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Top 7 Tips to Consider for Your Descriptive Essay

Read through our practical guide to obtaining the best marks for your descriptive essay. Use it as a blueprint every time you have this task – your teacher is guaranteed to be impressed and award you high marks!

  1. Select your topic carefully.
  2. The first thing you need to do is consider what it is that you will be describing. If your teacher has been very specific in the instructions, you may be somewhat limited; but if not, take your time to think about what will make interesting reading for your audience. Decide whether you know enough about the subject or can comfortably research for long enough to write an engaging piece of work.

  3. Think about how you can describe as opposed to tell.
  4. One common mistake that students make is to simply state the facts without going into any further detail. This type of essay will only result in a minimal number of points, as your teacher will be looking for detail and writing that fulfills the brief. Consider not just the appearance of your subject, but also the emotions or memories that it evokes.

  5. Take notes of your ideas.
  6. It is easy to get carried away with reminiscing or telling a classmate about your ideas, but this won’t help you when it comes to actually writing the assignment. Make sure you jot down your ideas as they pop into your head – regardless of how well-thought-out they seem to be at the time. You can always go back to these basic starting points and elaborate upon them later.

  7. Create a first draft.
  8. You should now have enough notes and drafted sections to be able to start putting your assignment together. Don’t worry too much about how it sounds or where parts are missing at this stage, as the main objective is to put things in a logical order and find out where you might need to put in a little extra work. Go over the structure a few times and make sure the order of the information is logical and not too focused on just one of the things you are trying to describe.

  9. Revise your draft.
  10. When you look over your draft, start adding in the details you have found since creating the original version. Take notes while you are doing your research to make it as quick and easy as possible to input the extra information. Start paying more attention to how your writing sounds and where you could improve paragraphs or sections of the assignment. Many people find at this stage that they have repeated themselves or used specific vocabulary too many times throughout the essay.

  11. Edit the necessary parts.
  12. Use a thesaurus to replace some of your adjectives or commonly-used phrases, as this will make the assignment flow better and be more interesting for your teacher to read. Add in any final information that you think might be missing and make sure that you look at the assignment details you were given to check that everything has been included.

  13. Carefully look for errors.
  14. The final stage is the time to really critique your work and look for anything that might be perceived as an error by your teacher. Ask a friend or parent to look at the assignment too, as it is always easier to spot mistakes or odd-sounding sentences if you are looking at something objectively. Use a good spell-checker and then wait for a couple of days after finishing the essay to go over it again, as this will allow you to do so with fresh eyes.