Ten Keys To Writing A Successful Descriptive Essay


This easy to use guide will help you write with clarity. Follow these steps to help you turn in the perfect descriptive essay.

Distinguishing between fiction and academia

Often unprepared and lacking concentration in the classroom, many students fall short when not being able to distinguish between academic papers and works of fiction. In short, essays form part of academic dissertations written at any level, from high school to grad school.

Distinguishing between description and discussion

Most set questions deal with discussions of the subject. Although it is rare these days, students may be asked to describe scenarios or circumstances. It doesn’t require much discussion, so the descriptive essay needs to stay focused on the requirements.

Points to remember when writing the descriptive essay

  • Read instructions
  • Before writing begins, instructions and questions must be read closely.

  • Follow instructions
  • When preparing a draft, do not deviate from the paper’s thesis statement.

  • Read before you start writing
  • Closely read the prescribed narrative text at least twice before turning to the drafting stage.

  • Research topic well
  • Do background reading and own research on the prescribed subject, noting key themes, events, and/or theories.

  • What to include in essays
  • After a short introduction, give an overview (this will not be much longer than the introduction) of what you are going to include in your paper.

  • How to write your paper
  • Do not deviate from these basic rules; begin with an introduction, allow paragraphs to flow in a logical and chronological order (particularly when a historical event is being described), and close the assignment with a short conclusion, briefly summarizing what you have written.

  • Take note of word length
  • If the assignment states that you write no more than 500 or 800 words, stick to that instruction. Particularly during an exam, you will lose valuable time and marks if you over-write.

  • Sentence length
  • There is no need to impress readers. Short, clear sentences are universally preferred.

  • Paragraph length
  • Likewise with paragraphing; not more than four or five sentences are advised.

  • Avoiding sweeping statements and finish with a punch
  • Underprepared work will lead to a vagueness and show your teacher that you have not read work well beforehand.

Before handing in the essay

  • Check for grammar, spelling and other errors – Warning: Do not rely on computerized checks.
  • Read and edit well – Read through your work at least twice.