Captivating and engaging, a descriptive paragraph is a pleasure to peruse for readers. Creating a well-crafted descriptive paragraph is a breeze with the right tools in place. It vividly describes the subject so that the person, place or thing blooms in the reader’s mind. A short piece of descriptive writing can have a big impact.
Definition of a Descriptive Paragraph
A descriptive paragraph is a collection of multiple sentences to convey a distinct message of a single person, place or thing. It begins with a descriptive sentence that clearly states the topic that will be rolled out in the following sentences. A well-written descriptive paragraph pulls in all five senses to engage the reader. The use of smell, sight, touch, sound and taste in expressive language captivates the reader on many levels. If done well, your short piece of descriptive writing will have the opportunity to leave a strong impression on the reader.
Create the Thesis Statement
Writing a descriptive essay starts with a strong sentence, the thesis statement. The thesis statement is what the descriptive paragraph hangs its hat on. It is the basis for the best part of the paragraph you are crafting. The thesis statement is a single idea that will be prominent when writing a descriptive essay. A well-written thesis statement will allow the writer to easily thread the main idea throughout the descriptive paragraph.
Adding Body to the Paragraph
The body of the paragraph should immerse the reader in the subject of the descriptive paragraph. Consider the person, how they look, their hair or the width of their shoulders when writing about an individual. For a place, consider what the breeze brings to the nose or how the sun sets on the buildings. For a thing, describe its texture or weight. There are many ways to bring the reader into the world you create in a few sentences. If writer’s block has you stymied, list the five senses on a piece of paper and brainstorm under each subject. Look for words that fall under each category and choose those that best describe the person, place or thing you have chosen as your topic.
Types of Descriptive Paragraphs
A short piece of descriptive writing can go a few ways, depending on the writer’s intentions. There are mainly two types to consider when writing a descriptive essay. An objective description typically relies on neutral words that don’t arouse strong emotions in the reader. A subjective description reels the reader into the subject by evoking emotions through clear, concise copy with strong descriptions.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.