How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph
A descriptive paragraph gives a thorough, in-depth treatment of a particular subject. This kind of writing may express abstract ideas like an emotion or a memory as well as tangible details like the sound of a waterfall or the smell of a skunk. Some descriptive essays combine the two. These sentences make the information the author intends to express more tangible for the reader.
To create a descriptive paragraph, you must thoroughly research your subject, list the elements you see, and arrange that information logically.
Finding a Topic
Choosing a subject is the first stage in creating a powerful descriptive paragraph. You may skip this stage if you have a particular assignment or an idea for a subject. If not, it’s time to begin the creative process.
Topics like personal possessions and familiar places are helpful. Detailed, multifaceted descriptions often result from topics you are passionate about and are well-versed in. A spatula or a bag of gum are examples of items that, at first appearance, only need a little explanation. These harmless things take on wholly unexpected dimensions and implications when caught in a well-written descriptive paragraph.
Take into account the objective of your descriptive paragraph before making a decision. You may select any subject if you’re writing a descriptive paragraph, but many descriptive paragraphs are part of a broader endeavor, like a personal story or an application essay. As a result, ensure the subject of your descriptive paragraph fits with the project’s overall objective.
Examining and Exploring Your Topic
After deciding on a subject, the enjoyable part—studying the details—begins. Examine the topic of your paragraph in great detail. Examine it from every viewpoint, starting with your five senses: What does the thing feel, sound, taste, smell, and look like? What connections or recollections do you personally have with the object?
If your subject involves more than one thing, like a place or a memory, you should look at all the emotions and experiences connected to it. Let’s imagine that your area of discussion is your first dental anxiety. The specifics may include the sparkling white grin of the dental assistant who never remembered your name, your white-knuckled grasp on the vehicle door as your mother attempted to pull you inside the office, and the mechanical buzz of the electric toothbrush.
Don’t bother about creating whole sentences or organizing the data into a logical paragraph structure during the prewriting stage. Write down anything that occurs in your mind for the time being.
Organize Your Information
You may start putting together a paragraph using the descriptive facts you’ve gathered into a long list. First, look through the purpose of your descriptive paragraph once again. The specifics you decide to include in the paragraph and the specifics you leave outlet the reader know how you feel about the subject. If any, what message do you hope the description would convey? What particulars help to effectively portray that idea? Think about these concerns as you build the paragraph.
Each descriptive paragraph will have a somewhat different structure, but the following example is a simple place to start:
- A topic phrase that introduces the subject and succinctly discusses its importance.
- Supporting phrases that use the specifics you identified during brainstorming to vividly and precisely depict the issue.
- A succinct statement that reiterates the importance of the subject.
Put the information in a logical sequence for your subject. (While describing a room from back to front is simple, doing so while describing a tree would be difficult.) If you run into trouble, go over sample descriptive paragraphs for ideas and feel free to try out alternative layouts. The facts in your final draft should flow logically, with each phrase building on the one before and the following.
Showing, Not Telling
Remember to illustrate rather than just state even in your subject and conclusion phrases. It is blatant “telling” (the fact that you are describing your pen should be self-evident from the paragraph itself) and unconvincing to have a subject sentence that begins, “I am describing my pen because I love to write” (the reader cannot feel or sense the strength of your love of writing).
You may avoid using “tell” statements by retaining a convenient collection of facts. Here is an example of a topic sentence that emphasizes the importance of the subject via the use of specifics: The baby-soft tip of my ballpoint pen glides over the page with ease, almost drawing my ideas out of my head and onto the paper. It is my secret writing companion.
Edit and Proofread Your Paragraph
Your paragraph is finished once it has been modified and proofread. Request comments from a friend or instructor once they have read your text. Check to see whether the paragraph effectively communicates the point you were trying to make. Reading your paragraph can help you identify any uncomfortable language or long phrases. Last but not least, use a proofreading checklist to make sure there are no little mistakes in your text.