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'Descriptive Essay' writing

"More than many other types of essays, 'Descriptive Essay's strive to create a deeply involved and vivid experience for the reader. Great 'Descriptive Essay's achieve this affect not through facts and statistics but by using detailed observations and descriptions."

"When someone asks you to describe something, the first step you might take is to jot down the first words that come to you. If I say "egg," for instance, you might write down the following string of associations: "round, white, brown, fresh, scrambled, farmer, chicken, goose, over-easy." But another student might write down "ostrich," while yet another chooses "dinosaur." Then a medical student might chime in with "ovulation, zygote, and baby." At some point, someone else may take it a step further and mention "fragility." The point is that the one little word "egg" can conjure up a number of associations, all coming at the subject in a different way. So when you are asked to describe an event or a person, start with the obvious, but don't stay there."

What do you want to describe?

"As you get started on your 'Descriptive Essay', it's important for you to identify exactly what you want to describe. Often, a 'Descriptive Essay' will focus on portraying one of the following:"

  • a person
  • a place
  • a memory
  • an experience
  • an object

"Ultimately, whatever you can perceive or experience can be the focus of your descriptive writing."

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