1 Paragraph Descriptive Essay Outline

One of the keys to writing a descriptive essay is to create a picture in your reading audience’s mind by engaging all five of their senses – smell, sight, touch, taste and sound. If you can do this, then your essay is a success, if not, then you have a lot of work to do. The first steps in writing a descriptive essay will lay the groundwork for the entire piece.

Step 1: Choose a topic

A descriptive essay will usually focus on a single event, a person, a location or an item. When you write your essay, it is your job to convey your idea about that topic through your description of that topic and the way that you lay things out for your reader. You need to show your reader (not tell them) what you are trying to describe by illustrating a picture in their mind’s eye very carefully.

Your essay needs to be structured in a manner that helps your topic to make sense. If you are describing an event, you will need to write your paragraphs in chronological order. If you are writing about a person or a place you need to order the paragraphs so that you start off in a general manner and then write more specific details later. Your introductory paragraph sets the tone for the rest of the essay, so it needs to set out all of the main ideas that you are going to cover in your essay.

Step 2: Create a statement

The next step is to create a thesis statement. This is a single idea that will be prominent throughout your essay. It not only sets out the purpose of the essay, but regulates the way that the information is conveyed in the writing of that essay. This is an introductory paragraph that sets out your topic framework.

Step 3: Get the senses right

Next, create five labelled columns on a sheet of paper, each one having a different of the five senses. This labelled list will help you to sort out your thoughts as you describe your topic – the taste, sight, touch, smell and sound of your topic can be sketched out among the columns. List out in the columns any sensation or feeling that you associate with the topic that you are writing about. You need to provide full sensory details that help to support the thesis. You can utilize literary tools such as metaphors, similes, personification and descriptive adjectives.

Once you have the columns laid out you can start to fill them with details that help to support your thesis. These should be the most interesting items that you have noted in your columns and will the details that you flesh out into the paragraphs of the body of your essay. Topics are set out in each separate paragraph and a topic sentence begins that paragraph and need to relate to your introductory paragraph and your thesis.

Step 4: Create an outline

The next step is to create an outline listing the details of the discussion of each paragraph. Students in high school are generally asked to write a five paragraph essay while college students are given more freedom with the length of their piece. The standard five paragraph essay has a particular structure including the introductory paragraph with the inclusion of a thesis statement, followed by three body paragraphs which prove that statement.

Step 5: Write the conclusion

Finally, the conclusion paragraph makes a summary of the entirety of your essay. This conclusion also needs to reaffirm your thesis (if necessary). Your conclusion needs to be well written because it is the final thing to be read by your reader and will remain on their mind the longest after they have read the remainder of your essay.

Step 6: Review your essay

It is important to take a break from your writing once you have completed the work. By stepping away from the work for a short time you can clear your mind and take a short rest. You can then take a look at the essay with fresh eyes and view it in much the same way that a person reading it will when they first see the piece.

After you have taken a short break or a walk (or whatever the case may be), read the entire essay again thinking about your reader. You should ask yourself if you were the reader, would the essay make sense to you? Is it easy to read so that anyone can understand what the topic of the essay is? Do any of the paragraphs need to be rewritten because they are confusing and need to be better written to be descriptive?

Your choice of words and language need to convey what you are trying to describe when you talk about a particular topic. The details that you have provided should give your reader enough information that they can form a complete picture. Any details in the essay should help a reader to understand the meaning of the topic from the writer’s point of view.

Read your entire essay over again, out loud this time. Sometimes reading something out loud can help to identify any issues that should be worked out. Read the essay again to a friend or family member and have them give you any criticisms that they might have. Have someone else ready your essay and then ask them if anything needs to be clarified or if they received a clear picture from the details given in the essay.

Step 7: Finish it up

Finally, read your essay again very carefully and check for any grammar, punctuation or spelling errors that are obvious within the essay. If you find any clichés, be sure to delete them, they certainly do not belong in your essay. If there are any parts that are not completely descriptive or don’t make as much sense as you would like them to, rewrite them once again and then follow the proof reading and reading aloud process again to ensure that the final product is exactly as expected. You can never be too thorough when it comes to reading the essay over again and checking for any areas that need to be reworked.

Enjoyed this post? Here’s what you can do next:

If you have got a task to write a descriptive essay at school or university, it is hardly worth immediately taking a pen and putting thoughts on paper. Experts advise to prepare for writing any academic assignment by taking four steps, following which you can make a work informative and well-structured:

  • First, correctly allocate time studying the essence of the essay topic, generate ideas, collect material on essay topic using various sources.
  • Secondly, write the detailed work outline.
  • Then divide your work into meaningful fragments. The standard purpose of essays usually includes the following: analyze, contrast, illustrate. For example, you have been assigned to give a detailed description of some aspects (phenomena, actions), then you aren’t required to analyze them as this type of work has an aim to provide as many details as you can.
  • And finally make your work as bright and lively that a reader can taste and smell the described things while a virtual place visit, which writer is talking about.

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Great Descriptive Essay Topics to Choose From

It is very important to choose the right descriptive topic. What does it mean “the right topic”? Choose an actual topic able to raise interest.

Descriptive essay topics may be either easier or more difficult. Have a look at popular topics.

Descriptive Essay Topics for 8 Grade

  1. How do you see your ideal world?
  2. How should your dream house look like?
  3. Share an experience of some journey, which impressed you.
  4. Describe the most beautiful person you know.
  5. Which laws do you consider inappropriate and describe why exactly?
  6. What are your household chores?
  7. Describe your first cooking experience.
  8. What age did you fall in love for the first time?
  9. Describe a person who made a great contribution to the history.
  10. Which design for your flat would you choose if had such an opportunity?
  11. What profession would you like to choose? Describe all possible benefits of your choice.

Topics for Descriptive Essays High School

  1. Describe the most pleasant memory.
  2. How do you imagine yourself in 5 years time?
  3. Describe your perfect wedding day.
  4. How do you feel when realizing that somebody lies to you?
  5. Give a description of your daily routine.
  6. Describe your feeling when you found out that Santa Claus isn’t real.
  7. Give a description of the best film you have watched.
  8. What is your favorite book about?
  9. Which character features do you appreciate in people most?
  10. How should your ideal present look like?
  11. What was the best gift you have ever got?

Descriptive Essay Topics for Middle School

  1. How should your ideal weekend look like?
  2. Describe your best summer.
  3. Which book do you like most and why?
  4. Which of your friends is a more pleasant person. Describe his/her main features.
  5. Describe your parents.
  6. How does your kitchen look like?
  7. Describe a place you want to live for the rest of your life.
  8. Give details about your personality.
  9. Describe one of your neighbors.
  10. Which toy was your favorite in childhood?
  11. Which attitude to fashion do you have?
Find out 100 great compare and contrast topics. 

Descriptive Essay Topics for College

  1. Tell which food you love most.
  2. Describe doing something for the first time.
  3. Can you imagine the world without laws and restrictions?
  4. What is your favorite kind of sports?
  5. Describe the well-known celebrity.
  6. Describe your unique experience.
  7. Give the detailed description of some process.
  8. Describe all steps necessary to learn to ride a bike.
  9. Describe holiday traditions in your family.
  10. How do you spend your working day?
  11. How do you imagine your perfect match? Include the description of his/her appearance and character.

If you use one of the above mentioned descriptive essay topics, you will definitely attract audience attention. Learn here how to write an effective title. 

Descriptive Essay Examples to Look at Before Get Started

In case a student has never described anything in the written form, he or she may feel confused being unable to choose an appropriate tone. Don’t have any ideas? Look at the sample before writing a descriptive essay example.

Here you will find short descriptive essay examples:

Descriptive essay sample number 1: “How I want to spend my perfect weekend”

Descriptive essay sample number 2: My ideal house

Use descriptive essay examples if assigned to write about similar topics.

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Guidelines How to Write a Descriptive Essay

You may wonder how to write a descriptive essay. There are several things to keep in mind before you write:

  • The selection of material should be systematic. What does this mean? There is no need to find out absolutely everything that in one way or another relates to the essay topic. You should focus on information that relates to the issue of the essay, has to do with it. What online resources will be useful? Should I use audio and video materials? These are the questions to ask before you get started. First, divide all sources into basic and secondary.

Usually, teachers give students a list of literature on the subject. Also, each textbook has a list of bibliographies to search for literary sources (books, magazine and newspaper publications). Get acquainted with the annotation to the publication and read excerpts from the text, only then make a decision to read the whole text. Electronic media will help you to keep abreast of current events and pick up bright living examples to illustrate the reasoning.

  • Start processing the collected material only when it is sufficient to write an essay.
  • Formulate themes and ideas that you want to cover in your essay. Pay special attention to the illustrative material and a descriptive essay example that will make your piece of writing more original and interesting.
  • Do not forget about the structure. The paper identifies three main parts - introductory paragraph, main section, and conclusion. The main part is divided into paragraphs. Usually, every new aspect, a new idea is revealed in a new paragraph of the body.

How to Write an Introduction to a Descriptive Essay

The introduction can be considered successful if it performs the following functions:

  • Informative: help your audience understand what your story will be about;
  • Catching the reader’s attention:Hook the intended audience and do your best to hold their attention.

Choose the most suitable statement that covers all points that you are going to discuss in your work. Use some interesting quotes or citation making your introduction eye-catchy.

How to Create a Good Descriptive Essay Thesis

Make sure that your thesis statement meets all requirements:

  • Must be short and concise,
  • Must help to understand the leading idea,
  • Must be understandable.

How to Write a Conclusion for a Descriptive Essay

Concluding, follow these recommendations:

  • Make it clear which role it plays for you personally;
  • Summarize all information given in the essay;
  • Explain the reason why your reader should care about the idea provided in your essay.

Effective Tips How to Write a Descriptive Essay Outline

Follow several steps to have a good descriptive essay outline:

  • Gather all topic information;
  • Collect all pieces of information making it sound like one entity;
  • Check out whether your text has a logical connection between the introduction, the body paragraphs, which are usually five, and the conclusion.

For example, if you have made your mind to write a description of some place, stick to the following detailed plan:

  • Write an opening sentence revealing the topic idea;
  • Present a place you are going to talk about;
  • Tell about your feelings being at this certain place;
  • Provide specific details about its location;
  • Provide additional facts and details, which relate to your topic;
  • Write a statement summarizing the entire word done.

The more locations you will describe, the more paragraphs your paper will consist of. If you find it difficult to organize your thoughts in the written form and develop a good outline, then you may ask those who know how to do this quickly and effectively by ordering it online.

Advice from Expert

Creating a successful description, you should use a vivid language to help your reader see the picture. Don’t forget to include different illustrative examples. You will be able to answer the question:” How to write a descriptive essay?” after you know the secret of successful descriptive texts: just make an accent on all sensory organs. Learn here how to write an observation essay. 

For example, describing your holidays at the seaside, breathe life into your work and avoid formalism. Use simple, understandable language appealing to your target audience. Help your reader feel how it was great to swim and play with waves. You will succeed if the person reading your paper can feel like being there. In fact, it is a narration with more vivid details. This is the main peculiarity that makes this descriptive type of writing different from a simple narrative paper style. You may notice that compared to a narration, here you won’t see a lot of action. Sometimes there is no movement at all. Your work will contain a minimum of verbs and maximum of adjectives and adverbs.

Want to become a good writer? Then act like a fisherman who is ready to wait for long till he catches a fish. The same is about a writer, who need to be patient hitting the books and then doing his best hooking the reader. Learn here how to avoid the most common mistakes in your essay. 

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