The descriptive essay allows one to test his skills at technical writing. The main crux of writing this type of essay is to use the written word to describe or express an experience such as an encounter with a person, place or thing. It can also be used to illustrate how something works or what something looks like. The descriptive essay relies heavily on tapping into the reader’s senses of tasting, touching, hearing, seeing and smelling. It is an opportunity for the writer to draw the reader into his own experience and get the reader to live through it as well.
Ultimately the writer wants the reader to get emotionally involved in the essay. It is not an essay where facts and figures are revealed but the one that portrays feelings and thoughts. Sometimes it relies strictly on memories of an experience or it works diligently on getting the reader to take on the same attitude about a person, place or thing.
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In writing a descriptive essay, the writer wants to convince the reader by painting a vivid picture for him. Suppose the writer wants to depict what it was like growing up with a father who was the best father in the world. The writer would formulate an outline that describes his father. There would need to be a catchy title, an introduction that would draw the reader’s attention to writer’s father and then an essay body that gives a physical and emotional portrait of the person to the reader. The body of the essay could concentrate on words that described how the writer’s father looked, smelled, and felt. Another part of the body would focus on things the father did to make life interesting. Another paragraph could describe with imagery how the writer would emulate his father. In the conclusion, the writer would try to get his audience to want to be like his father or wish to have a father such as his.
Using language to illustrate strengths and weaknesses, work ethics and physical attributes can be easily accomplished by using metaphors and analogies. When writing a descriptive essay one should remember that the reader should be able to close his eyes and actually see the subject or feel the emotion being communicated by the writer and actually connect with writer’s heart and soul.
If the descriptive essay is used to show what something looks like, it is imperative that the writer uses many senses to get the point across. If describing the first flight ever experienced, the writer must include sounds, smells, colors, size, shape, intensity, speed, and visual concepts in his work. The essay is well written if the reader can actually place himself in an airplane for the first time and feel what it is like to take flight.
The descriptive essay is challenging but one of the most interesting to write. It allows the reader to actually get inside the head of the person doing the writing.