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Writing 101: What Are The Main Elements Of A Descriptive Essay?

Descriptive essays focus on the portrayal of a situation, image or scenery to the reader and authors utilize various methods of accomplishing this. There are different physical attributes to every possible situation that can exist and some appeal to the senses more than others, while some are more important to the portrayal of the idea under investigation. Here are some main points that should be found in every descriptive essay:

  1. An introduction
  2. An introduction is a useful tool in writing any paper. It can be used to capture the attention of a potential reader as well as be a guide to anyone skimming the start of your piece that draws them into the body of the paper. Introductions comprise of two main parts, a catch phrase and a transitory hook. Proper usage of these techniques can be the foundation of a strong essay.

  3. An appeal to the various senses
  4. There are many aspects of a scene that can stimulate the five sense and appealing to these senses properly can greatly increase the effect of your description. For instance, most people have not been to a landfill, but most can recognize the smell of rotten eggs and rotted potato peels mixed in with the smoke of burning plastic and decaying wood, which is basically what anyone visiting a landfill site will experience.

  5. An attempt to relate to the reader’s own experiences
  6. Many descriptive essays focus on portraying images of places or things that most people have never experienced and for this reason, it can be a challenge to successfully impress upon the reader the image you are trying to create. An easy way of overcoming this is by usage of an example, for instance, most people in the world have never experienced zero gravity, yet we can get an idea of what it might be like while fully submerged in water, a technique that is used by real space agencies today.

  7. Usage of literary devices like metaphors and similes
  8. Some descriptive essays attempt to describe a complex situation, like the feeling of love, or the pride of an Olympic gold medalist, in these cases, metaphors are quite useful. Most people are poets at heart and we all love a good song, metaphors and similes can help relate two completely different ideas by pointing out subtle similarities that on closer inspection, seem to embody the entire feeling in a few short, sweet words.

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