with his beloved wife Coretta. The tomb, erected in 1977, sits within the south end of the Reflecting Pool. Seemingly suspended on the bright blue water, the tomb displays scriptures that only capture a small portion of the legacy left by these great leaders. Engraved on Dr. King’s portion reads, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last!” from his pivotal “I Have a Dream” speech given during the March on Washington in 1963. I can’t help but attempt to recite the mantra in my head with the same bravado and conviction as Dr. King had when he gave the speech over fifty years ago. While the saying is a beautiful incantation, fit for a King, the cost at which that freedom was attained is still heartbreaking.

In a scene reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, who passed away in January 2006 after a prolonged illness, lies next to her slain husband. For a short period following her death Mrs. King was interred in a smaller yet equally beautiful tomb directly across from her late husband. Spectacular floral arrangements surrounded her tomb as scores of mourners came from afar to pay their respects to the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement. In November 2006, she was laid to rest in a beautiful new tomb aside her husband. The words “And now abide Faith, Hope, Love, These Three, but the greatest of these is Love,” emblazon her final resting place. No truer instance could describe her legacy.

Auburn Avenue, shrouded in darkness, is void of people aside from the few vagrants that aimlessly roam the streets. Heat from the Eternal Flame warms my back as I stare off into space. The brilliant glow of the LED lights strategically placed around the tomb and the amber flicker of the Eternal Flame are the only lights that seem to suit this moment. Kneeling as if I’m preparing to pray, I take a moment to reflect. Through my clenched eyes I can hear the soft splashes of the water, the gas fueled roar of the Eternal Flame. The ambient noise of car horns, traffic and construction fade to nearly a whisper. I envision the March on Washington. I can feel the sting of water hoses pelting my black skin. I can hear the sharp sonics of police dogs barking. The feeling is overwhelming. My eyelashes clump together from the tears winning their battle against my eyelids. Nearby is a place of worship, a place where anyone can still feel the spirit of past congregations, a place where the walls hold almost as much history as any Smithsonian exhibit.

Just a few feet away sits the original Ebenezer Baptist Church, a beautiful, rustic old building left largely intact from the days of Atlanta’s past. Walking inside is like stepping into a time warp, instantly sending you to the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. With the exception of a few strategically placed speakers, the church is left in its pure form. Dr. King’s voice echoes through wooden pews playing his famous “Drum Major” speech, given during his final sermon at Ebenezer on February 4, 1968. With closed eyes, I have difficulty telling what era I am in. Given with almost Machiavellian prediction and passion, ten minutes engulfed with his powerful words makes me feel as though I’ve been baptized, born again.

Surrounded with reminders of our history’s darkest time, this place brings me peace. There’s an aura in this place. A powerful spirit that infiltrates my conscience with thoughts of struggle, loss and freedom. The reality of this place forces my mind to reevaluate my own mortality. Even with the knowledge of how Dr. King was vilified, degraded, and executed, his death serves as a shining beacon of light. A lone ray of sun through the seemingly endless cloud of racism and intolerance. Coretta’s grace, beauty and resilience in the face of unspeakable tragedy and injustice is incomparable. Her social work and philanthropy should be an influence to women of all walks of life.

The legacy that Dr. and Mrs. King leave behind is an unfulfilled one. Equality in America has improved since Dr. King’s assassination but his dream is still unrealized. There is turmoil within the King family regarding funding and management of the King Memorial, leaving the future of this serene place uncertain. Engraved on the Stone of Hope, a newly completed Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., reads, “Out of the Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope.” Although we still have a mountain to climb, The King’s Tomb is surely my Stone of Hope.

External Links

Checklist of Things to Consider ( https://tinyurl.com/y7zegezs ) when writing a description.

Susan Berne visits New York and describes her impressions in " Where Nothing Says Everything " ( https://tinyurl.com/yboc9m9s ), also called "Ground Zero." Another link to the story is here ( https://tinyurl.com/y99fchlw ).

Contributors and Attributions

Adapted from  Successful College Composition (Crowther et al.) . Sourced from  LibreTexts , licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA  .

Adapted from  Let's Get Writing (Browning, DeVries, Boylan, Kurtz and Burton) . Sourced from  LibreTexts , licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA  .

  • If you are writing in a new discipline, you should always make sure to ask about conventions and expectations for introductions, just as you would for any other aspect of the essay. For example, while it may be acceptable to write a two-paragraph (or longer) introduction for your papers in some courses, instructors in other disciplines, such as those in some Government courses, may expect a shorter introduction that includes a preview of the argument that will follow.  
  • In some disciplines (Government, Economics, and others), it’s common to offer an overview in the introduction of what points you will make in your essay. In other disciplines, you will not be expected to provide this overview in your introduction.  
  • Avoid writing a very general opening sentence. While it may be true that “Since the dawn of time, people have been telling love stories,” it won’t help you explain what’s interesting about your topic.  
  • Avoid writing a “funnel” introduction in which you begin with a very broad statement about a topic and move to a narrow statement about that topic. Broad generalizations about a topic will not add to your readers’ understanding of your specific essay topic.  
  • Avoid beginning with a dictionary definition of a term or concept you will be writing about. If the concept is complicated or unfamiliar to your readers, you will need to define it in detail later in your essay. If it’s not complicated, you can assume your readers already know the definition.  
  • Avoid offering too much detail in your introduction that a reader could better understand later in the paper.
  • picture_as_pdf Introductions

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How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)   

essay introduction

The introduction of an essay plays a critical role in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. It sets the stage for the rest of the essay, establishes the tone and style, and motivates the reader to continue reading. 

Table of Contents

What is an essay introduction , what to include in an essay introduction, how to create an essay structure , step-by-step process for writing an essay introduction , how to write an introduction paragraph , how to write a hook for your essay , how to include background information , how to write a thesis statement .

  • Argumentative Essay Introduction Example: 
  • Expository Essay Introduction Example 

Literary Analysis Essay Introduction Example

Check and revise – checklist for essay introduction , key takeaways , frequently asked questions .

An introduction is the opening section of an essay, paper, or other written work. It introduces the topic and provides background information, context, and an overview of what the reader can expect from the rest of the work. 1 The key is to be concise and to the point, providing enough information to engage the reader without delving into excessive detail. 

The essay introduction is crucial as it sets the tone for the entire piece and provides the reader with a roadmap of what to expect. Here are key elements to include in your essay introduction: 

  • Hook : Start with an attention-grabbing statement or question to engage the reader. This could be a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or a compelling anecdote. 
  • Background information : Provide context and background information to help the reader understand the topic. This can include historical information, definitions of key terms, or an overview of the current state of affairs related to your topic. 
  • Thesis statement : Clearly state your main argument or position on the topic. Your thesis should be concise and specific, providing a clear direction for your essay. 

Before we get into how to write an essay introduction, we need to know how it is structured. The structure of an essay is crucial for organizing your thoughts and presenting them clearly and logically. It is divided as follows: 2  

  • Introduction:  The introduction should grab the reader’s attention with a hook, provide context, and include a thesis statement that presents the main argument or purpose of the essay.  
  • Body:  The body should consist of focused paragraphs that support your thesis statement using evidence and analysis. Each paragraph should concentrate on a single central idea or argument and provide evidence, examples, or analysis to back it up.  
  • Conclusion:  The conclusion should summarize the main points and restate the thesis differently. End with a final statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Avoid new information or arguments. 

descriptive essay introduction paragraph

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to write an essay introduction: 

  • Start with a Hook : Begin your introduction paragraph with an attention-grabbing statement, question, quote, or anecdote related to your topic. The hook should pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to continue reading. 
  • Provide Background Information : This helps the reader understand the relevance and importance of the topic. 
  • State Your Thesis Statement : The last sentence is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be clear, concise, and directly address the topic of your essay. 
  • Preview the Main Points : This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and how you will support your thesis. 
  • Keep it Concise and Clear : Avoid going into too much detail or including information not directly relevant to your topic. 
  • Revise : Revise your introduction after you’ve written the rest of your essay to ensure it aligns with your final argument. 

Here’s an example of an essay introduction paragraph about the importance of education: 

Education is often viewed as a fundamental human right and a key social and economic development driver. As Nelson Mandela once famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is the key to unlocking a wide range of opportunities and benefits for individuals, societies, and nations. In today’s constantly evolving world, education has become even more critical. It has expanded beyond traditional classroom learning to include digital and remote learning, making education more accessible and convenient. This essay will delve into the importance of education in empowering individuals to achieve their dreams, improving societies by promoting social justice and equality, and driving economic growth by developing a skilled workforce and promoting innovation. 

This introduction paragraph example includes a hook (the quote by Nelson Mandela), provides some background information on education, and states the thesis statement (the importance of education). 

This is one of the key steps in how to write an essay introduction. Crafting a compelling hook is vital because it sets the tone for your entire essay and determines whether your readers will stay interested. A good hook draws the reader in and sets the stage for the rest of your essay.  

  • Avoid Dry Fact : Instead of simply stating a bland fact, try to make it engaging and relevant to your topic. For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of exercise, you could start with a startling statistic like, “Did you know that regular exercise can increase your lifespan by up to seven years?” 
  • Avoid Using a Dictionary Definition : While definitions can be informative, they’re not always the most captivating way to start an essay. Instead, try to use a quote, anecdote, or provocative question to pique the reader’s interest. For instance, if you’re writing about freedom, you could begin with a quote from a famous freedom fighter or philosopher. 
  • Do Not Just State a Fact That the Reader Already Knows : This ties back to the first point—your hook should surprise or intrigue the reader. For Here’s an introduction paragraph example, if you’re writing about climate change, you could start with a thought-provoking statement like, “Despite overwhelming evidence, many people still refuse to believe in the reality of climate change.” 

Including background information in the introduction section of your essay is important to provide context and establish the relevance of your topic. When writing the background information, you can follow these steps: 

  • Start with a General Statement:  Begin with a general statement about the topic and gradually narrow it down to your specific focus. For example, when discussing the impact of social media, you can begin by making a broad statement about social media and its widespread use in today’s society, as follows: “Social media has become an integral part of modern life, with billions of users worldwide.” 
  • Define Key Terms : Define any key terms or concepts that may be unfamiliar to your readers but are essential for understanding your argument. 
  • Provide Relevant Statistics:  Use statistics or facts to highlight the significance of the issue you’re discussing. For instance, “According to a report by Statista, the number of social media users is expected to reach 4.41 billion by 2025.” 
  • Discuss the Evolution:  Mention previous research or studies that have been conducted on the topic, especially those that are relevant to your argument. Mention key milestones or developments that have shaped its current impact. You can also outline some of the major effects of social media. For example, you can briefly describe how social media has evolved, including positives such as increased connectivity and issues like cyberbullying and privacy concerns. 
  • Transition to Your Thesis:  Use the background information to lead into your thesis statement, which should clearly state the main argument or purpose of your essay. For example, “Given its pervasive influence, it is crucial to examine the impact of social media on mental health.” 

descriptive essay introduction paragraph

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, or other type of academic writing. It appears near the end of the introduction. Here’s how to write a thesis statement: 

  • Identify the topic:  Start by identifying the topic of your essay. For example, if your essay is about the importance of exercise for overall health, your topic is “exercise.” 
  • State your position:  Next, state your position or claim about the topic. This is the main argument or point you want to make. For example, if you believe that regular exercise is crucial for maintaining good health, your position could be: “Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good health.” 
  • Support your position:  Provide a brief overview of the reasons or evidence that support your position. These will be the main points of your essay. For example, if you’re writing an essay about the importance of exercise, you could mention the physical health benefits, mental health benefits, and the role of exercise in disease prevention. 
  • Make it specific:  Ensure your thesis statement clearly states what you will discuss in your essay. For example, instead of saying, “Exercise is good for you,” you could say, “Regular exercise, including cardiovascular and strength training, can improve overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.” 

Examples of essay introduction 

Here are examples of essay introductions for different types of essays: 

Argumentative Essay Introduction Example:  

Topic: Should the voting age be lowered to 16? 

“The question of whether the voting age should be lowered to 16 has sparked nationwide debate. While some argue that 16-year-olds lack the requisite maturity and knowledge to make informed decisions, others argue that doing so would imbue young people with agency and give them a voice in shaping their future.” 

Expository Essay Introduction Example  

Topic: The benefits of regular exercise 

“In today’s fast-paced world, the importance of regular exercise cannot be overstated. From improving physical health to boosting mental well-being, the benefits of exercise are numerous and far-reaching. This essay will examine the various advantages of regular exercise and provide tips on incorporating it into your daily routine.” 

Text: “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee 

“Harper Lee’s novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is a timeless classic that explores themes of racism, injustice, and morality in the American South. Through the eyes of young Scout Finch, the reader is taken on a journey that challenges societal norms and forces characters to confront their prejudices. This essay will analyze the novel’s use of symbolism, character development, and narrative structure to uncover its deeper meaning and relevance to contemporary society.” 

  • Engaging and Relevant First Sentence : The opening sentence captures the reader’s attention and relates directly to the topic. 
  • Background Information : Enough background information is introduced to provide context for the thesis statement. 
  • Definition of Important Terms : Key terms or concepts that might be unfamiliar to the audience or are central to the argument are defined. 
  • Clear Thesis Statement : The thesis statement presents the main point or argument of the essay. 
  • Relevance to Main Body : Everything in the introduction directly relates to and sets up the discussion in the main body of the essay. 

descriptive essay introduction paragraph

Writing a strong introduction is crucial for setting the tone and context of your essay. Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3  

  • Hook the Reader : Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader’s attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. 
  • Provide Background : Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion. 
  • Thesis Statement : State your thesis, which is the main argument or point of your essay. It should be concise, clear, and specific. 
  • Preview the Structure : Outline the main points or arguments to help the reader understand the organization of your essay. 
  • Keep it Concise : Avoid including unnecessary details or information not directly related to your thesis. 
  • Revise and Edit : Revise your introduction to ensure clarity, coherence, and relevance. Check for grammar and spelling errors. 
  • Seek Feedback : Get feedback from peers or instructors to improve your introduction further. 

The purpose of an essay introduction is to give an overview of the topic, context, and main ideas of the essay. It is meant to engage the reader, establish the tone for the rest of the essay, and introduce the thesis statement or central argument.  

An essay introduction typically ranges from 5-10% of the total word count. For example, in a 1,000-word essay, the introduction would be roughly 50-100 words. However, the length can vary depending on the complexity of the topic and the overall length of the essay.

An essay introduction is critical in engaging the reader and providing contextual information about the topic. To ensure its effectiveness, consider incorporating these key elements: a compelling hook, background information, a clear thesis statement, an outline of the essay’s scope, a smooth transition to the body, and optional signposting sentences.  

The process of writing an essay introduction is not necessarily straightforward, but there are several strategies that can be employed to achieve this end. When experiencing difficulty initiating the process, consider the following techniques: begin with an anecdote, a quotation, an image, a question, or a startling fact to pique the reader’s interest. It may also be helpful to consider the five W’s of journalism: who, what, when, where, why, and how.   For instance, an anecdotal opening could be structured as follows: “As I ascended the stage, momentarily blinded by the intense lights, I could sense the weight of a hundred eyes upon me, anticipating my next move. The topic of discussion was climate change, a subject I was passionate about, and it was my first public speaking event. Little did I know , that pivotal moment would not only alter my perspective but also chart my life’s course.” 

Crafting a compelling thesis statement for your introduction paragraph is crucial to grab your reader’s attention. To achieve this, avoid using overused phrases such as “In this paper, I will write about” or “I will focus on” as they lack originality. Instead, strive to engage your reader by substantiating your stance or proposition with a “so what” clause. While writing your thesis statement, aim to be precise, succinct, and clear in conveying your main argument.  

To create an effective essay introduction, ensure it is clear, engaging, relevant, and contains a concise thesis statement. It should transition smoothly into the essay and be long enough to cover necessary points but not become overwhelming. Seek feedback from peers or instructors to assess its effectiveness. 

References  

  • Cui, L. (2022). Unit 6 Essay Introduction.  Building Academic Writing Skills . 
  • West, H., Malcolm, G., Keywood, S., & Hill, J. (2019). Writing a successful essay.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education ,  43 (4), 609-617. 
  • Beavers, M. E., Thoune, D. L., & McBeth, M. (2023). Bibliographic Essay: Reading, Researching, Teaching, and Writing with Hooks: A Queer Literacy Sponsorship. College English, 85(3), 230-242. 

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Descriptive Essay Writing

Descriptive Essay Examples

Barbara P

Amazing Descriptive Essay Examples for Your Help

Published on: Jun 21, 2023

Last updated on: Mar 1, 2024

Descriptive Essay Examples

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Writing a Descriptive Essay Outline - Tips & Examples

Descriptive Essay: Definition, Tips & Examples

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Descriptive essays are very commonly assigned essays. This type of essay enhances students' writing skills and allows them to think critically. 

A descriptive essay is often referred to as the parent essay type. Other essays like argumentative essays, narrative essays, and expository essays fall into descriptive essays. Also, this essay helps the student enhance their ability to imagine the whole scene in mind by appealing senses.

It is assigned to high school students and all other students at different academic levels. Students make use of the human senses like touch, smell, etc., to make the descriptive essay more engaging for the readers. 

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Examples make it easy for readers to understand things in a better way. Also, in a descriptive essay, different types of descriptions can be discussed. 

Here are some amazing examples of a descriptive essay to make the concept easier for you. 

Descriptive Essay Example 5 Paragraph

5 paragraphs essay writing format is the most common method of composing an essay. This format has 5 paragraphs in total. The sequence of the paragraphs is as follows;

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2 
  • Body Paragraph 3
  • Conclusion 

Following is an example of a descriptive essay written using the famous 5 paragraph method. 

5 Paragraph Descriptive Essay

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Descriptive Essay Example About A Person

Descriptive essays are the best option when it comes to describing and writing about a person.  A descriptive essay is written using the five human senses. It helps in creating a vivid image in the reader’s mind and understanding what the writer is trying to convey. 

Here is one of the best descriptive essay examples about a person. Read it thoroughly and try to understand how a good descriptive essay is written on someone’s personality.

Descriptive Essay Example About a Person

Descriptive Essay Example About A Place

If you have visited a good holiday spot or any other place and want to let your friends know about it. A descriptive essay can help you explain every detail and moment you had at that place. 

Here is one of the good descriptive essay examples about a place. Use it as a sample and learn how you can write such an essay. 

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Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 6

Descriptive essays are frequently assigned to school students. This type of essay helps the students enhance their writing skills and helps them see things in a more analytical way.

If you are a 6 grader and looking for a good descriptive essay example, you are in the right place.  

Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 7

Here is one of the best descriptive essay examples for grade 7. 

Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 8

If you are looking for some amazing descriptive essay examples for grade 8, you have already found one. Look at the given example and see what a well-written descriptive essay looks like. 

Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 10

Essay writing is an inevitable part of a student's academic life . No matter your grade, you will get to write some sort of essay at least once. 

Here is an example of a descriptive essay writing for grade10. If you are also a student of this grade, this example might help you to complete your assignment.

Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 12

If you are a senior student and looking for some essay examples, you are exactly where you should be. 

Use the below-mentioned example and learn how to write a good essay according to the instructions given to you. 

Descriptive Essay Example College

Descriptive essays are a great way to teach students how they can become better writers. Writing a descriptive essay encourages them to see the world more analytically.

Below is an example that will help you and make your writing process easy.

College Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Example for University

Descriptive essays are assigned to students at all academic levels. University students are also assigned descriptive essay writing assignments. As they are students of higher educational levels, they are often given a bit of difficult and more descriptive topics. 

See the example below and know what a descriptive essay at the university level looks like. 

Short Descriptive Essay Example

Every time a descriptive essay isn't written in detail. It depends on the topic of how long the essay will be.  

For instance, look at one of the short descriptive essay examples given below. See how the writer has conveyed the concept in a composed way. 

Objective Descriptive Essay Example

When writing an objective description essay, you focus on describing the object without conveying your emotions, feelings, or personal reactions. The writer uses sight, sound, or touch for readers' minds to bring life into pictures that were painted by words.

Here is an example that you can use for your help. 

Narrative and Descriptive Essay Example

A narrative descriptive essay can be a great way to share your experiences with others. It is a story that teaches a lesson you have learned. The following is an example of a perfect narrative descriptive essay to help you get started.

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How to Start a Descriptive Essay? - Example

If you don't know how to start your descriptive essay, check this example and create a perfect one. 

How to Start a Descriptive Essay - Example

Subjective Descriptive Essay Example

It is a common concept that a descriptive essay revolves around one subject. Be it a place, person, event, or any other object you can think of. 

Following is one of the subjective descriptive, easy examples. Use it as a guide to writing an effective descriptive essay yourself. 

Writing a descriptive essay is a time-consuming yet tricky task. It needs some very strong writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Also, this is a type of essay that a student can not avoid and bypass. 

But if you think wisely, work smart, and stay calm, you can get over it easily. Learn how to write a descriptive essay from a short guide given below. 

How to Write a Descriptive Essay?

A writer writes a descriptive essay from their knowledge and imaginative mind. In this essay, the writer describes what he has seen or experienced, or ever heard from someone. For a descriptive essay, it is important to stay focused on one point. Also, the writer should use figurative language so that the reader can imagine the situation in mind. 

The following are some very basic yet important steps that can help you write an amazing descriptive essay easily. 

  • Choose a Topic

For a descriptive essay, you must choose a vast topic to allow you to express yourself freely. Also, make sure that the topic you choose is not overdone. An overdone will not grab the attention of your intended audience. Check out our descriptive essay topics blog for a variety of intriguing topic suggestions.

  • Create a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the essence of any academic writing. When you select the descriptive essay topic, then you create a strong thesis statement for your essay.  

A thesis statement is a sentence or two that explains the whole idea of your essay to the reader. It is stated in the introductory paragraph of the essay. The word choice for creating the thesis statement must be very expressive, composed, and meaningful. Also, use vivid language for the thesis statement.  

  • Collect the Necessary Information

Once you have created the thesis statement and are done writing your essay introduction . Now, it's time to move toward the body paragraphs. 

Collect all necessary information related to your topic. You would be adding this information to your essay to support your thesis statement. Make sure that you collect information from authentic sources. 

To enhance your essay, make use of some adjectives and adverbs. To make your descriptive essay more vivid, try to incorporate sensory details like touch, taste, sight, and smell.

  • Create a Descriptive Essay Outline

An outline is yet another necessary element of your college essay. By reading the descriptive essay outline , the reader feels a sense of logic and a guide for the essay. 

In the outline, you need to write an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs and end up with a formal conclusion.

Proofreading is a simple procedure in which the writer revises the written essay. This is done in order to rectify the document for any kind of spelling or grammatical mistakes. Thus, proofreading makes high-quality content and gives a professional touch to it. 

You might be uncertain about writing a good enough descriptive essay and impress your teacher. However, it is very common, so you do not need to stress out. 

Hit us up at CollegeEssay.org and get an essay written by our professional descriptive essay writers. Our essay writing service for students aims to help clients in every way possible and ease their stress. Get in touch with our customer support team, and they will take care of all your queries related to your writing. 

You can always enhance your writing skills by leveraging the power of our AI essay writing tools .

Place your order now and let all your stress go away in a blink! 

Barbara P (Literature)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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Four Examples of Introductory Paragraph for Your Essay or Paper

Four Examples of Introductory Paragraph for Your Essay or Paper

3-minute read

  • 30th October 2023

Writing an academic paper comes with many challenges, not the least of which is fleshing out an introductory paragraph . Knowing where to start can often be tricky.

But fear not! In today’s post, we provide four examples of introductory paragraphs for different types of essays . We hope these examples will give you some inspiration to start writing.

1. Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay clearly defines the author’s stance on a topic or debate, often providing evidence and looking at both sides of an issue.

Example Introduction

Why the paragraph works.

It engages with current issues: By referencing the current interconnected nature of society, the introduction places the essay in a contemporary context and makes the topic relatable to the reader.

It clearly states the debate: The writer presents two opposing views on online privacy in a clear, simple, and succinct way.

It sets expectations: The essay makes the reader aware that it will explore both sides of the debate.

2. Descriptive Essay

In descriptive essays , you describe something, such as a place or an experience, in vivid detail. These essays often employ imagery and descriptive language.

It provides vivid imagery: The descriptions of the sunset and the waves instantly create a picture in the reader’s mind.

It evokes emotion: The mention of an escape from daily life elicits a sense of calm, peace, and longing.

It maintains concision: The introduction is short but powerful in setting the mood; it shows rather than telling .

3. Compare and Contrast Essay

In a compare and contrast essay , you discuss two subjects by looking at their similarities and differences.

It presents the subjects: The introduction clearly identifies the two works being compared.

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It highlights the main differences: The primary contrasts between the two works are introduced up front.

It sets the course: The reader knows that the essay will delve deeper into how each author conveys their message.

4. Personal Narrative Essay

A personal narrative essay tells a story about a personal experience you’ve had.

It provides a personal touch: The introduction gives a hint of personal significance and the transformative power of the experience.

It sets an intriguing scene: The opening line paints a picture, placing the reader at the scene and sparking curiosity about how it impacted the writer’s life.

It resonates emotionally: By mentioning self-discovery and life-changing moments, the introduction connects with readers on an emotional level.

Feeling inspired? We hope this post helped you to come up with some ideas for the introductory paragraph of your essay or paper. And once you have a first draft, make sure you send it our way for editing and a final proofread.

We’ll check your work for grammar, spelling, word choice, readability, formatting, consistency, referencing, and more! We’ll even proofread your first 500 words for free .

What makes an introductory paragraph effective?

An introductory paragraph should introduce the topic clearly, intrigue the reader, and set accurate expectations for what the rest of the essay will cover.

What are the different types of essays?

Some common types of student essays are narrative, descriptive, compare and contrast, persuasive, argumentative, expository, and process.

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IMAGES

  1. What Is a Descriptive Essay? Examples and Guide

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  2. Descriptive Paragraph: How to Write with Examples

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  3. How to Write a Descriptive Essay: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

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  4. How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Steps and Writing Tips

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  5. Descriptive Essay Introduction Sample

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  6. Free Essay

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VIDEO

  1. How to Write a Descriptive Essay

  2. Argumentative Essay: Introduction Paragraph

  3. Myself paragraph| essay|descriptive paragraph|in English

  4. Descriptive Essay Introduction Sample

  5. Descriptive Writing

  6. ESSAY 12: DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Descriptive Essay

    An example of a short descriptive essay, written in response to the prompt "Describe a place you love to spend time in," is shown below. Hover over different parts of the text to see how a descriptive essay works. On Sunday afternoons I like to spend my time in the garden behind my house. The garden is narrow but long, a corridor of green ...

  2. Descriptive Essay: Definition, Format & Writing Tips

    Step 5: Craft the Introduction. Start your descriptive essay introduction by hooking the reader with an engaging opening sentence or anecdote related to your topic. This could be a vivid description, a thought-provoking question, or a surprising fact. ... Introductory Paragraph: This paragraph sets the scene by describing where, when, and to ...

  3. How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

    A strong descriptive essay introduction, also known as an introductory paragraph, is essential for capturing your reader's attention and setting the stage for your descriptive essay. It should be brief, engaging, and introduce the subject you'll be describing. The introduction should also include a well-crafted thesis statement, which ...

  4. Guide to a Perfect Descriptive Essay [Examples & Outline Included]

    Like all essay types, the introduction of a descriptive essay is composed of three key elements: A hook, some background information, and a thesis statement. ... A descriptive essay usually consists of five or more paragraphs. A college descriptive essay usually ranges between 150 and 650 words. However, the length can vary greatly depending on ...

  5. How to Write a Descriptive Essay

    This brainstorming will give you the raw material for your descriptive essay. The next step is to create an essay outline. Typically, this will include: An Introduction - An outline of what you will describe and the "thesis" for your essay (i.e., a key theme that will run through your essay and guide your description). For instance, if ...

  6. What is a Descriptive Essay? How to Write It (with Examples)

    How to write a descriptive essay using a structured outline. Introduction: Hook: An opening statement that captures attention while introducing the subject. Background: Includes a brief overview of the topic the descriptive essay is based on. Thesis statement: Clearly states the main point or purpose of the descriptive essay. Body paragraphs: Each paragraph should have

  7. How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

    To write a descriptive essay, start by choosing a topic, like a person, place, or specific emotion. Next, write down a list of sensory details about the topic, like how it sounds, smells, and feels. After this brainstorming session, outline the essay, dividing it into an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

  8. How to Write a Descriptive Essay

    A descriptive essay is a type of academic writing that asks the writer to fully describe a place, person, situation, event, or thing. They can be simple or they can be very complex depending on the subject matter and audience written for. These types of essays train a writer's ability to express themselves accurately as well as build ...

  9. How to Write a Descriptive Essay in 7 Steps

    How to Write a Descriptive Essay in 7 Steps. Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Jun 7, 2021 • 3 min read. Descriptive essays teach students the basics of writing and self-expression. Depending on your line of work and your writing goals, you may continue writing descriptive essays well into your professional career.

  10. Descriptive Essay

    Like all the other essays, a descriptive essay also follows the usual 5-paragraph essay structure and format.Before starting, it is important to create an outline. Following are the fundamental elements of your descriptive essay outline: Descriptive Essay Introduction. The introduction sets the footing for the entire essay.

  11. How to Start a Descriptive Essay: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    3. Use sensory details. A key element of a good descriptive essay is a lot of details that focus on the five senses: smell, taste, touch, sight, and sound. Put a lot of sensory details into your opening paragraph. Describe how a scene sounds or tastes. Discuss how an object feels or smells.

  12. Descriptive Essays

    What is a descriptive essay? The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe something—object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student's ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic ...

  13. 3.5: Descriptive Essays

    With the introduction complete, it is time to start constructing the body paragraphs of your essay. Each body paragraph should have a central theme in itself, and that theme should be represented in a topic sentence. Consequently, each sentence of the paragraph should relate to and support the topic sentence. The body paragraphs are where the ...

  14. Introductions

    In general, your introductions should contain the following elements: When you're writing an essay, it's helpful to think about what your reader needs to know in order to follow your argument. Your introduction should include enough information so that readers can understand the context for your thesis. For example, if you are analyzing ...

  15. How to Write an Essay Introduction (with Examples)

    Here are the key takeaways for how to write essay introduction: 3. Hook the Reader: Start with an engaging hook to grab the reader's attention. This could be a compelling question, a surprising fact, a relevant quote, or an anecdote. Provide Background: Give a brief overview of the topic, setting the context and stage for the discussion.

  16. How to Write a Descriptive Essay

    Follow the below-mentioned steps to finally begin your writing procedure for the descriptive essay: 1. Introduction. An introduction serves as the gateway to your essay, drawing readers into the realm of your ideas. It's the stage where you set the tone and establish the central theme.

  17. What Is a Descriptive Essay? Examples and Guide

    A descriptive essay is a type of essay that involves describing a person, object, or any type of noun. ... Body paragraph: Physical Description ... Example of a Descriptive Essay Introduction. Your introduction exists to provide a little background context for your essay. What's difficult with a descriptive essay is that you want your ...

  18. The Four Main Types of Essay

    An essay is a focused piece of writing designed to inform or persuade. There are many different types of essay, but they are often defined in four categories: argumentative, expository, narrative, and descriptive essays. Argumentative and expository essays are focused on conveying information and making clear points, while narrative and ...

  19. Descriptive Introductory Paragraph

    Descriptive Introductory Paragraph. These videos walk you through the introductory paragraph in a descriptive essay, which includes a hook to grab the reader's attention and alludes to the topic, a summary of the topic, and a thesis statement. Descriptive Essays.

  20. 15 Good Descriptive Essay Examples for All Students

    Descriptive Essay Example 5 Paragraph. 5 paragraphs essay writing format is the most common method of composing an essay. This format has 5 paragraphs in total. The sequence of the paragraphs is as follows; Introduction. Body Paragraph 1. Body Paragraph 2. Body Paragraph 3. Conclusion.

  21. Four Examples of Introductory Paragraph for Your Essay or Paper

    In today's post, we provide four examples of introductory paragraphs for different types of essays. We hope these examples will give you some inspiration to start writing. 1. Argumentative Essay. An argumentative essay clearly defines the author's stance on a topic or debate, often providing evidence and looking at both sides of an issue.

  22. How to Write an Introduction for a Descriptive Essay

    Writing an introductory paragraph for a descriptive essay requires attention to the essay topic and organization. The introduction must grab the reader's attention and describe the contents of the essay in a clear manner. Descriptive essays are normally written to provide readers with language that allows ...