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What is Descriptive Writing: Top Guidelines with Examples

Susan Wray
December 26, 2022

Sometimes, writing feels like climbing a steep hill. A slippery and muddy hill with lots of water on it. Even when the words are in your mind, it is tough to start writing. The same goes for descriptive writing. You may have experienced many feelings and visited places during your academic life, but when it comes to writing about them, you feel like you do not have words to describe them. If this is the case with you, then you need to know about guidelines for writing in a descriptive manner.

Keeping this in mind, in today’s article, we will discuss all those guidelines. Along with guidelines, there will also be an example of descriptive writing. At the end of the article, we will also answer some frequently asked questions about this writing. However, before discussing all these things, let’s start the article with the definition of this writing.

What is Descriptive Writing?

In its simplest definition, descriptive composition or writing is writing in which you describe a person, place, object, or event. The primary aim of this writing is to create a vivid picture of your experience with that object or place. This writing is about showing instead of telling. Descriptive writing usually appeals to the five senses of a person. The five senses are taste, smell, hearing, touch, and sight. For example, “Warner’s coffee mug got split into pieces of glass due to mishandling.”

How can you make your writing more descriptive?

Writing in a descriptive manner is not an easy task. It is different from normal writing, where you only need to explain things. In this writing, you have to appeal to the senses of the reader along with describing the event, place, or object. There are a lot of different ways using which you can make your writing more descriptive. Some of the ways are as follows:

1.     Using metaphor

The use of a metaphor is the first technique that you can use to make your writing more descriptive. The metaphor is a figure of speech that relates one object with another. To use a metaphor, it is necessary that both objects share some characteristics with each other. Some examples of metaphors are given below:

  • My elder son is the light of my life.
  • Lilly is a tornado that destroys everything in her path.

2.     Using similes

The simile is another figure of speech that is mostly used to make writing more descriptive. It is very much related to a metaphor. Just like a metaphor, it compares something with another. It is necessary that both things that are being compared have the same characteristic. Given below are some examples of this figure of speech:

  • Jack is as tall as the Burj Khalifa of Dubai.
  • Harry and David ate like vultures at the party.

3.     Sensory writing

Sensory writing is another way of making writing more descriptive. It is a writing that appeals to the senses of the reader and helps you be more descriptive. Sensory writing involves the use of different figures of speech, like similes, metaphors, and hyperbole. An example of this writing is as follows:

  • When I washed my face with cold water, the contrast between my hot skin and cold water made my skin red-hot.
  • The liquid in the injection reached every centimetre of my skin.

4.     Using Hyperbole

Descriptive writing also makes use of hyperbole. Hyperbole is used when you need to discuss something in relation to its extreme. It means you employ an extreme statement to make your point in the writing. The statement is too extreme that it is almost impossible to achieve it. Examples of hyperbole are as follows:

  • The temperature was a million degrees the last day.
  • I have not heard about Jack in a hundred years.

5.     Personification

Personification is the last technique of this post, using which you can compose effective descriptive writing that appeals to the senses of the readers. This figure of speech is used to personify something the characteristics of a human with an object. Some examples of this are as follows:

  • Each flower in the bouquet had a distinct and vibrant face.
  • The winter sun was smiling at us.

Top steps for writing descriptively

Do you know what steps are involved in descriptive writing? Do you know how you should start writing descriptively? No. It is why you are here, i.e., to learn about writing descriptively. Well, you have come to the right place. In this section of today’s post, we will learn the top 5 steps you must follow to write in a descriptive manner. Thus, a brief description of each step is given below:


1.     Start with topic selection

The first and foremost step in composing descriptive writing is to select a topic. The topic selection is an important step because, without a topic, you cannot work on your writing. Thus, select a topic first. Furthermore, make sure that the topic you select is the topic of your interest. It should be a topic that you know about a lot. It is because you need to describe the topic in detail in your writing. Hence, choose a topic that can be described in detail.

2.     Compile key information

The second step is to collect the key information related to your topic. To collect this information, you may search for it on the internet or brainstorm ideas about the topic of your writing. Brainstorming is the best technique because it allows the compilation of original ideas and thoughts. Create a list of all the relevant details and sensory details that you want to add to your writing. This list is going to help you during the writing phase.

3.     Start the writing with a hook

The third step suggests starting composing the descriptive writing immediately. As the writer, you should start the writing with a hook sentence. The Hook sentence is a very powerful and attention-grabbing sentence that makes the first good impression of your writing. It could be a question that appeals to the senses of the reader or a statistic that can confuse the reader and compel him to read the whole writing.

4.     Move to the main body

The next section that you need to write is known as the main body. The main body is the section that contains detailed information about the topic you have selected. It is the section where you add all the sensory details and appeal to the five senses of the reader. For example, if you are describing the place, you have visited recently, make sure to add all the details to it. Explain every situation you have come across during your journey in the main body.

5.     End the writing with a conclusion

Lastly, you should end the writing with a strong conclusion. The conclusion should present the overall discussion and summarise the whole talking. Ensure that you do not include anything new in the conclusion section. The reason is that, in conclusion, you only need to talk about the information that you have given in the body and introduction. Thus, end your descriptive writing this way.

An example of descriptive writing

After reading the information, you now have every detail about writing descriptively. Now, let’s look at a detailed example and understand it further.

“The first instrument I taught myself to play is an old, somewhat damaged blond guitar. I consider it to be my most prized possession. Simple Madeira folk guitar that has been fingerprinted, scratched, and dented. There is nothing fancy about it. A tangle of copper-wound strings at the top is individually hooked through a silver tuning key’s eye. The frets on the long, narrow neck that the strings are stretched down are tarnished. The wood has been worn down by years of fingers pushing chords and picking sounds. Madeira’s body is formed like a sizable pear that was somewhat harmed during shipping. Particularly in the area where the pickguard broke off years ago, the blond wood has been gouged and chipped to a grey colour.”

Top Descriptive Writing Topics

Do you know the top topics to write about descriptively? A topic depends on your interests. However, we will list some hot topics of 2023 here. The list of topics is as follows:

  • My favourite place in my country that I have visited recently
  • My favourite room in my home
  • The store that I like the most to shop in
  • Things I love to watch on my screen
  • An athlete that made like Tennis sport

Final Thoughts

To sum up, descriptive essay writing is a composition that discusses a place, event, or object. It explains all the details associated with the topic of the writing. In this guidepost, we have discussed each detail of this writing. From guidelines on how to make writing more descriptive to the steps involved, we have discussed everything. In the end, an example of this writing is also given. Thus, go through all the topics given above and choose a good topic.

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