Strategies for Descriptive Essay Writing

Descriptive essay writing

Descriptive writing strives to make your readers see, hear, smell and touch what you want to convey through your words. Description writing pays the foundation of other types of essay writing. If you harness the art of descriptive writing, you may want to read this article carefully.

Descriptive essay writing is like a painting a picture. Create your content in a way that it becomes alive and vibrant in front of your readers. The readers can absorb your writing through five senses sight, touch, smell, taste, hearing.


‘You can’t miss it, it is an old yellow house on the corner of the road.’

‘Officer, he was bald with a tattoo of a turtle on his hand.’

‘I asked her if I can borrow a pen from her, the look she gave me would freeze hot coffee on a hot day.’

How to lay groundwork for description essay writing:


First step, Visualizing

Effective description essay paints a picture for the readers. Just like artists use canvas, brushes and his or her imagination, writers use tools like imagination, words and writing skills to create more effective picture through words. So you need to visualize the image that you want to describe in your imagination and use your senses to make the picture live in front of readers.

For example, if you want to describe an atmosphere of pub, you may want to answer the following questions:

  • Is the place large and airy or small and intimate?
  • Is the lighting bright or soft?
  • Are the colors warm or cool?
  • How it is furnished and decorated?
  • What kind of food and drinks are served?

Second step, Planning

  • Now, that you have visualized the décor, the people, the music, and the food, beverage, decide what three elements you want to include in your essay writing. What order you would place them in? And why? To gain more understand, refer to an essay outline sample.

Third, Writing

  • Dedicate one paragraph to each element you have chosen in the ‘planning’ section. Your challenge in this assignment is to make everything so real that the reader almost see, touch, smell and hear the surroundings through your described words.

Elements of descriptive writing:

Every piece of information we collect comes through the five senses: hear, touch, smell, see and taste. It is logical that descriptions painted with these sense present a more vivid picture.

  • Sight (visual impressions are stronger and lasting. For example, her blank expression, pitched dark room or blue waves)
  • Hearing (Our sense of hearing gives us information about the world around us. For example, blast of horn, energized by the beat of rock music)
  • Smell (The sense of smell connects you to the memories. For example, freshly popped popcorn, a whiff of newly polished furniture)
  • Touch (The sense of touch is backdrop of all experience. For example, the hard surface of the wooden chair and the cottony feel of old pair of jeans)
  • Taste (It plays significant role when you are writing about food. For example, strong aroma of spices and freshly baked chicken).

Writing descriptive essay is no rocket science, you just have to be imaginative and creative.

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