Descriptive Paragraphs: Writing Tips

Descriptive paragraphs consider a topic focusing on the details. Usually, such paragraphs focus on specific details, such as sounds of surroundings or smells. However, there are also descriptive paragraphs that focus on abstract things, such as memories or emotions. A descriptive paragraph may also perform both these functions so that readers can feel details described by the author. Writing a good descriptive paragraph requires you to know your topic, observe, list, and organize the details logically. Fortunately, professional writers from prepared some useful tips so that you can write impressive descriptive paragraphs.

Finding a Topic

The first thing you should do is to identify the topic of your descriptive paragraph. Sometimes, students receive specific assignments so they don’t need to figure out what their topic should be. However, if you haven’t been assigned a topic, it means that you should brainstorm.

You can make use of locations that you know well or things that belong to you. The better you know things, the deeper and more saturated your descriptions will be. There is another approach that allows you to act more creatively: choose simple objects from our everyday lives that seem to be difficult to describe. Sometimes, simple objects that we see everywhere allow a writer to lead descriptive paragraphs in unusual directions.

Before making a decision regarding your topic, think of the purpose of your descriptive paragraph. If its only purpose is to describe things, you can choose virtually any topic you want. However, a descriptive paragraph may also be a part of an application essay or personal narrative. Make sure that the chosen topic corresponds to the goals of your project.

Explore and Examine

Once you’ve chosen a good topic, analyze it in detail. We recommend that you think about the subject of your paragraph. Consider it from different perspectives and use all of your senses: what does the object sound, taste, look, smell, feel like? Think about your memories and things associated with this object.

If you’re writing not about a single object but about your memories or some location, focus on your experiences associated with this topic or your sensations. For example, if you’re writing about going to the dentist when you were a child, you may write about your mother dragging you into the office, your white teeth, sounds of dental equipment, etc.

At this point, you don’t need to write complete sentences, creating a perfect logical structure. Just write down everything that comes to your mind and use these ideas later.

Organize Your Content

Once you’ve got a list of details that you’re going to include in your descriptive paragraph, you can organize the details to create a structure for your paragraph. Think about the purpose of your writing. What details are you going to include, and what details are unnecessary? What message do you want to deliver? Try to answer these questions when organizing your paragraph.

All descriptive paragraphs are different. However, here is a model that will help you get started:

  1. Write a topic sentence that introduces the topic and explains its importance.
  2. Add sentences that describe your topic, using many specific details.
  3. Write a concluding sentence that focuses on the significance of the topic.

Arrange different sections of your descriptive paragraph logically. For example, you may describe your kitchen from back to front but this approach is certainly not the best option when describing a tree. Look for examples of impressive descriptive paragraphs and try different approaches. In the final draft, all the details should create a logical structure and all the sentences should be interconnected.

Show, Don’t Tell

Descriptive writing is all about showing, not telling. Don’t tell your readers that you’re going to describe something — just do it. Your description should be self-evident. It will be easier for you to show instead of telling if you check your list of details while writing and focus on them.

Edit and Proofread

Once you’ve finished writing your paragraph, you still have some work to do. Read your paragraph, edit, and proofread it. Ask somebody else to read it or order professional proofreading on Make sure that it delivers a clear message. Get rid of awkward phrases and wordy sentences. After this, fix any grammar and spelling mistakes.

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