A descriptive essay can create a very vivid picture of a person. While a narrative essay reveals new meaning found through an experience, the descriptive essay reveals the meaning of a person through observation and detail. The writing of the descriptive essay will use the power of the senses and language to bring a person to life right before the reader.
As you write a descriptive essay about a person, you want the reader to walk away from your essay feeling as though they know that person, as though they have met them, gone somewhere with them, or done something with them. In addition, you want the reader to feel an emotional connection to the person about whom you are writing.
Descriptive writing takes work though. And that work starts with prewriting. This is the time where you should think about the person you are writing about. Why are they significant? Obviously the person does not have to be famous, but just personally influential in some manner or another. The person could be a grandparent or a friend. Once you choose the person about whom you want to write, you should spend time thinking about which qualities that person possesses and which qualities you want to write about. Brainstorm things such as where that person lives. Think about their memories, their feelings, or how they make you feel, and the memories the sight of them stirs inside of you. These two things can go far in conveying the significance of the person.
Once you have finished brainstorming, it is time to create your initial draft. You want to give the reader a rich experience by showing, not telling. Think about all of the senses involved in a memory. If you are thinking of a grandparent, think about what they look like, sound like, smell like, what it was like to hold their hand or feel them pat you on the head. Use these descriptions to show the reader rather than tell. You don’t have to say “my grandmother was old” when you could say “my grandmother frowned with her wrinkled brow, and with each step she took, her body creaked from age and released the scent of musk”.
The next step is revising your work. This means modifying or reorganizing in such as way as to allow the reader to fully appreciate your subject. You want to check that you convey meaning and emotion through the five senses. You should double check that there are enough details in your piece.
Editing and proofreading is required to remove any grammatical errors or mechanical errors. This can be also be used to improve your style. Once this is done, you are ready to publish or submit your piece!
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