Descriptive Essay

Last Updated: June 20, 2024

Descriptive Essay

Essays are written due to various reasons and purposes. Some of the authors want to inform, some want to expose while some want to persuade. However, in descriptive essay writing, the essayist composes for the sake of displaying a picture out of his/her describing words. It may sound easy and simple but don’t be deceived, there are still more to learn. Read through this article to get hold of significant and beneficial new knowledge.

What is Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay is a type of writing that aims to vividly describe a person, place, object, or event. In this type of essay, the writer uses sensory details such as sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch to create a clear and vivid image in the reader’s mind. The goal of a descriptive essay is to evoke a strong emotional response or create a vivid impression of the subject being described.

Descriptive Essay Format


  • Hook: Start with a sentence that captures the reader’s attention. This could be a striking fact, a question, or a vivid description.
  • Context: Provide some background information to set the scene. Describe the setting, the situation, or the object of the essay.
  • Thesis Statement: End the introduction with a clear thesis statement that outlines the main aspects or the overall impression of your subject.

Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or a detail that contributes to the overall picture you are trying to paint. Use the “show, don’t tell” technique by employing vivid imagery and sensory details.

Paragraph 1: Sight

  • Topic Sentence: Introduce the aspect of sight.
  • Details: Describe what you see in vivid detail. Use adjectives and adverbs to bring the scene to life.
  • Closing Sentence: Wrap up the paragraph by summarizing the importance of the visual details.

Paragraph 2: Sound

  • Topic Sentence: Focus on the sounds related to your topic.
  • Details: Describe what can be heard, whether it’s the background noise, a specific sound related to the subject, or the absence of sound.
  • Closing Sentence: Conclude by explaining how the sounds contribute to the overall impression.

Paragraph 3: Smell

  • Topic Sentence: Highlight the aspect of smell.
  • Details: Describe the aromas and scents. Whether it’s pleasant or pungent, detail how it impacts the scene or the subject.
  • Closing Sentence: Summarize how the smell adds to the depth of your description.

Paragraph 4: Touch

  • Topic Sentence: Discuss the sense of touch.
  • Details: Describe the textures and temperatures. Explain how something feels to the touch and why it’s important to your description.
  • Closing Sentence: Link the tactile details to the overall experience.

Paragraph 5: Taste (if applicable)

  • Topic Sentence: Introduce the sense of taste, if relevant.
  • Details: Describe the flavors and the experience of tasting something related to your subject.
  • Closing Sentence: Reflect on how taste enhances the description.


  • Summary: Briefly restate your thesis and summarize the main points of your essay.
  • Significance: Explain the significance of the subject and the impact it has made on you or the impression it leaves.
  • Closing Thought: End with a final thought or reflection, leaving the reader with something to ponder.

Example of Descriptive Essay

“The Sunset at the Beach”

As I walked down the sandy path towards the ocean, the first thing that struck me was the vast expanse of the sea, stretching endlessly towards the horizon. The sun was beginning to set, painting the sky in shades of orange, pink, and purple. The beauty of the sunset at the beach was a breathtaking spectacle that I had come to witness.


The beach has always been a place of serenity for me, especially during the sunset. The way the sun dipped below the horizon, leaving behind a tapestry of colors, always seemed magical. On this particular evening, the scene was set for a perfect display of nature’s artistry.

Body Paragraphs

The Vision of the Sunset
As I stepped onto the soft, warm sand, my eyes were immediately drawn to the horizon. The sun, a fiery orb, was slowly descending, casting its golden glow across the sky. The clouds, mere wisps earlier in the day, now looked like cotton candy, stained with hues of pink and lavender. The reflection of the sunset on the water added a layer of brilliance to the scene, with the light dancing on the waves as they gently lapped against the shore.

The Symphony of the Waves

The sound of the waves provided a soothing background melody to the visual spectacle. Each wave crashed against the shore with a rhythm that was both calming and invigorating. In the distance, seagulls called to one another, their cries adding to the orchestral performance of nature. The rustling of the palm leaves in the gentle breeze played a soft, whispering harmony, creating a symphony that only the beach at sunset could offer.

The Aromatic Breeze

With every breath, the salty tang of the sea air filled my lungs, a distinctive aroma that immediately relaxed my body and mind. There was a freshness to it, a reminder of the vast, untamed ocean before me. Mixed with the faint scent of sunscreen and the earthiness of wet sand, the beach’s aroma was invigorating, grounding me in the moment.

The Touch of Nature

As I walked along the water’s edge, the cool water washed over my feet, providing relief from the day’s residual heat. The sand, now cooler than the afternoon sun, felt soft and comforting beneath my toes. Occasionally, a stronger wave would rush further up the beach, encouraging me to dig my feet into the sand, feeling the grains shift against my skin.


The sunset at the beach was not just a visual masterpiece; it was an experience that engaged all the senses. As the sun finally disappeared, leaving behind a sky painted in dark blues and purples, I felt a sense of peace and contentment. The beach at sunset had offered me a moment of beauty, tranquility, and a deep connection with nature. It was an unforgettable scene, etched in my memory, reminding me of the simple, yet profound joys of life.

Descriptive essays generally focus more on visualizing a specific topic of interest. Considering that aspect, showing you what it looks like may be helpful as well. Thus, we cautiously gathered the best samples and templates of descriptive essays for you to rely on, here are they:

Bright Topic Ideas for Your Descriptive Essay

The list of the possible topic ideas for your descriptive essay is limitless. There are a lot of choices to choose from and sometimes, it is really difficult to pick one. If you are being indecisive regarding your topic idea, here are some smart concepts to help you select one.

Descriptive Essay Ideas About People

  • Description of your favorite music genre
  • Treating a popular villain as a good protagonist
  • The right words that would compliment your singing idol
  • Why your squad is the best?
  • What qualities should your future spouse possess?
  • Why your aunt is the best?

Descriptive Essay Ideas About Places

  • Why Manila Bay has the best sunset?
  • The perfect adjective to describe your hometown
  • Details on your recent vacation destination
  • Why your favorite coffee shop is worth the visit?
  • What makes Paris unique?
  • The best description for your workplace

Descriptive Essay Ideas About Things

  • Why your wedding ring is the most luxurious?
  • The description of your favorite blanket
  • What makes your research paper great?
  • Description of your proposed food product
  • Perfume: more than just the bottle
  • Why your bag is great

Descriptive Essay Examples & Templates

Descriptive Narrative Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Outline Example

Short Essay Plan Example

Biographical Narrative Essay Example

College Narrative Essay Example

Personal Narrative Essay Example

Short Narrative Essay Example

High School Descriptive Essay Example

Free Simple Descriptive Essay Plan

Basic Descriptive Essay Writing Example

Short Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Structuring Example

Simple Descriptive Essay Example

Narrative Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Prewriting Example

Personal Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Characteristics Example

Descriptive Essay Description Guide Example

Descriptive Essays about Places Example

Excellent Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Writing Exercise Example

Educational Descriptive Essay Example

Spring Break Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Sentence Writing Example

Descriptive Essay Paragraph Guidelines Example

Stylish Descriptive Essay Rubric Example

Descriptive Essay Writing Techniques Example

Free Descriptive Essay Example

Basic Descriptive Essay Example

Sample Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay in PDF Example

Printable Descriptive Essay Example

Direction Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Scoring Guide

Professional Descriptive Essay

Descriptive Essay Format Example

Assignment Descriptive Essay Example

What are the 4 types of essays?

An essay is an extended piece or composition that shows and supports a thesis or proposition. Essays help the expression of an author’s ideas in various ways. Before composing your own essay, it is important to identify its purpose first, and in doing that, distinguishing its type would be a great beginning. Correspondingly, here are the four different types of essays:

Narrative Essays: to tell

Taking it into its most basic sense, narrative essays are used if the author wants to tell a story about a real-life adventure. This type of essay is expressed in a particular point-of-view. Commonly, it is the author’s viewpoint that is being followed. Moreover, in writing your own short narrative essay, apply realistic emotions and appropriate sensory details to provide your readers with the full taste of your story. By doing this, you are not simply telling them but also engaging them in the story’s sequence and elements. It is also advisable to state verbs as vivid and as precise as possible. The thesis statement of a narrative essay is commonly found in the opening sentence or the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.

Descriptive Essays: to describe

You may confuse yourself between narrative and descriptive essays; however, differentiating both is really easy. Rather than telling a story, a descriptive essay illustrates a specific topic such as a person, place, experience, emotion, event, etc. by means of words. You don’t simply state your experience in this type of essay; on top of that, you let your reader experience the same thing through your descriptions. In writing your own short descriptive essay, it is important to remember that you are not writing to tell but to show. Using sensory and vivid words is also recommended.

Expository Essays: to uncover and clarify

From its name itself, an expository essay is used to expose something on matters that are known to others. This type of essay is a genre of composition that aims to explain, illustrate, clarify or explicate a certain subject for the readers. Thus, an expository essay could include investigation and evaluation of ideas. This could be derived through comparison and contrast, definition, giving examples, assessment of cause and effect, etc. Moreover, in composing an expository essay, the author set his/her emotions aside for this type of essay is based on mere facts. The first point-of-view is not applied in this essay as well.

Persuasive Essays: to convince

If the expository essays talk about the facts then persuasive essays talk about arguments. The main purpose of a persuasive essay is to win over the trust of the reader to accept your viewpoint, opinion or proposition as the author. In writing a persuasive essay, your opinions should be supported by relevant facts and logical and sound reasoning. Though the essayist should lay all necessary details from both sides of the argument, he/she must comprehensibly explain why one side is correct or more favorable than the other.

Despite essays being categorized into four types, it is also important to know that an essay is not limited to one type only. In some cases,  a narrative essay could also be mixed with a short descriptive essay or a short persuasive essay combined with an expository type. Nevertheless, identifying the purpose of your essay is vital before writing. However, if doing it challenges you, knowing these types is a great substitute.

What Is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

Some people like to watch movies rather than to read books. This is because an actual image is easier to absorb than that on writing. This is why it’s important for a writer to pay close attention to detail. A descriptive essay conclusion should provide the reader with a mental picture of a given matter.

This is especially essential when writing pieces meant for a younger audience, as they have a more imaginative mind than the average adult. A writer must be creative when using imaginative language in order for the reader to properly comprehend what is being portrayed. To do so, the writer should also be knowledgeable about the topic. After all, you don’t want to give your readers the wrong interpretation.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

A good descriptive essay comes from a knowledgeable and imaginative mind. Thus, in descriptive writing, it’s important for one to be specific on details. After seeing a few samples that we have shown earlier, here is a step-by-step guideline to help you in composing a descriptive essay worth reading.

1. Choose a topic.

If there is no given topic, it would be great to select one that you are knowledgeable and familiar with. Considering that your whole descriptive essay would revolve on this specific subject, choosing a topic that you recognize would keep everything simpler for you. By doing such, you can freely decide what words are the most appropriate to use; as a result, it will be easier for you to describe your topic. Furthermore, your reader could be meticulous and educated on your subject, so being knowledgeable about your own topic is wise prevention against bad impression.

2. Construct your thesis statement.

Alright, now that you have your own topic already, it is important to know what specific message you want your reader should focus on reading your whole essay. Thus, it is important to always provide a thesis statement, the umbrella sentence of all your ideas. Write this in one concise sentence in your introduction and conclusion. Often, a thesis statement is mentioned in the last sentence of your introductory paragraph.

3. Gather the necessary information and ideas.

Though you are already proficient in your topic, it is still recommendable to research about your specific subject. With this, you are not just gaining new information but also checking the correctness of your knowledge. It would also be great to expand your vocabulary, especially in adjectives and adverbs, since writing one of these involve loads of describing. Moreover, also focus on the sensory words that correspond to sight, smell, taste, sound, and touch of the given subject.

4. Create an outline.

Obtaining all of the significant details, crafting an essay outline for your work will allow you to arrange your contents in a rational and chronological order. Also, being educated with different formats in writing an essay would really make a great difference in your composition.

5. Proofread.

After writing your own descriptive essay, it might feel perfect already, but most of the time, it is not. Hence, read your entire work and review if there are any errors pertaining to your grammar and spelling. Furthermore, asking for help from a well-versed friend of yours to conduct a peer-review to your work would be extremely useful.

6. Finalize your composition.

The next thing to do after the editing is to finalize your descriptive essay to its finest version. Make sure that your essay follows a specific format, consisting of the proper parts of the essay.

Smart Tips for Writing a Descriptive Essay

The fundamentals of the descriptive writing procedures are now given to you; nevertheless, it would always be great to aim for something better. Now, here are some intelligent tips that would make your essay certainly more compelling.

Establish a connection with your writing.

The key to writing a good effective essay is to have the passion to write it; thus, in choosing your topic it would be great to have a familiar one or a subject that truly makes you curious. Let your interest be the seed of your fruitful composition.

Spend time to think.

In writing your own descriptive essay, let your brain do its job. Do not rush, give yourself an adequate amount of time to ponder on the necessary details that you should include and what approach you should apply. Provide yourself a clear plan of your descriptive essay writing. Moreover, look at your topic from different angles. This will allow you to take a closer look at every detail of your subject.

Apply the word vomit technique.

The word vomit technique or also called as “free writing” is the spontaneous use of words without considering any rules. This is a good technique in making a draft of your starting an essay. It allows your ideas to keep flowing without exerting much effort. Once this is done, you can pick out points that would go well with your essay.

Take a break before finalizing it.

Because right after writing your composition, your thought highly recognizes your word construction; thus, it does not really notice the errors and automatically treats them as correct pieces of your work. Allowing your mind to clear out for a while will make it easier for you to critic your own work. Furthermore, utilizing grammar-checking software is also a splendid move.

Descriptive Essay Generator

Text prompt

Add Tone

Write a descriptive essay about a place you love to visit and what makes it special.

Describe in a descriptive essay your dream job and what it would be like to work there.