Descriptive Essays - The Common Conventions

Descriptive Essays - The Common Conventions
One way of doing this is to use the language of the senses and appeal to readers' emotions. This method is referred to as "appealing to the senses description". Another way of drawing pictures for the reader is to describe objects with reference to space. This method is referred to as "spatial order description". If you follow either of these conventions, a few general tips and stick to a plan, you will find that writing descriptive essays is not that difficult after all.
In descriptions appealing to the senses you let the readers visualize sounds, smells, tastes and even feel the ambience. Consider the following paragraph: The sun had set and soon the whole place turned so dark that you could not even tell if there was some one in front of you till you bumped into them. There were no street lamps then and the cycle was the commonest mode of transport. In a distance I could see the flicker of the kerosene headlamp of my father's cycle. And to announce his arrival to his anxious children who sat outside the house waiting for him, he would ring his bell. As soon as we had confirmation that it was actually him, we would all run to him, competing to see who would get there first. But he would wait till we all go there and simultaneously hug all three of us. Eight in the evening was the end of a day for most people. But it was our beginning. Every day my father would leave for work before we awoke. And till we saw him in the evening our day was literally empty.

The other convention in description is the "spatial order". In such a description you use the location of things to help the reader visualize the surroundings. Perhaps an example would clarify what exactly this means: A road ran through the middle of town. On one side lived the elite. On the other side lived the people who worked in the houses of these rich folks. At the outskirts of my side of town was the ancient cemetery. In it were tombstones that dated as early as the beginning of the 15th century. The cemetery was located at the very end of town; beyond that lay the forest. No one ventured any where near the cemetery. There were numerous stories of what happened to people who were foolish enough to go close to it.

Writing descriptive essays is not easy even on the best of days. After you have attempted one, read it critically. See if it achieves the intended purpose. If the pictures do not come out clearly, redraft it. If necessary give it to a third person to read. To learn the ropes, read descriptive essays by the acknowledged experts on the subject. George Orwell is an essayist whose name immediately comes to mind. You could perhaps begin with his essay "Shooting an Elephant" .

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