Characteristics of Descriptive Essays

Characteristics of Descriptive Essays
Characteristics of Descriptive Essays

The Descriptive Essay:
Uses sensory details relative to the subject matter (increase the reader’s experience as they read your essay)
Sight--paint word pictures; help the reader create a mental picture
Sound—allow the reader to hear what you describe
Smell—evoke odors both appealing and non-appealing
Taste—allow the reader to share the tastes of things good or bad
Touch—descriptions of textures, temperatures and weights
Uses Active verbs and varied sentences.
Creates a dominant impression overall attitude, mood, or feeling about the subject
Uses connotative language effectively—feelings and attitudes associated with a word.
Uses comparisons—with similes, metaphors, and personification
Assumes a vantage point—the point or position from which one writes a description
Fixed vantage point—describing what you see from a particular position.
Moving vantage point—describing your subject from a number of different positions.
Follows a method of organization:
Spatial order
Chronological order
Least-to-most or most-to-least order
Has clear essay structure

An effective introduction that will:
Spark reader’s interest
Present your subject/setting
Include any background information readers may need
Create a dominant impression or stated or suggested in thesis
Introduce the kind of organization the writer will use

Body paragraphs with topic sentences and other sentences that contain sufficient evidence, sensory details, and comparisons to support the dominant impression/thesis.

A strong conclusion that reinforces/references the dominant impression/thesis and draws the essay to a close
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