descriptive summary essay

Descriptive Essay: Your Guide to Writing an Effective One

descriptive summary essay

A descriptive essay is one of the four main types of essays, alongside narrative, argumentative, and expository essays. Among these, descriptive essays can be particularly challenging because they demand a keen eye for detail and an appreciation for aesthetics. By vividly describing scenes and details, you engage your reader’s senses, making your essay memorable and engaging. In this guide, our essay writers will break down the writing process for you, offering step-by-step instructions, practical examples, and clear definitions to help you excel in your next assignment.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

Descriptive writing aims to vividly portray something through essays, helping readers visualize and feel the scene or object being described. Such essays draw on detailed descriptions to create a clear and impactful image that not only presents the subject but also evokes emotions and memories.

There are three main techniques used in descriptive writing: naming, detailing, and comparing .

Naming identifies the subject and its characteristics, answering questions like 'What is it?' and 'What features does it have?'

Detailing elaborates on these features, providing answers to detailed questions such as 'How many are there?' and 'What is its value?' Techniques like synesthesia and comparisons enhance these descriptions.

Comparing uses similes and metaphors to make descriptions more vivid, linking the subject to familiar concepts.

Description vs. Descriptive Essay

What Is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

The purpose of a descriptive essay is multifaceted. Primarily, it allows writers to give readers a vivid impression of a person, place, or event, making the subject come alive through words. By using detailed descriptions, writers can help readers visualize settings and characters as if they were seeing them firsthand.

Additionally, descriptive essays can serve to clarify abstract ideas. By describing these concepts with concrete images and examples, writers make complex ideas easier to understand and more relatable to the reader.

Descriptive essays also aim to make information more memorable. When details are vivid, they are more likely to stick in the reader's mind, enhancing recall and engagement with the text.

Lastly, it can bolster an argument by providing concrete, detailed evidence that supports a point of view. This helps persuade the reader by making the argument more tangible and credible.

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Descriptive Essay Topics

When you're tasked with writing a descriptive essay, you'll usually get a prompt that asks you to describe something. These descriptive essay prompts allow you to explore different settings, time periods, and imaginative scenarios in your essays. 

Personal Prompts:

  • Describe a favorite childhood memory.
  • Describe a treasured family heirloom.

Imaginative Prompts:

  • Describe a day in the life of a pirate.
  • Describe what it would be like to explore an underwater city.

Historical Prompts:

  • Describe the atmosphere of a bustling ancient marketplace.
  • Describe the experience of witnessing a significant moment in history, like the moon landing or the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Nature Prompts:

  • Describe the sights and sounds of a peaceful forest at dawn.
  • Describe the feeling of standing at the edge of a majestic waterfall.

Everyday Prompts:

  • Describe the chaos of a busy morning commute in a big city.
  • Describe the tranquility of a sunset picnic in the countryside.

If you need topic ideas for other essay genres, consult our guide on narrative essay topics .

How to Write a Descriptive Essay in 8 Steps

Now that you understand the essence and purpose of this type of essay let's explore some fundamental yet valuable tips for writing a descriptive essay. 

How to Write a Descriptive Essay in 8 Steps

Step 1: Select Your Topic

The first step in creating a captivating descriptive essay is choosing the right topic. Start by paying close attention to your surroundings. 

  • Consider describing a person you know well in your life, like a sibling, a close friend, or a teacher who has made a significant impact on you.
  • Alternatively, you could focus on a specific place or object that holds sentimental value to you, such as a favorite vacation spot, a cherished childhood toy, or a meaningful piece of jewelry.
  • Another option is to explore a strong emotion that you have experienced, like excitement, nostalgia, or determination. 

Avoid using overly technical or jargon-filled language in your topic selection. Instead, aim for simplicity and clarity to ensure that your chosen topic resonates with your audience and allows you to convey your unique perspective effectively.

Step 2: Gather Details

Once you've selected your topic for your descriptive essay, the next step is to gather details that will bring your chosen subject to life on the page. Start by closely observing your subject, whether it's a person, place, object, or emotion. Pay attention to its appearance, characteristics, and any unique features that stand out to you.

For example, if you've chosen to describe your childhood home, take note of its architectural style, color scheme, and any distinctive elements like a front porch or a cozy fireplace. Recall memories associated with the home, such as family gatherings or quiet moments spent reading in your favorite spot.

If your topic is a person, like a close friend or family member, observe their physical appearance, mannerisms, and personality traits. Consider the ways in which they interact with others and the impact they have on your life.

Step 3: Draft an Outline

When structuring your essay, you can organize your paragraphs from top to bottom or near to far, chronologically, or from general to specific. Here's a simple descriptive essay outline from our custom writers to guide you: 

Step 4: Develop a Thesis Statement

When developing your thesis statement, consider the main points or aspects of your subject that you want to highlight in your essay. Think about the emotions or impressions you want to evoke in the reader and tailor your thesis statement accordingly.

For example, if you're writing about your favorite childhood memory, your thesis statement could be: 'My summers spent at my grandparents' farm were filled with laughter, adventure, and a sense of belonging.'

Or, if you're describing a beautiful sunset, your thesis statement might be: 'The breathtaking colors and serene atmosphere of the sunset over the ocean evoke a sense of peace and wonder.'

Step 5: Craft the Introduction

Start your descriptive essay introduction by hooking the reader with an engaging opening sentence or anecdote related to your topic. This could be a vivid description, a thought-provoking question, or a surprising fact. For example:

  • Growing up on my grandparents' farm, each summer brought new adventures and unforgettable memories that still warm my heart to this day.

After hooking the reader, provide some background information or context for your topic. This could include brief details about the setting, time period, or significance of your subject. For instance:

  • Nestled in the rolling hills of the countryside, my grandparents' farm was a sanctuary of simple pleasures and cherished traditions.

Finally, end your introduction with your thesis statement, clearly stating the main point of your essay. This ties everything together and gives the reader a roadmap for what to expect in the rest of your essay. 

Step 6: Compose the Body Paragraphs

Once you've crafted your introduction, it's time to compose the body paragraphs, where you delve into the details and descriptions that bring your topic to life.

Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect or detail of your topic, expanding upon the ideas presented in your thesis statement. Use vivid language, sensory details, and descriptive devices to paint a clear picture for the reader.

For example, if you're writing about summers spent at your grandparents' farm, you could dedicate one body paragraph to describing the sights and sounds of the farm:

  • The rolling fields stretched out before me, golden waves of wheat swaying gently in the breeze. The air was filled with the sweet scent of wildflowers, mingling with the earthy aroma of freshly turned soil.

In another body paragraph, you might explore the adventures and activities that filled your days:

  • From sunrise to sunset, there was never a dull moment on the farm. Whether we were exploring the woods, splashing in the creek, or helping with chores, each day brought new excitement and adventure.

Continue with additional body paragraphs, each focusing on a different aspect of your topic and providing rich, detailed descriptions. Be sure to vary your language and sentence structure to keep the reader engaged and interested.

Step 7: Conclude the Essay

The conclusion should bring together all the ideas presented in your essay. Avoid introducing any new information in the conclusion. Instead, focus on evaluating your thoughts and reflections on the topic. End with a strong final sentence that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

For example, if you were writing about summers spent at your grandparents' farm, your conclusion might reflect on the significance of those memories:

  • 'As I reminisce about the summers spent amid the rustic charm of my grandparents' farm, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude for the simple pleasures and cherished moments that shaped my childhood. The laughter echoing through the fields, the adventures awaiting around every corner, and the sense of belonging that enveloped me there will forever hold a special place in my heart.'

Step 8: Refine Your Essay

Once you've finished writing your essay, it's time to refine it for clarity and impact. Start by reading your essay aloud to yourself. Listen for any sentences that sound awkward or unclear. Mark these sentences so you can revise them later.

You can also read your essay aloud to others and ask for their feedback. Invite friends, family members, teachers, or mentors to listen to your essay and share their thoughts. Ask them if there are any parts that are difficult to understand or if they have trouble picturing the subject you're describing.

Be receptive to constructive criticism and feedback. Use it as an opportunity to improve your essay and make it stronger. And if it sounds too demanding right now, you can buy cheap essay to sidestep the hassle and reclaim some much-needed free time.

Descriptive Essay Format

The standard format for a descriptive essay typically includes five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, you can also organize your essay into sections, allowing for flexibility in the length of the body paragraphs.

Introductory Paragraph: This paragraph sets the scene by describing where, when, and to whom the experience occurred. It should include descriptive words to capture the reader's attention.

First Body Paragraph: Here, the writer provides details that allow the reader to visualize the situation. Descriptive language is key in painting a clear picture for the reader.

Second Body Paragraph: More details are provided, with a focus on using descriptive adjectives. Figurative language, such as metaphor (e.g., describing the city as a 'jungle of concrete'), can enhance the imagery.

Third Body Paragraph: The writer continues to appeal to the reader's senses with visually descriptive words. Figurative language, like personification (e.g., describing the wind as a playful dancer), adds depth to the description.

Conclusion: The conclusion alludes to another sense, such as touch or sound, and uses strong words to signify closure. It ends with a powerful concluding sentence to leave a lasting impression on the reader.

Descriptive Essay Examples

In this section, you'll discover essay examples that demonstrate how to captivate your readers' attention effectively. After exploring these examples, you might find yourself tempted to ask, 'Can someone do my homework for me?' - and that's completely understandable! We're here to help you become more confident and articulate communicators through your writing!

3 Additional Tips for Writing

While writing a descriptive essay, your goal is to make your subject come alive for the reader. Unlike more formal essays, you have the freedom to be creative with your descriptions, using figurative language, sensory details, and precise word choices to make your writing memorable.

3 Additional Tips for Writing

Use Figurative Language: Figurative language, like metaphors and similes, adds flair to your descriptions. Instead of sticking to literal descriptions, use comparisons to create unique and memorable imagery. 

  • For instance, describing a city as a bustling beehive of activity ' or a forest as ' a blanket of whispers ' adds an unexpected twist that captures the reader's attention.

Engage Your Senses: In a descriptive essay, don't just focus on what something looks like; appeal to all the senses. Describe how things smell, sound, feel, and even taste, if applicable. This adds depth and richness to your descriptions, making them more immersive. 

  • For example, instead of just describing a beach visually, include sensory details like feeling the warm sand between your toes , hearing the rhythmic crash of waves , and t asting the salty sea breeze.

Choose Your Words Carefully: Use effective adjectives, verbs, and nouns to convey your impressions vividly. Avoid clichés and opt for original, precise language that reflects your unique perspective. Take the time to review your sentences and consider if there are better word choices that could enhance your description.

In Wrapping Up

To sum it up, descriptive essays are all about encouraging students like you to explore your surroundings and unleash your creativity by describing scenes in detail with words. When you carefully select and organize these descriptive details, it not only enhances your writing but also sharpens your critical thinking skills. Plus, diving into this expressive writing style allows you to appreciate the beauty of language and feel more connected to written communication. And remember, if you ever need a little boost in your writing journey, our descriptive essay writing service is here to help!

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How To Write A Descriptive Essay?

What is a descriptive essay, what is the purpose of a descriptive essay.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

descriptive summary essay

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

  • New samples
  • New information on each of the rest sections 

Axelrod, R. B. and Cooper, R. C. (2008). The st martin’s guide to writing. (English Edition). New York: Bedford/St Martins

Okono, U. M. (2021). Descriptive essay: An assessment of performance by undergraduates of AkwaIbom State University. Erudite Journal of Linguistics and Languages .

Okono. U. M. (2020). “Qualities of a good essay: An assessment of the writings of Nigerian undergraduates.” International Journal on integrated Education. 3: vi.

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How to Write a Descriptive Essay: Writing Tips & Examples

Imagine painting a vivid picture with words, capturing the reader’s imagination, and transporting them to a different world. That’s the power of a well-written descriptive essay. But how does one harness that power and create a masterpiece? In this comprehensive guide on how to write a descriptive essay, we’ll explore the intricacies of descriptive essays, from understanding their purpose to mastering the language, and everything in between.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Essay Writing: Key Takeaways

  • Descriptive essays strive to create a vivid experience for the reader through concrete details and sensory language.
  • The purpose of descriptive writing is to provide an engaging representation of the subject, aiding in forming understanding.
  • Through self-review, peer feedback and editing tools one can craft a polished essay that leaves a lasting impression on readers.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

Descriptive essays are more than just a simple narration or description of a subject. They aim to provide a detailed and vivid depiction of a subject using concrete details and figurative language, engaging the reader’s senses. Whether it’s describing a family member, a favorite food, or a memorable experience, the goal is to paint a picture so vivid that the reader feels as if they’re experiencing it firsthand. A good descriptive essay achieves this by striking the perfect balance between narration and sensory details.

To achieve this, writers must use vivid language and create a strong sense of imagery. They are.

Purpose of a Descriptive Essay

The primary objective of a descriptive essay is to create a clear and detailed picture of a subject, allowing the reader to visualize and understand it. It’s about immersing the reader into the world the writer has crafted, much like an argumentative essay, which seeks to convince readers of a particular viewpoint.

A descriptive essay, however, focuses on creating a sensory experience, engaging the reader on a deeper level with the subject, rather than just communicating facts.

Characteristics of Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing possesses certain key characteristics, which include organization, detail, sensory language, factual information, and the abstention of opinions. Organization is crucial as it helps the reader comprehend the essay and follow the writer’s line of reasoning.

Detail and sensory language bring the subject to life, creating a vivid image in the reader’s mind, while factual information and the absence of opinions ensure an accurate and unbiased portrayal of the subject.

Choosing Descriptive Essay Topics

The beauty of descriptive essays lies in the versatility of their subjects. From people and characters to places, objects, emotions, and experiences, there’s a whole world of topics waiting to be explored. When selecting a topic, consider aspects of your own experience, things that interest you, or subjects that hold personal significance.

The key is to choose a subject that you can describe in detail, allowing your reader to immerse themselves in the vivid world you create.

People and Characters

Descriptive essays about people and characters allow you to dive deep into the intricacies of their personalities, traits, and relationships. You can focus on family members, friends, teachers, or even fictional characters. When writing a personal essay about a person, consider aspects such as their physical appearance, personality, behavior, habits, and accomplishments.

This provides a comprehensive and engaging portrayal of the entire essay that will captivate your reader.

Places and Settings

Places and settings provide a rich canvas for descriptive essays. They can be real or fictional locations, such as hometowns, schools, or imaginary worlds. When describing a place, focus on its physical characteristics, cultural significance, or historical importance. This will create a multi-dimensional image that transports your reader to the location and enables them to experience it as if they were there themselves.

By focusing on the details of the place, you can create a vivid and engaging description.

Objects and Items

Descriptive essays about objects and items give you the opportunity to examine everyday items or objects with personal significance in a new light. From a cherished family heirloom to a simple household item, the possibilities are endless.

To create a vivid description, focus on sensory details such as texture, color, smell, taste, and sound. By exploring these aspects, you’ll breathe life into the object and make it come alive for your reader.

Emotions and Experiences

Emotions and experiences are a goldmine for descriptive essays. By delving into your own feelings and personal reflections, you can create an intimate and powerful portrayal of an emotion or experience. Consider topics such as love, fear, happiness, or sadness, as well as personal experiences, memories, and favorite things.

Through sensory details and reflection, you’ll create a palpable connection with your reader, allowing them to share in your emotional journey.

Crafting a Descriptive Essay Outline

An outline is an indispensable tool in crafting a descriptive essay. It helps organize your thoughts, create a smooth flow, and ensure that your essay is structured coherently. A typical descriptive essay outline consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

By following this structure, you’ll ensure that your essay flows seamlessly from one section to the next, making it easy for your reader to follow along and understand your message.


A strong descriptive essay introduction, also known as an introductory paragraph, is essential for capturing your reader’s attention and setting the stage for your descriptive essay. It should be brief, engaging, and introduce the subject you’ll be describing. The introduction should also include a well-crafted thesis statement, which provides a succinct overview of the main arguments of your essay.

By starting with a compelling introduction, you’ll entice your reader to continue reading and immerse themselves in the world you’ve created.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your descriptive essay should focus on specific aspects of your subject, using vivid language and sensory details to create a rich and immersive experience for your reader. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that encapsulates the main idea of the paragraph and connects it to the overall thesis statement. By following the descriptive essay format, you can ensure a well-structured and engaging piece of writing, such as a five paragraph essay.

Remember to use transition words to guide your reader through your essay and maintain a logical flow. These words can help you to move from one idea to the next, and to connect the ideas.

In the conclusion of your descriptive essay, it’s important to restate your thesis statement and provide a brief reminder of the topics you’ve covered. This helps to reinforce your main points and bring your essay full circle.

Consider leaving your reader with something to ponder or a memorable phrase that encapsulates the essence of your essay. A strong conclusion will leave a lasting impression on your reader, ensuring that your descriptive essay is not soon forgotten.

Mastering Descriptive Language

The key to a captivating descriptive essay lies in the language you use. Mastering descriptive language involves harnessing the power of figurative language, sensory details, and strong word choices to create a memorable and vivid description. By employing these techniques, you’ll not only paint a vivid picture for your reader, but also evoke their emotions and engage their senses, creating a truly immersive experience.

Using figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, can help you to create a vivid visual.

Figurative Language

Figurative language, such as metaphors and similes, can add depth and creativity to your descriptive essay. These literary devices help convey unique perspectives and create memorable effects. For example, instead of simply describing a park as green and lush, you could use a metaphor to compare it to a paradise or a simile to liken it to an oasis.

By using figurative language, you’ll breathe new life into your descriptions and leave a lasting impression on your reader.

Sensory Details

Sensory details are the secret ingredient that makes your descriptive essay come alive. By appealing to your reader’s senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, you’ll create a vivid and immersive experience that goes beyond mere description. For example, instead of simply saying that a room is warm, you could describe the gentle caress of the sunlight on your skin, the soft hum of the air conditioner, and the faint scent of cinnamon in the air.

By incorporating sensory details, you’ll transport your reader into the world you’ve created.

Word Choice

The words you choose can make or break your descriptive essay. Precise and original words can help you avoid clichés and create a strong impression on your reader. Be mindful of your word choice, and consider using a thesaurus to find alternative words that better capture the essence of your subject.

By selecting the right words, you’ll not only create a vivid image in your reader’s mind, but also convey your unique perspective on the subject.

Reviewing and Revising Your Descriptive Essay

The final step in crafting a captivating descriptive essay is to review and revise your work. This process involves self-review, peer feedback, and the use of editing tools to ensure that your essay is polished and error-free.

By carefully reviewing your work and incorporating feedback, you’ll ensure that your descriptive essay is the best it can be, leaving your reader with a memorable and vivid experience.


Self-review is an essential part of the revision process. Start by taking a break from your essay to gain a fresh perspective. Then read your essay aloud, listening for awkward phrasing or unclear sections.

Ask yourself questions to ensure clarity and coherence, such as “Does the essay make sense?” and “Are there any areas that require additional clarification?” By critically evaluating your work, you’ll be able to identify areas for improvement and make the necessary changes.

Peer Feedback

Peer feedback is another valuable resource in the revision process. Sharing your essay with classmates, friends, or family members can provide fresh insights and suggestions for improvement. Be open to constructive criticism and consider the feedback you receive before making any revisions.

Remember, the goal is to create the best possible version of your descriptive essay, and sometimes an outside perspective can help you see areas for improvement that you might have missed.

Editing Tools

Finally, consider using editing tools to help polish your descriptive essay. Programs like Grammarly can help you identify and correct grammatical errors and improve the overall quality of your writing.

By using editing tools, you can ensure that your essay is not only engaging and vivid, but also polished and professional.

Descriptive Essay Examples and Analysis

Analyzing descriptive essay examples can provide valuable insights into effective writing techniques and strategies. By examining the work of others, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to craft your own descriptive essay and learn new approaches that can help you bring your subject to life.

In this section, we’ll look at two different examples of descriptive essays and discuss the techniques used to create vivid and memorable descriptions.

Consider this descriptive essay example, which showcases classic approaches to descriptive writing: “The small, sunlit room was filled with the scent of freshly brewed coffee and the sound of soft jazz playing in the background. Every surface was covered in a layer of paint splatters, a testament to the artist’s dedication and passion.

The large canvas in the center of the room captured the essence of a summer day, with vibrant colors and bold brushstrokes. This example employs vivid sensory details and strong word choices to create an engaging and memorable description that transports the reader into the world of the artist.

In this second example, the writer takes a different approach to descriptive writing: “The city was a maze of towering skyscrapers, their reflections shimmering in the glassy surface of the river below. The buzz of traffic echoed through the canyon-like streets, while the aroma of street food vendors wafted through the air.

It was a place where dreams and realities collided, each vying for dominance in the ever-changing landscape.” Here, the writer uses figurative language and a more poetic style to convey the atmosphere and energy of the city, creating a vivid and captivating description that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i start a descriptive essay.

To start a descriptive essay, begin by describing an event, place, object, or person in the opening sentence to engage the reader’s attention. Then provide relevant information to support your description, compile pertinent information on the topic, and create an outline prior to writing body paragraphs and a conclusion summarizing the essay.

Lastly, look for ways to enliven your language to make it more vivid and compelling.

How can I write a good descriptive essay?

To write a good descriptive essay, focus on a specific topic and compile information to create an outline. Use vivid details, figurative language, precise language and thoughtful organization to make your writing come alive for the reader.

Include a hook sentence in the introduction, a clear thesis statement and make sure to end with a summarizing conclusion.

What is the format of a descriptive essay?

A descriptive essay is a written account of a particular experience, with a good thesis statement at the beginning of the introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

It is written in a coherent style using formal language.

What are the 4 components of descriptive writing?

Descriptive writing typically employs sensory detail, vivid imagery, figurative language, action-packed verbs, and an overall evocative tone to create an engaging narrative for readers.

This type of writing can help readers visualize the story and feel as if they are part of the action. It can also help to draw readers in and keep them engaged with the text.

What is the main goal of a descriptive essay?

The main goal of a descriptive essay is to provide the reader with a vivid and detailed picture of the subject, enabling them to visualize and understand it.

By using descriptive language and sensory details, the writer can create a vivid image in the reader’s mind. This can be done through the use of metaphors, similes, and other literary devices. Additionally, the writer should use vivid verbs.

In conclusion, writing a compelling descriptive essay requires a combination of organization, detail, sensory language, and strong word choice. By understanding the purpose and characteristics of descriptive writing, selecting engaging topics, crafting a well-structured outline, and mastering descriptive language, you’ll be well on your way to creating vivid and memorable essays that captivate your reader.

Remember to review and revise your work, taking advantage of peer feedback and editing tools to ensure a polished final product. With practice and dedication, you’ll soon be painting vivid pictures with words, transporting your readers to new worlds, and leaving a lasting impression.

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How to Write a Strong Descriptive Essay

Last Updated: May 14, 2024 Fact Checked

Brainstorming Ideas for the Essay

Writing the essay, polishing the essay, outline for a descriptive essay, expert q&a.

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,520,764 times.

A good descriptive essay creates a vivid picture of the topic in the reader’s mind. You may need to write a descriptive essay as a class assignment or you may decide to write one as a fun writing challenge. Start by brainstorming ideas for the essay. Then, outline and write the essay using vivid sensory details and strong descriptions. Always polish your essay and proofread it so it is at its best.

Best Tips for Writing a Descriptive Essay

Outline the essay in sections and create a thesis statement to base the essay on. Then, write a strong introduction and describe the subject matter using creative and vivid adjectives. Use similes, metaphors, and your own emotions to help you bring the topic to life.

Step 1 Choose a person to describe.

  • You could also choose a fictional person to write about, such as a character in a book, a story, or a play. You could write about a character on your favorite TV show or video game.

Step 2 Pick a place or object to describe.

  • Another take on this option is to write about a made-up place or object, such as the fantastical school in your favorite book or the magic wand from your favorite TV show.

Step 3 Select an emotion to describe.

  • You could also choose a more specific emotion, such as brotherly love or self-hatred. These emotions can make for powerful descriptive essays.

Step 4 Make a list of sensory details about the topic.

  • For example, if you were writing about a person like your mother, you may write down under “sound” : “soft voice at night, clack of her shoes on the floor tiles, bang of the spoon when she cooks.”

Step 1 Outline the essay in sections.

  • If you are writing the essay for a class, your instructor should specify if they want a five paragraph essay or if you have the freedom to use sections instead.

Step 2 Create a ...

  • For example, if you were writing a descriptive essay about your mother, you may have a thesis statement like: “In many ways, my mother is the reigning queen of our house, full of contradictions that we are too afraid to question.”

Step 3 Write a strong introduction.

  • For example, if you were writing the essay about your mom, you may start with: “My mother is not like other mothers. She is a fierce protector and a mysterious woman to my sisters and I.”
  • If you were writing an essay about an object, you may start with: "Try as I might, I had a hard time keeping my pet rock alive."

Step 4 Describe the topic with vivid adjectives.

  • You can also use adjectives that connect to the senses, such “rotting,” “bright,” “hefty,” “rough,” and “pungent.”
  • For example, you may describe your mother as "bright," "tough," and "scented with jasmine."

Step 5 Use metaphors and similes.

  • You can also use similes, where you use “like” or “as” to compare one thing to another. For example, you may write, “My mother is like a fierce warrior in battle, if the battlefield were PTA meetings and the checkout line at the grocery store.”

Step 6 Discuss your emotions and thoughts about the topic.

  • For example, you may write about your complicated feelings about your mother. You may note that you feel sadness about your mother’s sacrifices for the family and joy for the privileges you have in your life because of her.

Step 7 Wrap up the essay with a strong conclusion.

  • For example, you may end a descriptive essay about your mother by noting, “In all that she has sacrificed for us, I see her strength, courage, and fierce love for her family, traits I hope to emulate in my own life.”

Step 1 Read the essay out loud.

  • You can also read the essay aloud to others to get their feedback. Ask them to let you know if there are any unclear or vague sentences in the essay.

Step 2 Show the essay to others.

  • Be open to constructive criticism and feedback from others. This will only make your essay stronger.

Step 3 Revise the essay for clarity and length.

  • If you have a word count requirement for the essay, make sure you meet it. Add more detail to the paper or take unnecessary content out to reach the word count.

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To write a descriptive essay, start by choosing a topic, like a person, place, or specific emotion. Next, write down a list of sensory details about the topic, like how it sounds, smells, and feels. After this brainstorming session, outline the essay, dividing it into an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Open with a vivid introduction that uses sensory details, then introduce your thesis statement, which the rest of your essay should support. Strengthen your essay further by using metaphors and similes to describe your topic, and the emotions it evokes. To learn how to put the finishing touches on your essay, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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What is a Descriptive Essay? How to Write It (with Examples)

What is a Descriptive Essay? How to Write It (with Examples)

A descriptive essay is a type of creative writing that uses specific language to depict a person, object, experience, or event. The idea is to use illustrative language to show readers what the writer wants to convey – it could be as simple as a peaceful view from the top of a hill or as horrific as living in a war zone. By using descriptive language, authors can evoke a mental image in the readers’ minds, engaging readers and leaving a lasting impression, instead of just providing a play-by-play narrative.

Note that a description and descriptive essay are not the same thing. A descriptive essay typically consists of five or more well-written paragraphs with vivid imagery that can help readers visualize the content, as opposed to a description, which is typically one or more plain paragraphs with no particular structure or appeal. If you are still unsure about how to write a compelling descriptive essay, continue reading!

Table of Contents

What is a descriptive essay, types of descriptive essay topics.

  • Characteristics of descriptive essays

How to write a descriptive essay using a structured outline

Frequently asked questions.

A simple descriptive essay definition is that it is a piece of writing that gives a thorough and vivid description of an object, person, experience, or situation. It is sometimes focused more on the emotional aspect of the topic rather than the specifics. The author’s intention when writing a descriptive essay is to help readers visualize the subject at hand. Generally, students are asked to write a descriptive essay to test their ability to recreate a rich experience with artistic flair. Here are a few key points to consider when you begin writing these.

  • Look for a fascinating subject

You might be assigned a topic for your descriptive essay, but if not, you must think of a subject that interests you and about which you know enough facts. It might be about an emotion, place, event, or situation that you might have experienced.

descriptive summary essay

  • Acquire specific details about the topic

The next task is to collect relevant information about the topic of your choice. You should focus on including details that make the descriptive essay stand out and have a long-lasting impression on the readers. To put it simply, your aim is to make the reader feel as though they were a part of the experience in the first place, rather than merely describing the subject.

  • Be playful with your writing

To make the descriptive essay memorable, use figurative writing and imagery to lay emphasis on the specific aspect of the topic. The goal is to make sure that the reader experiences the content visually, so it must be captivating and colorful. Generally speaking, “don’t tell, show”! This can be accomplished by choosing phrases that evoke strong emotions and engage a variety of senses. Making use of metaphors and similes will enable you to compare different things. We will learn about them in the upcoming sections.

  • Capture all the different senses

Unlike other academic articles, descriptive essay writing uses sensory elements in addition to the main idea. In this type of essay writing, the topic is described by using sensory details such as smell, taste, feel, and touch. Example “ Mahira feels most at home when the lavender scent fills her senses as she lays on her bed after a long, tiring day at work . As the candle melts , so do her worries” . It is crucial to provide sensory details to make the character more nuanced and build intrigue to keep the reader hooked. Metaphors can also be employed to explain abstract concepts; for instance, “ A small act of kindness creates ripples that transcend oceans .” Here the writer used a metaphor to convey the emotion that even the smallest act of kindness can have a larger impact.

  • Maintain harmony between flavor and flow

The descriptive essay format is one that can be customized according to the topic. However, like other types of essays, it must have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The number of body paragraphs can vary depending on the topic and available information.

It is crucial to remember that a descriptive essay should have a specific topic and goal, such as sharing personal experiences or expressing emotions like the satisfaction of a good meal. This is accomplished by employing exact language, imagery, and figurative language to illustrate concrete features. These language devices allow the writer to craft a descriptive essay that effectively transmits a particular mood, feeling, or incident to readers while also conjuring up strong mental imagery. A descriptive essay may be creative, or it may be based on the author’s own experiences. Below is a description of a few descriptive essay examples that fit into these categories.

  • Personal descriptive essay example

A personal essay can look like a descriptive account of your favorite activity, a place in your neighborhood, or an object that you value. Example: “ As I step out of the front door, the crisp morning air greets me with a gentle embrace; the big chestnut tree in front, sways in the wind as if saying hello to me. The world unfolds in a symphony of awakening colors, promising a day filled with untold possibilities that make me feel alive and grateful to be born again”.

  • Imaginative descriptive essay example

You may occasionally be required to write descriptive essays based on your imagination or on subjects unrelated to your own experiences. The prompts for these kinds of creative essays could be to describe the experience of someone going through heartbreak or to write about a day in the life of a barista. Imaginative descriptive essays also allow you to describe different emotions. Example, the feelings a parent experiences on holding their child for the first time.

Characteristics of descriptive essay s

The aim of a descriptive essay is to provide a detailed and vivid description of a person, place, object, event, or experience. The main goal is to create a sensory experience for the reader. Through a descriptive essay, the reader may be able to experience foods, locations, activities, or feelings that they might not otherwise be able to. Additionally, it gives the writer a way to relate to the readers by sharing a personal story. The following is a list of the essential elements of a descriptive essay:

  • Sensory details
  • Clear, succinct language
  • Organized structure
  • Thesis statement
  • Appeal to emotion

descriptive summary essay

How to write a descriptive essay, with examples

Writing an engaging descriptive essay is all about bringing the subject matter to life for the reader so they can experience it with their senses—smells, tastes, and textures. The upside of writing a descriptive essay is you don’t have to stick to the confinements of formal essay writing, rather you are free to use a figurative language, with sensory details, and clever word choices that can breathe life to your descriptive essay. Let’s take a closer look at how you can use these components to develop a descriptive essay that will stand out, using examples.

  • Figurative language

Have you ever heard the expression “shooting for the stars”? It refers to pushing someone to strive higher or establish lofty goals, but it does not actually mean shooting for the stars. This is an example of using figurative language for conveying strong motivational emotions. In a descriptive essay, figurative language is employed to grab attention and emphasize points by creatively drawing comparisons and exaggerations. But why should descriptive essays use metaphorical language? One it adds to the topic’s interest and humor; two, it facilitates the reader’s increased connection to the subject.

These are the five most often used figurative language techniques: personification, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, and allusion.

  • Simile: A simile is a figure of speech that is used to compare two things while emphasizing and enhancing the description using terms such as “like or as.”

Example: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving – Albert Einstein

  • Metaphor: A metaphor are also used to draw similarities, but without using direct or literal comparisons like done in similes.   

Example: Books are the mirrors of the soul – Virginia Woolf, Between the acts

  • Personification: This is the process of giving nonhuman or abstract objects human traits. Any human quality, including an emotional component, a physical attribute, or an action, can be personified.

Example: Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world – Louis Pasteur

  • Hyperbole: This is an extreme form of exaggeration, frequently impractical, and usually employed to emphasize a point or idea. It gives the character more nuance and complexity.

Example: The force will be with you, always – Star Wars

  • Allusion: This is when you reference a person, work, or event without specifically mentioning them; this leaves room for the reader’s creativity.  

Example: In the text below, Robert Frost uses the biblical Garden of Eden as an example to highlight the idea that nothing, not even paradise, endures forever.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay

– Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost (1923)

Descriptive essays need a combination of figurative language and strong sensory details to make the essay more memorable. This is when authors describe the subject matter employing senses like smell, sound, touch, and taste so that the reader can relate to it better.

Example of a sensory-based descriptive essay: The earthy fragrance of freshly roasted chestnuts and the sight of bright pink, red, orange fallen leaves on the street reminded her that winter was around the corner.

  • Word choice

Word choice is everything in a descriptive essay. For the description to be enchanting, it is essential to utilize the right adjectives and to carefully consider the verbs, nouns, and adverbs. Use unusual terms and phrases that offer a new viewpoint on your topic matter instead of overusing clichés like “fast as the wind” or “lost track of time,” which can make your descriptive essay seem uninteresting and unoriginal.

See the following examples:

Bad word choice: I was so happy because the sunset was really cool.

Good word choice: I experienced immense joy as the sunset captivated me with its remarkable colors and breathtaking beauty.

  • Descriptive essay format and outline

Descriptive essay writing does not have to be disorganized, it is advisable to use a structured format to organize your thoughts and ensure coherent flow in your writing. Here is a list of components that should be a part of your descriptive essay outline:

  • Introduction
  • Opening/hook sentence
  • Topic sentence
  • Body paragraphs
  • Concrete details
  • Clincher statement

descriptive summary essay


  • Hook: An opening statement that captures attention while introducing the subject.
  • Background: Includes a brief overview of the topic the descriptive essay is based on.
  • Thesis statement: Clearly states the main point or purpose of the descriptive essay.

Body paragraphs: Each paragraph should have

  • Topic sentence: Introduce the first aspect or feature you will describe. It informs the reader about what is coming next.
  • Sensory details: Use emphatic language to appeal to the reader’s senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell).
  • Concrete details: These are actual details needed to understand the context of the descriptive essay.
  • Supporting details: Include relevant information or examples to improve the description.


  • Summarize key points: Here you revisit the main features or aspects of the subject.
  • Restate thesis statement: Reinforce the central impression or emotion.
  • Clincher statement: Conclude with a statement that summarizes the entire essay and serve as the last words with a powerful message.

Revision and editing:

  • Go over your essay to make sure it is coherent, clear, and consistent.
  • Check for logical paragraph transitions by proofreading the content.
  • Examine text to ensure correct grammar, punctuation, and style.
  • Use the thesaurus or AI paraphrasing tools to find the right words.

A descriptive essay often consists of three body paragraphs or more, an introduction that concludes with a thesis statement, and a conclusion that summarizes the subject and leaves a lasting impression on readers.

A descriptive essay’s primary goal is to captivate the reader by writing a thorough and vivid explanation of the subject matter, while appealing to their various senses. A list of additional goals is as follows: – Spark feeling and imagination – Create a vivid experience – Paint a mental picture – Pique curiosity – Convey a mood or atmosphere – Highlight specific details

Although they both fall within the creative writing category, narrative essays and descriptive essays have different storytelling focuses. While the main goal of a narrative essay is to tell a story based on a real-life experience or a made-up event, the main goal of a descriptive essay is to vividly describe a person, location, event, or emotion.

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How to Write a Descriptive Essay

4-minute read

  • 26th February 2020

A descriptive essay, as the name may suggest, is an essay in which you describe something. The idea is to create a vivid picture of something – a person, object, place or experience – for your reader.

But how do you write a descriptive essay? We have a few helpful tips to share.

1. Brainstorming and Organizing Your Ideas

Your first step should be to brainstorm ideas . Think about the qualities of what you’re describing. As well as physical qualities, make notes about any thoughts, memories, and emotions you associate with your subject matter.

This brainstorming will give you the raw material for your descriptive essay. The next step is to create an essay outline. Typically, this will include:

  • An Introduction – An outline of what you will describe and the “thesis” for your essay (i.e., a key theme that will run through your essay and guide your description). For instance, if writing about an inspirational teacher, you could mention the importance of education in the introduction.
  • Main Body – A series of paragraphs in which you describe your subject. Each paragraph should cover a single main point, then lead neatly on to the next one, adding to the overall picture you’re creating for the reader.
  • Conclusion – A final paragraph where you summarize your overall essay. This is also a good place to reaffirm your essay thesis, emphasizing how your description reflects this.

Before you start writing, then, make some notes about what each paragraph in your essay will include. This will then guide the drafting process, making sure your essay has a clear structure.

2. Use Vivid, Sensory Language

A descriptive essay should paint a picture for your reader. And this means you need to use vivid, exciting language rather than a formal, academic tone. Ideas for making your essay more linguistically engaging include:

  • Using sensory language to evoke how something looked, smelled, etc.
  • Writing in the present tense to make the situation feel immediate.
  • Describing feelings and thoughts elicited by the subject of your essay.
  • Looking for dynamic adjectives and adverbs to use (e.g., you could say something made you “happy,” but “elated” or “delighted” may be stronger).
  • Using metaphors, similes, and other literary techniques .

Keep your introduction in mind while writing. The language you use should serve the “thesis” you set out there, drawing the reader’s attention to specific aspects of the thing you’re describing.

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3. Show, Don’t Tell

“Show, don’t tell” refers to a technique used by authors to make their writing more engaging. Essentially, all this means is using action, description, and dialogue to paint a picture for the reader rather than simply stating something in plain language. We can see the difference below:

Telling: Miss Hardy was an engaging speaker.

Showing: When Miss Hardy spoke, everyone listened. Her voice bubbled with enthusiasm, bringing even the most mundane subjects to life.

In the first sentence, we simply tell the reader that Miss Hardy was an engaging speaker. But in the second, we try to help the reader picture being in her class, listening to her speak. And by engaging the reader’s imagination like this, we can make our description more memorable.

4. Editing and Proofreading Your Descriptive Essay

Once you have a first draft, you’ll be ready to start editing. The idea here is to go back over your essay – at least once, but possibly multiple times – to look for ways you could improve it. This drafting process may involve:

  • Making sure your writing is clear, well structured, and impactful.
  • Rewriting passages that feel clichéd or that could be stronger.
  • Reading your essay out loud to see how well it flows.
  • Ensuring that the central theme of your essay is present throughout.

And when you’ve finished redrafting, go through the essay one more time to remove any typos that remain. Alternatively, you can submit your descriptive essay for proofreading . With the expert eye of a professional editor on your side, you can be confident your writing is the best it can be.

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Descriptive Essay

Descriptive Essay Writing

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

How To Write An Impactful Descriptive Essay?

By: Cathy A.

12 min read

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Dec 17, 2019

Descriptive Essay

Wondering how to write an impressive descriptive essay? Writing a descriptive essay is both fun and challenging. You need to describe the main topic in detail and by engaging the five senses of the readers.

Students usually get this type of essay in high school and college. Writing a descriptive essay is different from other essays.

You need to focus on describing a certain person, place, or event.

Luckily for you, the following blog post will provide some helpful tips on how to create an engaging essay.

Continue reading to learn how to write an A-worthy descriptive essay.

Descriptive Essay

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What is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay is a detailed paper that describes a place, person, situation, object, or emotion. Different people have different points of view and your job is to explain yours in detail.

You may be asked to write a descriptive essay about the beach or forest or about a person or situation. The purpose of this essay is to test the writer’s ability in expressing and explaining their experiences.

Descriptive writing should create a picture in the reader’s mind. You may be required to write a descriptive essay as a high school or college essay assignment.

For a compelling essay, using adjectives and adverbs, details, and figurative language is fundamental. Without proper usage of words, you will not be able to invoke the readers' emotions.

What is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

The purpose of a descriptive essay is to describe a person, place, or personal experience in vivid detail so that the reader can create a picture in his mind.

The descriptive essay is written to get the reader to understand by using descriptive language. It is different from narrative essays, where the writer tells the story about someone else. Usually, it starts with a real-life event and then the content follows the author's imagination.

Descriptive essays are not intended to persuade the reader or show facts and figures to prove something. Descriptive essays are like word paintings that contain personal and descriptive details and these are mostly assigned to students of creative writing.

How to Start a Descriptive Essay

A strong start for your descriptive essay is essential. Analyze your topic from every angle and document the following details:

Analyze the main subjects in detail and observe minute things.

  • Start with observing all the possible aspects of the subject.
  • Don't just observe the object but also its surroundings.
  • Focus on details and features of the subject and develop opinions about them.
  • Be thoughtful; this first step will be the basis for the essay.

Physical Settings

Describing the physical settings is a must in a descriptive essay. When describing, keep the following points in mind.

  • Focus on the subject's position and observe nearby objects
  • Note the time of day and kind of lighting: natural or imitated
  • Physical settings: all the basic and decorative elements
  • The position and shape of the objects
  • Alignment and any other observable information

Physical Features

When describing the physical features of the subject, living or nonliving, consider the following points.

  • Living or nonliving; describe the features in detail
  • The subject's skin color, texture, smoothness, expression, and age
  • The features of inanimate objects in the picture, color, surface, and texture

Create Drama

Storytelling and drama are the life and blood of a good descriptive essay. It turns your essay into an exciting and interesting piece of writing. However, be subtle about adding drama to your sentence structure and add it to complement your story only.

Focus On Your Feelings

Focus on how you feel about the particular topic or person and stick to it. It is easy to get involved when working on the essay. But, focus on your own feelings and write an essay based on them.

Use Of Specific Vocabulary

Vocabulary is important. Select the best words for describing an action or object. Don't always use the first word that comes to mind.

Write slowly and thoughtfully, and use specific words to convey your thoughts.

Psychological Aspects

Writing about a certain situation or behavior of a person focuses on the mental aspects and emotions involved in them.

For Example, describe your emotions when your friend misplaced your notes right before the exam.

You may have had several emotions in that incident. Maybe you were prepared for exams, but this situation put you under pressure and made you feel frustrated and hurt.

Explore those emotions and describe the feelings they aroused. Describe the body language also, if relevant.

Ask Yourself, WHY?

This is the most valuable tip for students. When you are looking at a particular subject, and having difficulty analyzing its aspects, ask yourself "WHY".

  • Why is the subject the way it is?
  • Why does the person you are describing have such a deep-set and cold eyes?
  • Why is the animal so wounded and terrified?
  • Why is this particular place famous?

It is a good practice and after some time you will do it naturally. Knowing the why is important if you want to describe your topic properly.

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How To Write A Descriptive Essay?

When you write a descriptive essay, you help your readers visualize an event, a person, or a story. It is written to make your readers feel what you feel about the respective subject.

A descriptive essay seeks to appeal to some or all of the audience’s five senses. Some key things to consider are:

  • Discussing your subject thoroughly
  • Focusing on details and adding them in your essay
  • Sharing your personal feelings and experience about the subject
  • Observing and describing all sensory details of your subject

Here are the steps to write a descriptive essay easily.

1- Choose an Engaging and Focused Essay Topic

An important step that all strong descriptive essays share is having a focused topic. Before you make the outline, identify the purpose of your essay and use it to create an appropriate thesis statement.This type of paper does not require much personal opinion from you. Its main goal should be focusing on information that will make a dominant impression in readers' minds instead.

2- Research and Gather Important Details

When writing a descriptive essay, it is important to make sure you include as many details and sensory information as possible. This helps your reader fully understand the images that are being presented in their mind's eye.You can organize these ideas into categories so they're easy for you to access when needed.

3- Create an Outline of Your Essay

Your essays must be organized by having subheadings that are clear and concise. Group your main points into individual body paragraphs, each of which should only cover one idea or topic at a time.

4- Write your Essay’s Introduction

A good introductory paragraph is much like a road map because it provides direction to your readers.

It provides relevant background information before diving into more specific details related to how something works or why something happens. These could include statistics or stories from real-life scenarios.

5- Write the Main Body Section of Your Essay

Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that keeps the reader hooked on what you are saying. Use specific details instead of making generalized statements, and make sure to give examples if necessary.

6- End with a Strong Conclusion

The conclusion of an essay is the final paragraph, and it should summarize all that you have said throughout. It's a good idea to restate the main points and key details from the essay in this section.

It is important so the reader has everything they need for better understanding before ending off on something new.

If necessary be sure not to introduce anything odd or unusual, to avoid any confusion.

7- Proofread and Revise the Essay Carefully

Once you are done writing the essay, proofread and revise it carefully. Make sure that it is free from all kinds of errors.

Descriptive Essay Outline

Like all the other essays, a descriptive essay also follows the usual 5-paragraph essay structure and format.Before starting, it is important to create an outline. Following are the fundamental elements of your descriptive essay outline:

Descriptive Essay Introduction

The introduction sets the footing for the entire essay. Before heading towards the body section, the reader will come across the introduction.

It is the first impression of your work. It is very important to write an engaging introduction so that the readers read the essay till the end.

Start the essay in an easy-to-understand way and language. Provide background information on your topic so they can understand it and its importance.

To make sure the reader feels your emotions and decides to continue reading further, incorporate the following points in your introduction.

The following tips will guide you on how to write a good introduction for a descriptive essay.

  • Attract the reader's attention with an interesting fact, phrase, or quote
  • Don't bombard them with information
  • Go straight to the main pointsInclude enough information to introduce the topic and its significance.
  • Summarize the argument and the main topic and craft your thesis statement

Descriptive Essay Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is an integral part of your essay. It focuses on the argument and the writer’s main idea, which is to be discussed in the essay.

This statement also provides the writer with a chance of explaining the purpose and scope of the topic. It is intriguing and engaging.

A thesis statement is written at the end of the introduction, it is mainly a single sentence that describes the essay objective. The thesis statement should act as a guide to the reader on what to expect in the essay body. It is like a table of contents of a book, to the reader on contents you will get an idea of what the book is all about so you get to understand it better.

It is like a table of contents of a book. By reading it, you will get an idea of what the book is all about.

A good thesis should contain the following things:

  • Define the essay scope - it should narrow down all the points to clarify its purpose.
  • Avoid using common words - you should be creative with your choice of words.
  • Create suspense - it should attract the reader to the body paragraphs of the essay.

For further information on how to write a thesis for a descriptive essay, check out the following examples.

  • Descriptive essay example about a Place

“Even though monarchy is long gone, Buckingham Palace is here to remind us of the aesthetic beauty of that era.”

  • Descriptive essay example about a Person

“One of the characteristics of Spider-Man is his youthfulness, and the fact that he talks to himself more than Hamlet.”

  • Descriptive essay example about an Emotion

“For numerous reasons, the dark forest is my greatest fear, though not a fear which is necessarily smart to face.”

Descriptive Essay Body Paragraphs

Body paragraphs of the essay come next after the introduction and thesis statement. It is the main part that continues your essay.

Usually, an essay consists of three body paragraphs but you can add more if needed.

Don't add more than one central idea in one paragraph. Fusing different ideas will confuse the reader.

Build your paragraphs according to the thesis and introduction.

  • Start each body paragraph with the main sentence
  • Use transitions to move between paragraphs smoothly
  • Each paragraph should be five to six sentences long

Descriptive Essay Conclusion

The concluding paragraph is the last part of an essay, and probably your last chance to impress your reader.

The last part that the reader can keep in mind is the conclusion, which is as important as the rest of the essay.

To make it interesting and thought-provoking, include the following points:

  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Summarize the main points
  • Add an intriguing closing statement

After writing the conclusion, make a review of your essay, identify the mistakes and maintain a good tone throughout the essay.

Descriptive Essay Format Sample

Here is the descriptive essay format to help you understand how you can write a winning descriptive essay.


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Descriptive Essay Topics Ideas

Descriptive essay topics are often related to physical settings, locations, living beings, and objects.

Make sure that your essay includes the five senses, touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing, or at least one of them. It depends on the topic and the kind of feeling that you want to arouse.

Below are some descriptive essay ideas and ways to achieve them.

Living Beings

When you want to write about a person like a family member, consider the following elements:

  • Gender, age, complexion, and expressions
  • Physical features
  • Height, body type, and approximate weight
  • Kind of clothes

These details will add depth to the description and your readers will actually see your narrative.

When animals are the subject, you can add the above points plus the following details:

  • Species and animal
  • Size, weight, color
  • Behavior patterns
  • Temperament
  • Trained or wild?
  • Real or fictional?

Inanimate Subjects

Geographic locations and structures.

When your subject is a place or a building, add the following points:

  • Research about the place and its historical background
  • The color and the building's type
  • A famous place or landmark to draw a comparison and inspire interest

Human behavior and psychology is a compelling descriptive essay subject. When writing about it:

  • Describe the consequences of a particular behavior
  • Discuss the emotional dimension of the topic and how you perceive it personally

Event Or Travel Experience

A travel experience makes a good descriptive essay since you have experienced the event first hand.

Give a detailed description of the place, people at the venue, and the atmosphere of the location.

Idea, Concept, or Occupation

When writing on such topics, focus on how an idea or concept affects society and its different aspects.

Example Descriptive Essay Topics for Students

Choosing a topic for your descriptive essay is quite interesting. You get to choose something that you have an emotional connection with.

When writing a descriptive essay about a person or place, adding their personal traits will be helpful.

Some examples of descriptive essay topics include:

  • Compose a detailed descriptive essay about your best friend.
  • Describe a fancy place that you have created.
  • Describe your dream vacation destination.
  • Describe your favorite mall or store.
  • Describe your childhood home.
  • Descriptive essay about nature.
  • Descriptive essay about a place you visited.
  • Describe the personality of your Maths teacher.
  • Discuss the main characters of your favorite movie.
  • Descriptive essay about chocolate.
  • Write an essay using unique Words to describe yourself.
  • What makes me unique?
  • My first love.

Descriptive Essay Examples

Study these descriptive essay examples and sample papers to understand the main idea, structure, and purpose of descriptive essays.



To help you understand how to write a great descriptive essay, we have a whole blog post dedicated to it. We know that talking about something is one thing and demonstrating it is completely different.

Having a descriptive essay assignment with a short deadline? Looking for someone to do my essay for me ? academic writing professionals are ready to help you. They read the essay details before writing and make sure that they incorporate all the details in it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the features of a descriptive essay.

A descriptive essay provides a perfect opportunity for writers to express their feelings on any subject. Descriptive writing has rich sensory details which appeal to all of your senses.

How do you start a descriptive essay introduction?

The introduction to the descriptive essay should set the scene and introduce the main topic. You can use these sensory details to get a sense of what the essay is all about.

What are the two types of descriptive essays?

There are two types of descriptive essays. The first type deals with people, and the second one is about objects.

What are the elements of a descriptive essay?

Here are the key elements of a descriptive essay.

  • Sensory details
  • Figurative language
  • Central and main theme
  • Precise and clear language
  • Proper organization of ideas

What makes good descriptive writing?

Good and effective descriptive writing consists of vivid sensory details that appeal to all senses including the sense of sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste. Moreover, these essays also explain people’s feelings in writing.

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Finance Essay, Literature

Cathy has been been working as an author on our platform for over five years now. She has a Masters degree in mass communication and is well-versed in the art of writing. Cathy is a professional who takes her work seriously and is widely appreciated by clients for her excellent writing skills.

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How to Write a Descriptive Essay

How to Write a Descriptive Essay

descriptive summary essay

This could be something as simple as your favorite flavor of ice cream or as complicated as the politics of 13th century Vienna. Different than a simple description, a descriptive essay allows the writer to really show off both their imagination as well as their writing skills.

What is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay is a type of academic writing that asks the writer to fully describe a place, person, situation, event, or thing. They can be simple or they can be very complex depending on the subject matter and audience written for. These types of essays train a writer’s ability to express themselves accurately as well as build compelling sentences and arguments.

Descriptive Essay Ideas

There is no exhaustive list of things that can be described, but these are some of the most common things you may be asked to write about. 

A Location - The goal of writing about a place is to make the reader feel as if they are there. Words, similes, and metaphors that ignite the reader’s imagination are essential. Try and immerse the reader in the sights, smells, and sounds of the place you are describing. Examples could be a city, a view, a particular building like your house, etc. 

A Time Period - Similar to writing about a location, the goal is to make the reader lose themselves in the time you are describing. This requires great research to be able to describe physical characteristics as authentically and as well as possible. This could include how you felt a year ago, an ancient time period, or the future.

An Event - The goal of describing an event is to explain a series of interesting circumstances. Typical storytelling elements like describing the plot, setting, and characters are useful, but make sure you focus on the chain of events.

An Emotion - The goal of describing an emotion is to make the reader feel the sentiments of the character you are describing. Metaphors and similes are very useful when trying to evoke an emotion in a reader along with physical descriptions that express the emotion. 

A Person - The goal of writing about a person is to make the reader understand something about that person. This includes physical descriptions of what they look like, what kind of clothing they wear, a sense of the physical presence along with their profession,  as well as how they behave. 

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Descriptive Essay Outline and Structure

Though a descriptive type of essay is quite different from a typical academic paper, it still follows a classic 5 paragraph format. Always follow any directions though, sometimes you may need more or fewer body paragraphs. This is a general structure you should keep in mind for this type of essay.


  • Introduction/background information

Body Paragraphs

  • Topic Sentence
  • Sensory Information
  • Physical Descriptions
  • Transition Sentence
  • Summary of the main points
  • Restate the thesis

An outline is always a good idea for any kind of writing, but it is particularly useful for this type of essay because it collects your thoughts and makes sure your essay stays on track. 

  • Hook - The sting of salty water, the hypnotic crash of the waves, the breathtaking sunsets, the best vacation spot?
  • Background information - Everyone is different and everyone likes different types of things. When it comes to vacations though, there is a place that almost everyone enjoys.
  • Thesis - In my opinion, the beach is the best possible vacation spot because of the variety of ways one can enjoy it. 
Body Paragraph 1 
  • Topic Sentence - The beach has many kinds of natural beauty
  • Sensory information - The unlimited expanse of the ocean combined with glorious sunrises and sunsets.
  • Physical descriptions -The crunch of sand below your bare feet and the crash of waves on your body.
  • Transition sentence - There’s more than just natural beauty though, there are physical activities to enjoy as well 
Body Paragraph 2
  • Topic Sentence - The beach has unlimited activities for physical enjoyment.
  • Sensory information - The thrill of battling with the ocean, the joy of falling on the sand, the wind streaming through your hair, and the pleasant tingling of the sun on bare skin.
  • Physical descriptions - Water sports like surfing, jet skiing, and the like allow you to exercise in one of the most fun ways possible. Not to mention sports like frisbee, volleyball, beach soccer, and more.
  • Transition sentence - If you just want to relax, the beach is perfect for that too!
Body Paragraph 3
  • Topic Sentence - The beach is ideal just to relax, destress, and take it easy. 
  • Sensory information - To relax as you are massaged by either human hands or the sun is a pleasure. Lazing around might be frowned upon, but the beach is the ideal place to spend some time taking care of yourself and letting the stresses of the world melt away.
  • Physical description - Whether it’s reading a book, or enjoying a refreshing beverage with umbrellas in it, you can get taken care of on the beach. Building sandcastles, painting, and meditating are other activities easily and freely enjoyed. 
  • Transition sentence - The beach has so much to offer.
  • Summary of the main points - Whether it’s nature, physical exercise, or simple relaxation, the beach can offer all of that and more. 
  • Restate the thesis - That’s the main reason that a beach is the ideal vacation spot, it allows for diverse ways of having fun. 
  • Closing statement/Clincher - Think about the last time you went to the beach, don’t you want to go again?

What is the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay?

It should leave the reader with a clear idea of the topic of the essay. The goal is to explain things in a comprehensive and interesting way so that the information stays with the reader. Let’s go into the details of how to accomplish this. 

Did you like our inspiring Descriptive Essay Guide?

For more help, tap into our pool of professional writers and get expert essay editing services!

Writing Process & Descriptive Essay Examples

It may seem challenging to write a successful essay of this type, but if you follow the advice below, it will be a breeze. 

How to Start a Descriptive Essay

Making sure you choose the right topic is the first hurdle to cross. A topic for a descriptive essay is vital because it is the main subject you will be writing about. Spend at least 20 minutes brainstorming different topic ideas and make sure you choose a topic that you know well.

Next, create an outline to better structure your thoughts and figure out the pieces of information you need to find out more about. The more time you spend creating a well-researched outline, the better your endpaper is going to be, and you’ll end up spending less time on actually writing the paper. Now you can move on the writing the descriptive essay introduction.

How to Write a Descriptive Essay Thesis

A thesis statement is the main argument you are trying to make in your paper. It is the main point you are trying to describe. A good thesis statement for descriptive essay is particular without being too brief. It should include not only just what the topic is, but also mention why the topic is important.

How to Write Body Paragraphs

You can have as many body paragraphs as you think are necessary to achieve the goal of describing something clearly. This means you could have just one body paragraph, the standard three, or more. 

Start every paragraph with a topic sentence that explains what the main purpose of the paragraph is. Next fill in sensory details, describing the emotions before moving on to describing the actual physical details. End each body paragraph with a transition sentence that helps each paragraph flow into the other. Not only does this make your writing stronger, but it also helps you create an immersive experience.

How to Write the Conclusion 

Summarize the main points of your essay and make sure that you reiterate the thesis statement. This reminds people of the point of your essay and ensures that when writing, you don’t stray too far from the point. 

Descriptive Essay Format 

There are 3 main formats of citation types for essays. Though the most common one is MLA, it is possible that you may have to use APA or Chicago Style citations. 

MLA stands for Modern Language Association and is used primarily for the arts and humanities.  MLA uses in-text parenthetical citation in the format of (Author, Page). The page at the end that contains all the sources is called the Works Cited page. The format of these entries is unique to MLA but is easy to make with a citation generator. 

APA stands for American Psychological Association and is used mostly for the sciences and social sciences. APA uses in-text parenthetical citations in the format (Author, Date). The page at the end that contains all the sources is called the References section

Chicago Style is used primarily for Business, History, and the Fine Arts. In-text citation can be either as footnotes or parenthetical citation in the format (Author, Date). The page at the end that contains all the sources is called the Bibliography. 

Most descriptive essays will follow the MLA style of citation, but if you need any more help, find a guide on for more information about citation styles in general. 

Descriptive Essay Topics

The topic is crucial, because all the research you do, and the entire paper, will specifically be about describing the topic. Here are some descriptive essay prompts to inspire you!

The person you’ve most admired in your life
A movie scene that made you feel strong emotions
The time period you would travel to if you had a time machine
Why a beach is better than the mountains for a vacation (or vice versa)
The taste of a drink when you are incredibly tired
An author that inspired you 
Your favorite cuisine
The best place in the world to be by yourself
The best Christmas morning you’ve ever had
An accent that you really enjoy 
A time when you wanted something so much it burned
Describe the day in the life of your favorite celebrity 
The joy of escaping into a video game
What dancing means to you 
A life philosophy you believe in 
The feeling of holding a baby in our arms
The sound of crashing waves
Standing in front of a gorgeous view
A vacation that was meaningful 
Why fireworks are magical 
The first time you cosplayed 
How it feels to listen to music that you hate 
The best thing you have ever eaten in your life
What would it be like to live 100 years in the future
Why hearing people laugh is beautiful 
A day in the life of your favorite animal 
A strange superstition you believe in
The strangest person you’ve ever met
Your favorite tv show 
Playing your favorite sport 
What it’s like to be in love

Descriptive Essay Tips

Before we end, let’s go over some of the key points of information in this article.

  • Use figurative language including metaphors and similes 
  • Use your senses
  • Choose appropriate words
  • Show don't tell 
  • Focus on specific details
  • Spend time choosing the right topic
  • Create a detailed outline
  • Forget about the purpose of the essay
  • Submit your first draft
  • Make it too complicated
  • Ignore your audience 
  • Ignore any directions

In addition to the information provided in this article, there are various resources available to help with your writing needs. If you are struggling to write your descriptive essay, you can turn to professional writers and editors for assistance. You may consider hiring a research paper writing service or seeking help from dissertation writers .

Additionally, if you need someone to " write my admission essay ", there are various options available. You can hire a writer for a custom writing service or seek help from online tutors and teachers. Furthermore, if you need to write a strong admission essay, there are services available that specialize in providing guidance and assistance with this type of writing.

It is important to note that before submitting any work, it should be proofread and edited thoroughly to ensure its quality. Studyfy offers a range of services to help with this, including professional proofreaders and editors who can check your work for grammatical errors and ensure that it meets academic standards.

In summary, there are various resources available to help with your writing needs, including professional writing services, proofreaders, and editors. By utilizing these resources and following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can write a successful descriptive essay that effectively conveys your ideas and engages your readers.If you are looking for the query " I need someone to write an essay for me ", Studyfy has got you covered

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Descriptive Essays

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What is a descriptive essay?

The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe something—object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal of which is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader).

One might benefit from keeping in mind this simple maxim: If the reader is unable to clearly form an impression of the thing that you are describing, try, try again!

Here are some guidelines for writing a descriptive essay.

  • Take time to brainstorm

If your instructor asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you jot down some ideas before you begin describing it. For instance, if you choose pizza, you might start by writing down a few words: sauce, cheese, crust, pepperoni, sausage, spices, hot, melted, etc. Once you have written down some words, you can begin by compiling descriptive lists for each one.

  • Use clear and concise language.

This means that words are chosen carefully, particularly for their relevancy in relation to that which you are intending to describe.

  • Choose vivid language.

Why use horse when you can choose stallion ? Why not use tempestuous instead of violent ? Or why not miserly in place of cheap ? Such choices form a firmer image in the mind of the reader and often times offer nuanced meanings that serve better one’s purpose.

  • Use your senses!

Remember, if you are describing something, you need to be appealing to the senses of the reader. Explain how the thing smelled, felt, sounded, tasted, or looked. Embellish the moment with senses.

  • What were you thinking?!

If you can describe emotions or feelings related to your topic, you will connect with the reader on a deeper level. Many have felt crushing loss in their lives, or ecstatic joy, or mild complacency. Tap into this emotional reservoir in order to achieve your full descriptive potential.

  • Leave the reader with a clear impression.

One of your goals is to evoke a strong sense of familiarity and appreciation in the reader. If your reader can walk away from the essay craving the very pizza you just described, you are on your way to writing effective descriptive essays.

  • Be organized!

It is easy to fall into an incoherent rambling of emotions and senses when writing a descriptive essay. However, you must strive to present an organized and logical description if the reader is to come away from the essay with a cogent sense of what it is you are attempting to describe.

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3.5: Descriptive Essays

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Writing a Description Essay

Choosing a subject is the first step in writing a description essay. Once you have chosen the person, place, or object you want to describe, your challenge is to write an effective thesis statement to guide your essay. The remainder of your essay describes your subject in a way that best expresses your thesis. Remember, you should have a strong sense of how you will organize your essay. Choose a strategy and stick to it. Every part of your essay should use vivid sensory details. The more you can appeal to your readers’ senses, the more they will be engaged in your essay. You can read two sample essays at the end of this section.

Sample Thesis Statement

Although Minnesota may seem drab and cold to outsiders, natives of the state find it a wonderful place to live.

We can see in this thesis statement that the writer will attempt to show the aspects of Minnesota that make it a great place to live. After detailing a thesis statement, you should come up with a list of sensory words that provide vivid detail and support the thesis. You may start by thinking about the five senses. How does your particular place look, smell, feel, taste, and sound like? How can you best describe these senses so the reader feels what you feel? By organizing the elements of descriptive language into easier to handle sections, like the five senses, you are able to more specifically engage in what elements of the description are most useful.

Order of Presentation

The writer in this case could choose to present the positive aspects of Minnesota in terms of the seasons and weather changes. The details could be presented linearly, starting with spring and going through the winter, highlighting the aspects of each season that most closely support the thesis, that Minnesota is a great place to live.

Prior to starting the essay, give some thought to the audience of your piece. Who is going to read the essay, and what effect would you like it to have upon the readers? An awareness of audience is important in choosing the level of formality you take with your writing. Knowing your audience will also help you distinguish which details to include throughout your essay. Assume that your audience knows very little or nothing about your subject matter, and include details that may seem obvious to you.

Example Audience: In this particular essay, the writer wants to show an outsider to the state why Minnesota natives are so happy to live there. The essay should help break down stereotypes for those outsiders about Minnesota’s cold weather and apparent drabness. Because the essay is designed for those who do not live in Minnesota, and maybe have never been there, it is important to include details about the state that may seem obvious to a native.

With the preparatory work complete, it is time now to begin writing your essay. Use your thesis statement to begin to construct an introductory paragraph. The introduction should set up the basis for your essay, and the thesis statement should state its purpose.

Example Introduction

Many who have not traveled to the state of Minnesota only hear of its cold weather and boring reputation. They are sure missing out on the great opportunities that Minnesota affords. Each season offers different senses that native Minnesotans and tourists know and love. Although Minnesota may seem drab and cold to outsiders, natives of the state find it a wonderful place to live.

With the introduction complete, it is time to start constructing the body paragraphs of your essay. Each body paragraph should have a central theme in itself, and that theme should be represented in a topic sentence. Consequently, each sentence of the paragraph should relate to and support the topic sentence. The body paragraphs are where the majority of the details should be given. When writing the first draft of your descriptive essay, include as many details as is reasonably possible. You can always eliminate the ones that do not serve the essay as well when you are revising your draft. In the case of the Minnesota nature essay, we have decided to set up the body paragraphs in terms of season, starting with spring.

Example Body Paragraph

Spring in Minnesota brings new life to the state after the long winter season. The rain washes the landscape clean, leaving its fresh aroma for all to enjoy. The flowers soak up the golden sun’s rays and begin to show their vibrant colors. The first birds can be seen and heard throughout the woods and fields, telling their stories in beautiful songs. The lakes begin to show their glossy finish as the ice melts away slowly under the heat of the season.

With the body paragraphs complete, it is time to bring the essay to a close with the conclusion. The conclusion should draw a conclusion based on what has been presented throughout the body of the essay. It needs to return to the thesis, but not in an overt way. The conclusion should give the reader a final sense of what the essay was meant to portray. Remember that there should not be any new material introduced in the conclusion, and the way it is worded should give the reader a sense of finality.

Example Conclusion

The variety of activities and distinct seasons found in Minnesota reveal diverse beauty of this state. As one considers the benefits of each season, it becomes clearer why so many native Minnesotans are content with their home state. Minnesota is truly a wonderful place to live.

With the essay complete, it is time to reread and revise your essay (also see revision sections of this textbook). Read your first draft and pinpoint all of the descriptor words you used. If possible, go back and add more after the ones you already used in the essay. If you can, read your essay aloud to a friend and have him/her tell you what images are vivid and what images need more development. Rework any images that are cloudy with more descriptions. Also, check to see if your descriptions have made use of all of the five senses: sound, smell, texture, sight, and taste. Repeat these steps as many times as necessary until you are happy with your product.

Sample Descriptive Essays

America's Pastime

As the sun hits my face and I breathe in the fresh air, I temporarily forget that I am at a sporting event. But, when I open my eyes and look around, I am reminded of all things American. From the national anthem to the international players on the field, all the sights and sounds of a baseball game come together like a slice of Americana pie.

First, the entrance turnstiles click and clank, and then a hallway of noise bombards me. All the fans’ voices coalesce in a chorus of sound, rising to a humming clamor. The occasional, “Programs, get your programs, here!” jumps out through the hum to get my attention. I navigate my way through the crowded walkways of the stadium, moving to the right of some people, and to the left of others, I eventually find the section number where my seat is located. As I approach my seat I hear the announcer’s voice echo around the ball park, “Attention fans. In honor of our country, please remove your caps for the singing of the national anthem.” His deep voice echoes around each angle of the park, and every word is heard again and again. The crowd sings and hums “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and I feel a surprising amount of national pride through the voices. I take my seat as the umpire shouts, “Play ball!” and the game begins.

In the fifth inning of the game, I decide to find a concessions stand. Few tastes are as American as hot dogs and soda pop, and they cannot be missed at a ball game. The smell of hot dogs carries through the park, down every aisle, and inside every concourse. They are always as unhealthy as possible, dripping in grease, while the buns are soft and always too small for the dog. The best way to wash down the Ball Park Frank is with a large soda pop, so I order both. Doing my best to balance the cold pop in one hand and the wrapped-up dog in the other, I find the nearest condiments stand to load up my hot dog. A dollop of bright green relish and chopped onions, along with two squirts of the ketchup and mustard complete the dog. As I continue the balancing act between the loaded hot dog and pop back to my seat, a cheering fan bumps into my pop hand. The pop splashes out of the cup and all over my shirt, leaving me drenched. I make direct eye contact with the man who bumped into me. He looks me in the eye, looks at my shirt, and tells me how sorry he is. I just shake my head and keep walking. “It’s all just part of the experience,” I tell myself.

Before I am able to get back to my seat, I hear the crack of a bat, followed by an uproar from the crowd. Everyone is standing, clapping, and cheering. I missed a home run. I find my aisle and ask everyone to excuse me as I slip past them to my seat. “Excuse me. Excuse me. Thank you. Thank you. Sorry,” is all I can say as I inch past each fan. Halfway to my seat I can hear discarded peanut shells crunch beneath my feet, and each step is marked with a pronounced crunch.

When I finally get to my seat I realize it is the start of the seventh inning stretch. I quickly eat my hot dog and wash it down with what is left of my soda pop. The organ starts playing and everyone begins to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” While singing the song, putting my arms around friends and family with me, I watch all the players taking the field. It is wonderful to see the overwhelming number of players on one team from around the world: Japan, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Canada, and Venezuela. I cannot help but feel a bit of national pride at this realization. Seeing the international representation on the field reminds me of the ways that Americans, though from many different backgrounds and places, still come together under common ideals. For these reasons and for the whole experience in general, going to a Major League Baseball game is the perfect way to glimpse a slice of Americana.

Student Essay

In the following student essay, notice how the writer uses sensory details to describe not only the visual appearance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s tomb, but also the experience of visiting such a historically significant and emotionally moving monument. Pay particular attention to the organization of the description; how does the author move us around the monument and describe its characteristics? Is it effective?

Professor Smith

English 1101

11 June 2014

The King’s Tomb

The water is always so beautiful, a hypnotic shade of baby blue, with a few autumn colored leaves floating in the ripples made by the wind. This isn’t a natural body of water. No wildlife swim in the shallow waves, but this water is as full of life as any ocean. In the middle of what is fittingly called the Reflecting Pool lies the closest thing African Americans have ever had to royalty. Here lie the remains of Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King.

Nestled between the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church is a beautiful white marble monument, warmly bathed in the lights circling the tomb of our late civil rights leaders. Following Dr. King’s assassination in April 1968, he was first interred at South View Cemetery, a final resting place largely reserved for African Americans during that period. It took nearly a decade before he was exhumed and placed in the beautiful ivory stone structure that he now shares with his beloved wife Coretta. The tomb, erected in 1977, sits within the south end of the Reflecting Pool. Seemingly suspended on the bright blue water, the tomb displays scriptures that only capture a small portion of the legacy left by these great leaders. Engraved on Dr. King’s portion reads, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last!” from his pivotal “I Have a Dream” speech given during the March on Washington in 1963. I can’t help but attempt to recite the mantra in my head with the same bravado and conviction as Dr. King had when he gave the speech over fifty years ago. While the saying is a beautiful incantation, fit for a King, the cost at which that freedom was attained is still heartbreaking.

In a scene reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, who passed away in January 2006 after a prolonged illness, lies next to her slain husband. For a short period following her death Mrs. King was interred in a smaller yet equally beautiful tomb directly across from her late husband. Spectacular floral arrangements surrounded her tomb as scores of mourners came from afar to pay their respects to the First Lady of the Civil Rights Movement. In November 2006, she was laid to rest in a beautiful new tomb aside her husband. The words “And now abide Faith, Hope, Love, These Three, but the greatest of these is Love,” emblazon her final resting place. No truer instance could describe her legacy.

Auburn Avenue, shrouded in darkness, is void of people aside from the few vagrants that aimlessly roam the streets. Heat from the Eternal Flame warms my back as I stare off into space. The brilliant glow of the LED lights strategically placed around the tomb and the amber flicker of the Eternal Flame are the only lights that seem to suit this moment. Kneeling as if I’m preparing to pray, I take a moment to reflect. Through my clenched eyes I can hear the soft splashes of the water, the gas fueled roar of the Eternal Flame. The ambient noise of car horns, traffic and construction fade to nearly a whisper. I envision the March on Washington. I can feel the sting of water hoses pelting my black skin. I can hear the sharp sonics of police dogs barking. The feeling is overwhelming. My eyelashes clump together from the tears winning their battle against my eyelids. Nearby is a place of worship, a place where anyone can still feel the spirit of past congregations, a place where the walls hold almost as much history as any Smithsonian exhibit.

Just a few feet away sits the original Ebenezer Baptist Church, a beautiful, rustic old building left largely intact from the days of Atlanta’s past. Walking inside is like stepping into a time warp, instantly sending you to the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. With the exception of a few strategically placed speakers, the church is left in its pure form. Dr. King’s voice echoes through wooden pews playing his famous “Drum Major” speech, given during his final sermon at Ebenezer on February 4, 1968. With closed eyes, I have difficulty telling what era I am in. Given with almost Machiavellian prediction and passion, ten minutes engulfed with his powerful words makes me feel as though I’ve been baptized, born again.

Surrounded with reminders of our history’s darkest time, this place brings me peace. There’s an aura in this place. A powerful spirit that infiltrates my conscience with thoughts of struggle, loss and freedom. The reality of this place forces my mind to reevaluate my own mortality. Even with the knowledge of how Dr. King was vilified, degraded, and executed, his death serves as a shining beacon of light. A lone ray of sun through the seemingly endless cloud of racism and intolerance. Coretta’s grace, beauty and resilience in the face of unspeakable tragedy and injustice is incomparable. Her social work and philanthropy should be an influence to women of all walks of life.

The legacy that Dr. and Mrs. King leave behind is an unfulfilled one. Equality in America has improved since Dr. King’s assassination but his dream is still unrealized. There is turmoil within the King family regarding funding and management of the King Memorial, leaving the future of this serene place uncertain. Engraved on the Stone of Hope, a newly completed Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., reads, “Out of the Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope.” Although we still have a mountain to climb, The King’s Tomb is surely my Stone of Hope.

External Links

Checklist of Things to Consider ( ) when writing a description.

Susan Berne visits New York and describes her impressions in " Where Nothing Says Everything " ( ), also called "Ground Zero." Another link to the story is here ( ).

Contributors and Attributions

Adapted from  Successful College Composition (Crowther et al.) . Sourced from  LibreTexts , licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA  .

Adapted from  Let's Get Writing (Browning, DeVries, Boylan, Kurtz and Burton) . Sourced from  LibreTexts , licensed under  CC BY-NC-SA  .


Types of Summary

Ho'omana Nathan Horton and Paul Sims

There are two primary types of summary: Descriptive and evaluative . As with many types of writing, not all summaries will fit perfectly into one of these categories, but these descriptions can help you know where to start when writing a summary.

  • Descriptive : A descriptive summary is very much rooted in expressing facts. It focuses on the essence of the item under review, sharing the main point and any important, supporting details. The writer’s opinion is rarely found in a descriptive summary. It is a concise description of the work, which means the writer uses as a few words as possible to convey the essential elements of the item being summarized.
  • Evaluative : Just like the word “evaluative” suggests, this type of summary requires the writer to evaluate the item being summarized. This classification of summary is opinion-heavy. While a few basic facts about the piece are required, such as the author and the title and the main point of the piece, the remainder consists of the summary writer’s viewpoints of the work. The author will detail his or her perception of the work in such areas as intended audience and purpose and how well these are addressed in the work. The person evaluating the item will also look at how this item will be useful to him or her and examine where it falls short. Because the types and frequency of examination found in the evaluative summary may involve extensive explanation, it will very likely be longer than the typical descriptive summary.

4.1 When are these used?

  • Descriptive : A writer uses a descriptive summary when he or she wants to gain and express an understanding of what the author said in the original text.
  • Evaluative: A writer will choose this summary type when he or she wants to examine the original text for usefulness, validity, strength of argument, or other important elements.

4.2 Connecting audience and purpose

  • More often than not, descriptive summaries will be used with two of the three intended audiences mentioned above – current self and others. The descriptive summary will help a writer process the main and supporting ideas in the works.
  • However, an evaluative summary could address current self, future self, and others, depending on why you might be writing the summary. If you are trying to work on a project in at a given moment which requires source analysis, then an evaluative summary might be the best way to go. When considering your future self and how to write a summary, an evaluative summary written early on may help you save time when you are in the middle of finishing a project later. And, if you are making a recommendation to others as to whether they should use the source, an evaluative summary might be your best choice.

As you become familiar with how to write summaries and how to think about audience, you will likely be better able to make such decisions by yourself. Note that both types of summaries will be in the summary writer’s own words as much as possible to avoid the suggestion of plagiarism, which we will discuss later in this chapter.

Types of Summary Copyright © 2020 by Ho'omana Nathan Horton and Paul Sims is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How to Write a Summary for Essays, Articles, and Books

As you’ve already guessed, today’s blog post is the ultimate guide on how to write a summary for different papers.

Not only will you learn about four academic summary types, their purpose, and their proper formatting, but you’ll also master the art of summary writing step by step and get answers to all the frequently asked questions on the topic.

Here we go! (It won’t take much time, we promise.)


Table of Contents:

  • What is a summary?
  • Descriptive vs. evaluative summaries
  • How to write a summary, step by step
  • Four types of academic summaries: writing tips
  • How to format a summary
  • Frequently asked questions

What is a Summary?

In plain English, it’s a brief paragraph summarizing a bigger work: an article, a scientific paper, a book, a movie’s plot, etc. The purpose is to give the reader a comprehensive understanding of the asset:

You gather the main ideas of an essay , a book, a film, etc., and provide the overview for the reader to know what it’s about. You mention critical details and information there but avoid sharing your personal opinion about the work.

It’s also critical to understand the difference between a summary and an abstract :

An abstract is a summary type , used when writing academic texts like theses, dissertations, and research journal articles. It summarizes the whole text in the very beginning. Like this:


A summary works elsewhere in academic writing:

It can be a stand-alone assignment or a part of your essay, book critique , literature review, annotated bibliography, etc.

When writing an academic paper , summaries can be your way to integrate sources: Besides using quotes or paraphrases from the original text, you can provide an overview of the whole text before analyzing it.

Below is an example of a summary overviewing this work :

Descriptive vs. Evaluative Summaries

It’s also worth noting that summaries can be of two types: descriptive and evaluative. In most cases, you’ll write descriptive summaries while in school or college; however, a teacher can assign an evaluative summary as a stand-alone task to check your critical thinking or analysis skills.

What’s the difference between these two summary types?

  • You write a descriptive summary to tell the reader about the content of the original text. The focus is on the main points and critical supporting details; you convey the work’s essential elements via a concise description without expressing your opinion on it.

Usually, descriptive summaries go as a part of assignments in college. They are short paragraphs you mention in essays or reviews before analyzing them, or you place summaries in your annotated bibliographies when telling about the sources you used to craft your paper.

  • You write an evaluative summary to examine the original text’s usefulness, argumentation, and other elements. While the facts about the original texts are still present here (the author, the title, and the main points), evaluative summaries are also opinion-heavy. You evaluate the original, detailing your perception of its purpose, intended audience, usefulness, etc.

Usually, evaluative summaries go as stand-alone assignments like, say, rhetorical precis . They are longer works than typical descriptive summaries because they involve extensive explanations where you examine the author’s points and evaluate them.

How to Write a Summary: 7 Short Steps

And now, to business:

Here’s how to write a summary, step by step. Not only will it save your time and increase the effectiveness of your study, but it will also help develop good note-focus thinking, speed up the learning process, and understand the material better.

The 7 steps in writing a summary are:

  • Read the original
  • Get the main idea
  • Reread, take notes
  • Organize notes
  • Write a thesis
  • Write a summary draft
  • Proofread and revise if necessary


1 – Read the Original

The first step is the most obvious: Read the original text you’ll need to summarize later. Do not take notes while reading; your goal is to get the writer’s style and tone and grasp the main idea (s) they convey.

Read it two times if necessary. Practice smart reading here: You should understand the author’s point and the problems covered.

2- Get the Main Idea

Once done, take your time and analyze what you’ve read. You need to identify the original text’s main idea (central point); otherwise, you won’t be able to summarize the work.

How to identify the main idea?

Three ways:

  • Eliminate minor details and examples so you wouldn’t mistake them for main ideas. The 5Ws rule can help here: find the “what, who, when, why, and where” of the text to identify its core elements.
  • Identify the order in which the author presents the information. It can be two methods: (1) main idea – example, when a point goes first and its clarification – afterward; (2) example – main idea, when the author introduces cues together with a point.
  • Make a guess at which is the main idea, and then check whether the original text’s details support it.

3 – Reread, Take Notes

Now it’s time for active reading. You’ve identified the main ideas and points, so reread the original text again and note what you’ll include in your summary.

Ensure you separate facts from opinions. Highlight the topic sentences, critical quotes, data, and events.

4 – Organize Notes

For efficient summary writing, it would help to organize notes so you could indicate relationships between pieces of information. Feel free to try the following methods:

List the main idea (s), with numbered or bullet points for supporting details; it will make the outline clear .


  • Diagrammatic layout

Super useful for future recall, it represents the essential relationship between the man and supporting ideas. Here’s how to organize notes with this method:


This one is among the most popular ways to visualize research : You place the main topic at the center, craft the supporting details around it, and extend less important information further in branches. Like this:


5 – Write a Thesis

In summary, a thesis statement goes for a one-sentence claim highlighting the original text’s main idea. It demonstrates that you understand the original.

Generating a thesis is critical, especially if you write a book summary. Our free online tool can make this process easier for you.

6 – Write a Summary Draft

Use your thesis statement as the first sentence of your summary. Remember that you write a short version of a larger work: Stick to the 1/4 length of the original.

Consider linking words to maintain the information flow, and remember that you write in your own words. Use a so-called “summarizing language” reminding the reader it’s a summary. Try phrases like “The author suggests,” “The article claims,” etc.

Avoid direct quotes; paraphrase, not plagiarize .

Stay objective: Describe, not evaluate or share your opinion about the work. Write a summary in the present tense.

What to include in a summary:

  • An opening line listing the author’s name, work title, and overall idea
  • Main points or ideas the author conveys. Avoid tiny details; there’s no need to provide every aspect of the original text in your summary
  • A closing line where you restate the overview in one sentence


7 – Proofread and Revise If Necessary

Now that your summary is ready, do your best to edit it before submitting it to a professor. Reread the draft several times and make changes if necessary. Don’t hesitate to ask someone to check your summary and provide feedback.

Professional editing service is worth trying if you are still unsure if your paper is A-worthy.

The checklist to consider while revising:

  • Your summary has a title.
  • The summary is short.
  • You’ve covered all the critical points from the original text.
  • You’ve used your own words: There are no direct quotes or plagiarism.
  • Your summary doesn’t include your own ideas, opinions, or interpretations.

Also, remember to proofread your summary to prevent tiny typos and grammar mistakes.

Four Types of Academic Summaries: Writing Tips

As you’ve already got it (we hope!), summaries can be different: descriptive and evaluative, super short or longer — they highlight the original work’s essence for the reader to understand the meaning without unnecessary details.

Speaking of the academic world, four main types of summaries exist:

  • Summary papers
  • Annotated bibliographies
  • Academic notes
  • Summaries within essays

Each of them requires slightly different things. Below are the details:

1 – Summary Papers

A summary paper is longer than other forms of summary: It reminds a descriptive essay where your entire work is a summary of the original text: an article, a book, or a report.

Your teacher can ask you to write a summary paper to see how well you understand a reading assignment. The point is to help you digest reading so you can tell about it in your own words.

While summary papers are longer than other types of academic summaries, you can describe more details there but still focus on the most critical ones. As a rule, this summary is 1/4 length of the original text. Thus, if you need to summarize the full book, your paper may be 3-4 pages long.

2 – Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources you’ve used for research, with a short paragraph about each one.

Annotations are more like evaluative summaries, requiring a specific style of writing. Here you’ll need to summarize the source and explain why it’s relevant and critical for your paper’s topic.

An annotation starts with a summary: You’ll have 2-3 sentences to represent the original work, so it matters to focus on the essential information it says.

Here’s our ultimate guide to help you: How to Write an Annotated Bibliography: Formats, Types, Steps

3 – Academic Notes

This type is about summarizing the original work (a lecture, a discussion, a lesson) in the form of personal notes.

You write academic notes for yourself, writing down the critical information a teacher says during a lecture. While it seems easy, it’s still about finding the balance between what to note and what to ignore.

  • Focus on what your professor writes on a board.
  • Refer to a textbook: What does it summarize about the topic?
  • Decide how often you’ll make notes: Will it be one point per minute or maybe one point per five minutes?

4 – Summaries Within Essays

It’s the most common type of academic summary: a quick one within the body of another assignment. For example, when you write argumentative or critical essays, you’ll need to introduce some sources to explain your arguments.

Such summaries are super short: 2-3 sentences for the reader to get an idea of the work before you move on to the specific parts that support your point.


How to Format a Summary: Tips

Summaries don’t have any specific format. As a rule, it’s a paragraph including the introductory sentence, the original text’s main ideas, and the final sentence wrapping up (rephrasing) the main point.

Below are some writing tips on how to format a summary:

  • Make it a paragraph.
  • Start with a sentence specifying the original text’s title, author, and main point.
  • Use your own words, don’t cite the original.
  • Avoid sharing your thoughts or interpretations about the work you summarize. Use an objective tone.
  • Specify critical sub-points the author used to support the main point. If you decide to quote them, mention the paragraph number after each point, thus specifying where it was in the original. (See the example.)
  • Wrap up your summary in the last sentence: restate the main point.

How to format a summary: Example

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long is a summary.

The length can range from a few sentences to several paragraphs, depending on the assignment type, the purpose of the summary, and the length of the original work itself. As a rule, summaries are 1/4 length of the original text.

How many sentences are in the summary?

If your summary is a paragraph, it will be around 5-8 sentences : an introductory one, a few ones specifying the author’s points, and a final one wrapping up everything.

What should a summary include?

A summary includes an introductory sentence with the original work’s title, author name, and overview; then comes 3-5 sentences specifying the work’s main ideas; finally, the last sentence comes: it concludes the whole summary, rephrasing the main idea of the original text.

What assignments involve writing a summary?

A summary can be a stand-alone assignment (a summary paper) when you write a descriptive essay on the material you’ve read. Also, summaries are present in annotated bibliographies, some academic papers to support arguments, presentations, and personal notes a student takes during a lecture or a class discussion.

How to format a summary?

Write a summary as a paragraph, using your own words and specifying the main ideas of the original text. The first sentence will include the text’s title, author, and overview. The following 3-5 sentences specify the core ideas, and the last sentence wraps up everything. Do your best to avoid personal thoughts, interpretations, or comments in a summary.

How to write a summary for an essay?

Read the original text and figure out the main idea (point). Start a summary with a sentence about the work’s title, author name, and main idea. For example, “In his essay, Inside Out, John Smith covers the problem of multiple personality disorder .” After that, write about the core points the author represents; conclude by rephrasing the main idea of the essay you summarize.

How to write a summary of an article?

Make your summary about 1/3 length of the article. State the main ideas, identify the critical supporting details, and express the article’s meaning. Avoid copying phrases unless you use a direct quotation; if so, mention the paragraph number from where the quote comes.

How to write a summary of a book?

First, ensure you make notes while reading: It will help you remember the characters and core points and then identify which ones to include in a summary. Focus on introducing the characters and establishing the setting in your summary’s introduction; write about the “problem” of the book in the body; end your summary with resolving the book’s problem.

Who can help me write a summary?

You can address social media groups or forums on writing to ask members to assist you and explain how to write a summary. Or, feel free to ask Bid4Papers professional writers : we are here 24/7 to improve your writing skills and help you get better grades.

Related posts

  • How to Write a Problem Statement for a Research Paper
  • Tips on Term Paper Writing
  • Footnotes: A Step-by-Step Guide with Word Instructions

Our Writing Guides

How to tell what you know well


Summaries present text information in an abridged form. They can be placed in one of two categories:

Informative summaries – objective reports on the text’s content. Descriptive summaries – objective reports about the text.

Both techniques of summarisation can be applied on expository texts (scientific, technical, or other type of non-fictional works) or on narrative texts, which are usually but not mandatory, literary texts.

Please note that the main requisite of any summary is to present a concise and clear presentation of the main ideas that form the meaning of the written work (or of other type of resource), while eliminating the unnecessary details that are not absolutely necessary for the overall understanding.


Informative summaries accurately convey the information contained in a text or in other type of resource. An informative summary should be objective i.e. “without personal opinions in presenting the ideas in the source text”.

Thus, informative summaries are recommended for scientific, non-fictional works or to present objective reports of factual content.

The main types of informative summaries are: outlines, abstracts, and synopses . Outlines present the plan or the “skeleton” of a written material. Outlines show the order and the relation between the parts of the written material.

An outline of a chapter about summarisation. In the outline below, the titles (in magenta) and explanations (in yellow) show the principal themes in the chapter. The outline next page, being more detailed, can give clues on main ideas and approaches in the chapter.


Discover ( What summary and summarisation are? ) Learn ( How to summarise? – Methods and tools ) Practice ( Write summaries on subjects you know ) Assess your leaning ( How well did you learn? ) Learning resources ( Books, articles, videos clips and web sites teaching summarisation )

Discover ( What summary and summarisation are? )

Summary – The concept ( What is it? ) Types of texts ( What are they? ) Types of summaries ( What are they? ) Summarisation – The process ( What does it means? ) Summarising – The methods ( What are they? ) Examples of summaries

Learn ( How to summarise? – Methods and tools )

Summarisation of a text ( How to do it? )

Reading the text

Background exploration Text exploration Notes revision

Writing the summary

Writing of the first draft Revision of your work Paraphrasing and Quoting

Practical examples ( How to use methods and tools? ) Summarising fictional works ( How to deal with it? )

Writing modes in fictional and non-fictional writings Subject and dramatic structure Narrator and characters in a literary work Time and space indicators in a literary work

Practice ( Write summaries on subjects you know )

Write summaries and abstracts for your presentations and exams

Assess your leaning ( How well did you learn? ) Learning resources ( Videos and web sites teaching summarisation )

Abstracts present the major point of long piece of text or an article. Abstracts help readers to decide whether or not they want to read the longer text.

An abstract of a scientific report The abstract presented below belongs to a scientific report about issues, achievements and shortcomings in the area of automatic summarisation – creation of summaries by means computer programs called “summarising systems”. The author – Karen Sparck Jones- very briefly details in the abstract the main points and the conclusion of her forty pages report.

The original title of the report has been kept in the example below.

Automatic summarising: The state of the art by Karen Sparck Jones

Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge -UK

This paper in its final form will appear in Information Processing and Management , Special Issue on Automatic Summarising, 2007.

Abstract This paper reviews research on automatic summarising in the last decade. This work has grown, stimulated by technology and by evaluation programs. The paper uses several frameworks to organise the review, for summarising itself, for the factors affecting summarising, for systems, and for evaluation.

The review examines the evaluation strategies applied to summarising , the issues they raise, and the major programs. It considers the input, purpose and output factors investigated in recent automatic summarising research, and discusses the classes of strategy, extractive and non-extractive, that have been explored, illustrating the range of systems built.

The conclusions drawn are that automatic summarisation has made valuable progress , with useful applications, better evaluation, and more task understanding. But summarising systems are still poorly motivated in relation to the factors affecting them, and evaluation needs taking much further to engage with the purpose summaries are intended to serve and the contexts in which they are used.

The previous example presents you some information about software programs ability to summarise texts .

Automatic summarisation in the IT field has been developed over the past 50 years. Recently, many text summarisers are been freely delivered on the Internet, and you can you use them on-line. Most of them are designed for English language , and their summarisation consists in selection of the most important sentences in the original text. Hence, the result they give are not suitable for the summarisation tasks, as assignments in school settings require.

Automatic summarisation of text The abstract presented in previous example has been given to “feed” a free, on-line software system for automatic summarisation . As you can see, the computer’s summary has only taken identical sentences from the original text.

The original text

Abstract This paper reviews research on automatic summarising in the last decade. This work has grown, stimulated by technology and by evaluation programs. The paper uses several frameworks to organise the review, for summarising itself, for the factors affecting summarising, for systems, and for evaluation.The review examines the evaluation strategies applied to summarising , the issues they raise, and the major programs. It considers the input, purpose and output factors investigated in recent automatic summarising research, and discusses the classes of strategy, extractive and non-extractive, that have been explored, illustrating the range of systems built. The conclusions drawn are that automatic summarisation has made valuable progress , with useful applications, better evaluation, and more task understanding. But summarising systems are still poorly motivated in relation to the factors affecting them, and evaluation needs taking much further to engage with the purpose summaries are intended to serve and the contexts in which they are used.

The summary developed by the computer

Abstract This paper reviews research on automatic summarising in the last decade. This work has grown, stimulated by technology and by evaluation programs. The conclusions drawn are that automatic summarisation has made valuable progress, with useful applications, better evaluation, and more task understanding. But summarising systems are still poorly motivated in relation to the factors affecting them, and evaluation needs taking much further to engage with the purpose summaries are intended to serve and the contexts in which they are used.

A synopsis is a brief overview of an article, story, book, film, or other works. A synopsis is a concise, chronological description of a historical event, news event, historical event or other experiences as they develop in time.

A synopsis of World War II – as an historical event in XX century

World War II began in 1939 , when Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland. Britain and France responded by declaring war on Germany.

But in 1940 Germany rapidly conquered Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France. Italy, an ally of Germany at that time, took Greece and North Africa in 1941.

In 1941 Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Despite the Germans’ initial quick progress into the Russian heartland, the countrys immensity, its brutal winters and the nation’s determination would eventually be more than the German army could overcome. After losing the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk in 1943, Germans were slowly forced out of the Soviet territory. During 1944 and 1945 , Russians pursued their march across eastern Europe, invading the countries in this region and Germany itself.

In June 1944 , British and American forces launched the D-Day Normandy invasion, landing in German-occupied France. Several months after, the German army was forced to retreat from France and Paris was liberated.

By early 1945 , Allied forces (British, Americans and Soviets) were closing in on Germany from the east and west. The Soviets were the first to reach Berlin, and Germany surrendered in May 1945 , shortly after the suicide of Adolf Hitler.

In Pacific, the war began in 1941 , when Japan attacked the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. By this time, Japan had already been at war with China for several years and had conquered the Chinese territory of Manchuria.

Japan continued war by a massive campaign of expansion throughout China and the Southeast Asia–Pacific region. After fighting several years against Japan, in early 1945 , Allied forces were closing in on the Japanese home islands.

In August 1945 United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Following the huge devastation, Japan surrendered unconditionally and World War II was finished.


Descriptive summaries depict the original text (material) rather than directly presenting the information it contains. A descriptive summary should portray, in an objective way, the texts structure and main themes.

Descriptive summaries often play the role of reviews for fictional or literary works: books, movies, video clips, articles, essays etc. In this case, the descriptive summary can include statements about sense and significance of the summarised work.

A descriptive summary of “A Modest Proposal” , a short writing of fewer than 2000 words by Jonathan Swift. The summary has 132 words and the statement about the sense of this literary work is marked in blue.

A descriptive summary of the essay “A Modest Proposal” (132 words)

“A Modest Proposal is preventing the Children of poor People in Ireland, from being a Burden to their Parents or Country and for making them beneficial to the Public”, is a satirical essay written in the 18th century by author Jonathan Swift.

The essay, curtly named “A Modest Proposal”, is one of the most savage and ironical pamphlet ever written. The speaking character in the essay, called the “Proposer”, is an unknown personage who, “innocently” and “modestly” proposes to combat poverty in (18th century) Ireland “by using the children of Irish poor people as food for wealthy citizens”. The essay imitates the style of a scientific social- survey , being organised as a classical rhetoric work defending an idea or principle.

“ A Modest Proposal ” satire shows Swift’s outrage at the cruelties and stupidities of his contemporary society. In a broader sense, the pamphlet combats the tendency of modern human to “social cannibalism: the murder of humans in the name of bettering the lives of others”.

An executive summary ’s aim is to describe a project, a specific course of action, or a business proposal when an executive (your boss!) doesn’t have the time to read the original report.

An employee may be asked to submit a 10 page summary of a 100 pages long technical (or business) proposal. In order to achieve this kind of assignment in stipulated time, the employee should have extensive summarisation skills.

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Descriptive Essay Writing

Descriptive Essay Examples

Barbara P

Amazing Descriptive Essay Examples for Your Help

Published on: Jun 21, 2023

Last updated on: Mar 1, 2024

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Descriptive Essay: Definition, Tips & Examples

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Descriptive essays are very commonly assigned essays. This type of essay enhances students' writing skills and allows them to think critically. 

A descriptive essay is often referred to as the parent essay type. Other essays like argumentative essays, narrative essays, and expository essays fall into descriptive essays. Also, this essay helps the student enhance their ability to imagine the whole scene in mind by appealing senses.

It is assigned to high school students and all other students at different academic levels. Students make use of the human senses like touch, smell, etc., to make the descriptive essay more engaging for the readers. 

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Examples make it easy for readers to understand things in a better way. Also, in a descriptive essay, different types of descriptions can be discussed. 

Here are some amazing examples of a descriptive essay to make the concept easier for you. 

Descriptive Essay Example 5 Paragraph

5 paragraphs essay writing format is the most common method of composing an essay. This format has 5 paragraphs in total. The sequence of the paragraphs is as follows;

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2 
  • Body Paragraph 3
  • Conclusion 

Following is an example of a descriptive essay written using the famous 5 paragraph method. 

5 Paragraph Descriptive Essay

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Descriptive Essay Example About A Person

Descriptive essays are the best option when it comes to describing and writing about a person.  A descriptive essay is written using the five human senses. It helps in creating a vivid image in the reader’s mind and understanding what the writer is trying to convey. 

Here is one of the best descriptive essay examples about a person. Read it thoroughly and try to understand how a good descriptive essay is written on someone’s personality.

Descriptive Essay Example About a Person

Descriptive Essay Example About A Place

If you have visited a good holiday spot or any other place and want to let your friends know about it. A descriptive essay can help you explain every detail and moment you had at that place. 

Here is one of the good descriptive essay examples about a place. Use it as a sample and learn how you can write such an essay. 

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Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 6

Descriptive essays are frequently assigned to school students. This type of essay helps the students enhance their writing skills and helps them see things in a more analytical way.

If you are a 6 grader and looking for a good descriptive essay example, you are in the right place.  

Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 7

Here is one of the best descriptive essay examples for grade 7. 

Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 8

If you are looking for some amazing descriptive essay examples for grade 8, you have already found one. Look at the given example and see what a well-written descriptive essay looks like. 

Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 10

Essay writing is an inevitable part of a student's academic life . No matter your grade, you will get to write some sort of essay at least once. 

Here is an example of a descriptive essay writing for grade10. If you are also a student of this grade, this example might help you to complete your assignment.

Descriptive Essay Example for Grade 12

If you are a senior student and looking for some essay examples, you are exactly where you should be. 

Use the below-mentioned example and learn how to write a good essay according to the instructions given to you. 

Descriptive Essay Example College

Descriptive essays are a great way to teach students how they can become better writers. Writing a descriptive essay encourages them to see the world more analytically.

Below is an example that will help you and make your writing process easy.

College Descriptive Essay Example

Descriptive Essay Example for University

Descriptive essays are assigned to students at all academic levels. University students are also assigned descriptive essay writing assignments. As they are students of higher educational levels, they are often given a bit of difficult and more descriptive topics. 

See the example below and know what a descriptive essay at the university level looks like. 

Short Descriptive Essay Example

Every time a descriptive essay isn't written in detail. It depends on the topic of how long the essay will be.  

For instance, look at one of the short descriptive essay examples given below. See how the writer has conveyed the concept in a composed way. 

Objective Descriptive Essay Example

When writing an objective description essay, you focus on describing the object without conveying your emotions, feelings, or personal reactions. The writer uses sight, sound, or touch for readers' minds to bring life into pictures that were painted by words.

Here is an example that you can use for your help. 

Narrative and Descriptive Essay Example

A narrative descriptive essay can be a great way to share your experiences with others. It is a story that teaches a lesson you have learned. The following is an example of a perfect narrative descriptive essay to help you get started.

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How to Start a Descriptive Essay? - Example

If you don't know how to start your descriptive essay, check this example and create a perfect one. 

How to Start a Descriptive Essay - Example

Subjective Descriptive Essay Example

It is a common concept that a descriptive essay revolves around one subject. Be it a place, person, event, or any other object you can think of. 

Following is one of the subjective descriptive, easy examples. Use it as a guide to writing an effective descriptive essay yourself. 

Writing a descriptive essay is a time-consuming yet tricky task. It needs some very strong writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Also, this is a type of essay that a student can not avoid and bypass. 

But if you think wisely, work smart, and stay calm, you can get over it easily. Learn how to write a descriptive essay from a short guide given below. 

How to Write a Descriptive Essay?

A writer writes a descriptive essay from their knowledge and imaginative mind. In this essay, the writer describes what he has seen or experienced, or ever heard from someone. For a descriptive essay, it is important to stay focused on one point. Also, the writer should use figurative language so that the reader can imagine the situation in mind. 

The following are some very basic yet important steps that can help you write an amazing descriptive essay easily. 

  • Choose a Topic

For a descriptive essay, you must choose a vast topic to allow you to express yourself freely. Also, make sure that the topic you choose is not overdone. An overdone will not grab the attention of your intended audience. Check out our descriptive essay topics blog for a variety of intriguing topic suggestions.

  • Create a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the essence of any academic writing. When you select the descriptive essay topic, then you create a strong thesis statement for your essay.  

A thesis statement is a sentence or two that explains the whole idea of your essay to the reader. It is stated in the introductory paragraph of the essay. The word choice for creating the thesis statement must be very expressive, composed, and meaningful. Also, use vivid language for the thesis statement.  

  • Collect the Necessary Information

Once you have created the thesis statement and are done writing your essay introduction . Now, it's time to move toward the body paragraphs. 

Collect all necessary information related to your topic. You would be adding this information to your essay to support your thesis statement. Make sure that you collect information from authentic sources. 

To enhance your essay, make use of some adjectives and adverbs. To make your descriptive essay more vivid, try to incorporate sensory details like touch, taste, sight, and smell.

  • Create a Descriptive Essay Outline

An outline is yet another necessary element of your college essay. By reading the descriptive essay outline , the reader feels a sense of logic and a guide for the essay. 

In the outline, you need to write an introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs and end up with a formal conclusion.

Proofreading is a simple procedure in which the writer revises the written essay. This is done in order to rectify the document for any kind of spelling or grammatical mistakes. Thus, proofreading makes high-quality content and gives a professional touch to it. 

You might be uncertain about writing a good enough descriptive essay and impress your teacher. However, it is very common, so you do not need to stress out. 

Hit us up at and get an essay written by our professional descriptive essay writers. Our essay writing service for students aims to help clients in every way possible and ease their stress. Get in touch with our customer support team, and they will take care of all your queries related to your writing. 

You can always enhance your writing skills by leveraging the power of our AI essay writing tools .

Place your order now and let all your stress go away in a blink! 

Barbara P (Literature)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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descriptive summary essay

Informative and Descriptive Summaries

Having selected the material to include in your summary, you must then decide whether your summary will be informative or descriptive .  Informative summaries adopt the tone of the original full text, simply presenting the information it contains in shorter form.  Descriptive summaries adopt a more distant perspective, describing the original text rather than directly presenting the information it contains.

An informative summary of the Declaration of Independence might begin as follows:

  • When people declare themselves independent of their political ties, they should give reasons.  Governments are formed to protect equality and rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  If government does not do this, people can change the government.

A descriptive summary of the same passage might begin as follows:

  • Jefferson opens the Declaration of Independence by stating that a country declaring independence needs to give its reasons.  He goes on to discuss the purposes of government in protecting individual rights and the legitimacy of change if government does not live up to its obligations.

Note that the informative summary does not mention the author or title of the piece but rather gets right down to the content.  Thus it can present more information more compactly and more precisely.  To convey the content of a source, informative summaries are preferable to descriptive summaries .   In addition, when research material is simply reported for its factual content, as in a synthesis paper, the informative summary is used.

On the other hand, descriptive summaries give a more nearly complete picture of the structure of the original.  They also establish a certain distance between the writer of the summary and the writer of the original piece.  This sense of objectivity is useful whenever the summarized material is to be analyzed, evaluated, or otherwise discussed.  For critical or evaluative purposes, descriptive summaries are preferable .   Hence descriptive summaries should be used in book reviews, in essays of analysis, and in other essays discussing a text.

Copyright � _____ by Charles Bazerman / All Rights Reserved

Source: Charles Bazerman, The Informed Writer , ADD INFO


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  18. Types of SUMMARIES

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    Descriptive Essay Example 5 Paragraph. 5 paragraphs essay writing format is the most common method of composing an essay. This format has 5 paragraphs in total. The sequence of the paragraphs is as follows; Introduction. Body Paragraph 1. Body Paragraph 2. Body Paragraph 3. Conclusion.

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  21. Informative and Descriptive Summaries

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