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How to nail the descriptive essay format

The descriptive essay format is a form of essay writing by which the author is aiming to tell a story.

A good work in the descriptive essay genre is one that follows a few basic points.

First of all an author must think very carefully about what story they are going to tell and how they are going to tell it. Not all subjects or events will be easily covered in a descriptive piece of writing as there may simply not be enough information to write about. It is no good if an author starts writing only to later find out that they cannot properly describe the story they want to tell from the information they have. This is why it is very important that, if you are going to write a descriptive essay, you plan out your work very carefully before you begin writing. You should take a little bit of time to think about the different aspects to the story that you will need to cover. Think about the people and the characters that you should include. These are all things that can be done verb quickly by short brainstorming sessions, nothing down the points that you want your essay to cover in their roughest form. When you have all the basic points noted down you should organise them into the order you want to talk about them in your essay. It is important that you construct a rough outline for your essay to follow before you begin to write it out fully - doing this will help you make sure that you are keeping focused and not straying off the point.

When you have noted and structured the basic ideas that you want to describe in your essay, you should spend some time developing those ideas. The descriptive essay format should be one that very clearly paints a picture for the reader. To paint that picture the author will need talk vividly and clearly giving details about the events they are describing. For example a newspaper article reporting on a court case will not only give the details of the crime; it will give the details about the trial and this involved that are trying to bring the reader into the courtroom: "The jury sat in silence, listening intently as lawyers for the prosecution cross-examined the accused who sat in the dock with his head bowed." It is this detail that sets the descriptive essay apart from other forms of writing. Where in another form of essay an author is aiming to give the reader the facts about the issue they are examining, when writing a descriptive essay the author wants to give some qualitative information to support what they are telling the reader. The details described in a descriptive essay serve a very specific function: they imply other details may be significant to the story or to a particular character. A few words placed carefully can very greatly influence a reader’s views or feelings. For example, if someone is described as 'a begging on the street' the reader may feel hostility to this character that is after something for nothing. However, if that same person is described as the 'tired, cold and hungry individual lying in a dark and damp doorway' they may feel pity and sympathy. This sort of detail is crucial to making the story believable. A good descriptive essay is one that will draw the reader into the story and through the language and detail used by the author keep them there right through to the conclusion.

Finally, all good essays should, before they are finished and handed in, be proofread to avoid spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes.

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