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Shortcomings To Avoid When Writing Descriptive Essays

A descriptive essay is all about you. In this type of essay you're writing in the first person and telling the reader about your feelings, emotions and thoughts. Because of this fact you can cheat a little bit in your writing. By that I mean you can use informal words that you might not use in an academic essay.

Use all of your senses

When writing descriptive essays you will often describe a person or a place. Because of the word descriptive you are required to describe these people or places or things. And one of the best ways to prompt your writing in this field is to think about your senses -- your sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. This is what sets apart your descriptive essay from other types; you describe your feelings.

Don't go overboard

Just because this is a more relaxed form of writing, that doesn't mean that you go overboard with certain writing tools. For instance using childish words, lots of exclamation marks or all capitals in order to stress the point is not recommended. In fact it's counter-productive and reveals you to be a juvenile when it comes to writing.

Trim excess words

This principle applies to all forms of writing but certainly to descriptive essays. So once you've completed your work, going back over your essay and removing the redundant or over-the-top language is very important. You can express your feelings, you can express your emotions simply by choosing the right word and writing in a tight form of prose.

The use of active verbs is always encouraged. You can even change nouns into verbs. One of the key ways of doing that is to look for a noun ending in ment or tion. So the word conversation for instance would be changed to conversed. Steer clear of the static and moving to the active. I had a conversation is static. I conversed is active.

Avoid too many adjectives. Some people advocate not using them at all. I wouldn’t go that far but steaming, boiling, sweaty weather is too much and detracts from your storytelling.

Because that’s what a descriptive essay is all about. Telling a story but doing it really well. Think of this not as an essay but a tale, a fun or gripping story. When that happens, your descriptive essay takes on wings and flies.


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