The Peculiarities of a Descriptive Essay about a Person
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How can a college instructor check the volume of students’ vocabulary along with their general ability to communicate their own ideas? Yes, the main tool here is a descriptive essay about a person. Also, the learners may be asked to describe an object, a place or an event. The task to put into words an idea is also possible. Thus, these papers are the part and parcel of many linguistic courses. They help learners to develop their ability to describe something in detail and to present their thoughts accurately and smoothly. This is because an analysis of a personage, place or idea should always be done applying different perspectives. Some may think that this task is funny and entertaining. Still, one can face serious difficulties if the topic is sensitive and there is a need to reveal personal feelings and emotions. Also, one should also be aware of the descriptive essay format.
If you are asked to paint in words a place, person or event, you will find this article helpful. We have gathered the most important recommendations and tips on how to write this type of academic paper.
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Descriptive Essay Definition
A descriptive essay paints a word picture of a place, person, thing, event or an idea in great detail. Here, the writer’s aim is to make the other person see and feel the described object/subject from his/her perspective. Or you may be asked to simply provide enough detail for the reader to imagine what you are describing.
The above descriptive essay definition gives you an idea of what your instructor expects from your work. Still, this is not enough to write an A-earning work.
A description of a person is the second most difficult after an idea description. This is because it is necessary to present not only the appearance, but also the temperament, character and behavior of another man or woman. Although the belles-lettres literature often contains character representations, this information is scattered throughout the book. Thus, it is impossible to take a professionally written piece and rewrite or thoroughly analyze it to learn how this work is done.
What You Need to Know to Describe a Person in an Essay
When you are asked to describe a person essay writing becomes torture. So, here are some helpful tips to help you know where to start. The first thing to keep in mind is that your audience hasn't met this person before. They cannot imagine him or her. Thus, you should not retell the story of his/her life. You should provide a picture of this personage. Make sure that your text brings to life this individual in the minds of your readers. Your audience should feel as if they know this man/woman.
Next, it is always good to use sensory appeal. Choose the words that influence the senses of touch, sight, sound, taste and smell. Indicate the colors and shape to influence the area of your readers’ brain responsible for the sight. Similarly, describe textures using words related to touch. Use adjectives related to hearing to describe sounds. Such words as ‘vibrating’ and ‘soaring’ will make your audience feel the movements of the person you try to present. You may not believe this, but it is also recommended to use adjectives related to taste and smell in your paper. Someone’s shirt can be stinky or aromatic for example. Be attentive to every detail. Your description should be vivid and accurate. Find the right words to reflect your personal perception of the individual under discussion.
How to Write a Descriptive Essay about a Person
Sometimes, students are allowed to independently choose an individual to be described. To know exactly how to describe a person and their personality in an essay, you need to pick someone you know really well. You should be able to present enough details for your readers to be able to vividly picture him or her. Still, some learners opt to present a fictional character: a favorite book or video game hero. These students face greater difficulties when finding words to appeal to readers’ five senses.
One of the aspects to be considered when crafting your paper is a good descriptive essay outline about a person. This means that in addition to the standard “introduction-body paragraphs -conclusion” scheme, you need to plan the sequence for presenting separate aspects and details that represent your individual. The right logic of presenting the traits and traces of character will result in a harmonious and vibrating picture of the personage.
Earlier we have already mentioned the readers’ five senses. You can arrange each body section around one sense or vice versa, make sure that words related to all five senses are utilized in each paragraph. Either way, you need a detailed and wisely composed outline.
The Right Outline for Your Descriptive Essay
To a certain extent, your outline depends on the specific instructions from your teacher. They may indicate the exact number of paragraphs to be presented in your work. Often, learners are asked to present a standard five-paragraph essay. Still, you may lack the details to provide a paper of the required length. Ask your instructor if you can deviate from instructions in terms of the word count. Next, your outline will surely consist of three main parts: the intro, the body of the paper, and the conclusion. You should make sure that your opening and concluding paragraphs are proportional to the length of the entire work. So, let us discuss each section of your future chef-d'oeuvre separately.
Descriptive Essay Introduction
Start with a hook sentence. You need to grab your audience’s attention and make them interested in reading the work to the end. Then, introduce your subject/object to your reader. Provide some background info to set the scene. Still, you need to be brief. Do not present unnecessary details. Instead, tell your readers why a chosen person, event, place or idea is important to you. Place your central statement at the end of this section.
Shape a Strong Thesis Statement
This is the most important part of your descriptive essay introduction. In this specific type of paper, your thesis should be a short summary of the entire work. It should highlight the subject of your description and the aim of painting it in words. Remember that the order of presenting info in the body of the paper depends on your thesis statement and the way ideas are presented there. Sometimes, there is a need to present a thesis statement in two sentences. Still, these should be the last two sentences of the paragraph. A paraphrased version of these two statements will appear in your conclusion.
This is where you cover all of your arguments. Usually, one main argument/idea/claim is presented in one paragraph. Present it in its first sentence. Further, expand upon this idea by providing details. Be accurate. Do not use more general and emotionally not colored adjectives if you can find more specific and strong synonyms. For example, instead of stating that the individual is angry, say that he/she is outrageous. You need to create a vivid picture in your readers’ minds. Thus, you may want to use dictionaries to find more strong versions of the often-used adjectives.
To make your description even stronger, use comparisons and similes. Metaphors will make your writing come alive. A good metaphor can accurately reflect your attitude towards the person you are describing. This way, your audience will know how you feel about this individual. Thus, you may say that “My mum is a potted plant: she has never traveled long distances as she resists the idea of leaving the comfort of our home.”
Do you remember the popular song “Everything at once?” Yes, you can say that someone is “as dark as the night” or “as sharp as a tooth!” This will make your paper stand out among other works.
Each main paragraph should end with a transitional sentence. Introduce the aspect/idea discussed in the next section. Such transitions allow you to immerse the reader into your text.
The Right Place to Show Your Emotions
We rarely speak about our emotions and attitudes in academic writing. But this is an appropriate place to explain what you feel. Use the first person to explain why you feel sorry for the person or why he/she makes you freak out. Such an emotional response will make the audience feel the same way. Still, you should not get carried away with your emotions. You should stay focused. Your paper should be thesis statement-centered.
Conclusion for a Descriptive Essay
Of course, your masterpiece needs to have a bright conclusion. This is where you sum up your description. At first, restate the central claim of your paper. Paraphrase what you have said in the introduction. Remind the audience about the purpose of your paper. Highlight the key moments when summarising your description. At the same time, you should not present any additional and new info in this final section. This will lower your paper's grade.
Make sure to provide an impressive last sentence in your work. It should be memorable and thought-provoking. It may even be a question or a quote. Do not allow your reader to forget what they have read once they have gone through your work. Your conclusion for a descriptive essay should be perfect.
So, with these descriptive essay ideas in mind, you will be able to produce a decent paper. Still, this is not the end. An unpolished work will not impress your instructor. Meanwhile, the next several steps will get you the highest grade.
Have Some Rest
Take a break from work if there is some time before the deadline. You need to refresh your mind to be able to see possible mistakes in your paper. Usually, we do not notice repetitive words while crafting an essay. Similarly, you may not notice that your work lacks a smooth flow of ideas. Thus, you need to rest for a few hours or even a day before you read the piece again from beginning to end.
Read Your Work
Carefully read your descriptive paper to yourself. You need to clear out all mistakes. Sentences with awkward word choice should be rewritten. There should be no grammatical errors in your work. Sometimes, it is good to read your work aloud to make sure the ideas flow smoothly. You will hear yourself speaking and will be able to detect places where ideas lack transitions.
Ask Someone to Listen to You
It is always good to find a listener or a reader who would additionally check your essay. This can be your close friend or someone from your family. This needs to be someone who can assess your work and tell you if your paper is really descriptive and creates an image of a person in the minds of the audience. You should be open to positive criticism. It will allow you to become a better writer.
Edit Your Paper
Start working as an editor. Consider all the comments made by your friend or relative. In addition, try to find strong adjectives in case you feel that some descriptive words are weak. Check if the word-count requirement is met. This is the time you can make your essay shorter by deleting the statements with additional information. Make sure that the last sentence in your work leaves a deep impression on the reader.
A Descriptive Essay Example about a Person at Your Disposal
As you can see, it takes experience and linguistic skills to write a good descriptive paper. This is why many learners check a descriptive essay example in pdf format before they start composing their own work. At the same time, you should not use the randomly chosen essay template. Each type of paper has its own peculiarities and to gain a proper understanding of the work that you are to produce you should study the corresponding sample.
One should not copy any parts of text from the sample. This will surely have negative consequences. Today, almost every instructor uses plagiarism checkers. These tools can detect plagiarism even if you have substituted some words with synonyms. Use the sample only as a good example that can point you in the right direction. Be original.
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