Writing essays: how to create a descriptive paragraph

Descriptive writing is an important skill for students honing their essay writing abilities. While writing descriptive sentences is fairly self-explanatory, writing descriptive paragraphs can take a bit more practice. The key to writing descriptive paragraphs that support a great essay topic in a well-written manner is good organizational skills.

Organizing Descriptions

One way to ensure that your essay reads well is to choose a consistent method for organizing the material in each paragraph. When writing a number of descriptive paragraphs for any essay, having a good flow is important, and organizing your material consistently is absolutely key to achieving this flow. There’s no one right way to do it, and the method you use may be more or less suitable depending upon the topic of your essay, your own writing style, or other factors. Here are a few different ways you can organize descriptive paragraphs:

  • Temporal or Chronological
  • Some essays deal with information which happens over time or is intuitively linked to some other type of timeline. This can be one of the most straightforward ways for a new writer to create descriptive paragraphs because of how simple it is to maintain consistency.

  • General description to specific description
  • Depending on the topic, especially one which the layperson may be somewhat unfamiliar with, beginning with a general description and progressing to more specific details can be a great way to create a descriptive paragraph. Beginning with general description allows the reader to form an image of what they are reading about even if it’s something they haven’t had much familiarity with in the past.

  • Specific description to general description
  • For topics with which the reader is more likely to be familiar, working from specific description to general description can be a great method. Writers choosing this method are usually aiming to fit their specific ideas into a larger, and sometimes unexpected context. By building a foundation of specific details and then demonstrating how those details fit into a more general context, their descriptive paragraphs benefit from consistency while supporting their writing goals.

  • Least controversial to most controversial
  • If the topic is a provocative one or the description is to be used to elicit a reaction from the reader, some writers will choose to create their descriptive paragraphs by starting with the least controversial information and then progressing to the information and descriptions which are more controversial.