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7.4: Writing a Description Essay

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  • 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.

    key takeaways

    • Description essays should describe something vividly to the reader using strong sensory details.
    • Sensory details appeal to the five human senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
    • A description essay should start with the writer’s main impression of a person, a place, or an object
    • Use spatial order to organize your descriptive writing.

    Examples of Essays

    • “Fish Cheeks,” by Amy Tan
    • “Shooting an Elephant,” by George Orwell
    • “Where Nothing Says Everything,” by Suzanne Berne
    • “Excerpt: Hiding in Plain Sight,” by Heather Rogers
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