Sunday, January 13, 2013

How to Write a Description of a Person

A descriptive essay is a form of academic writing that is built around a detailed description of a person, building, place, situation, notion, etc. The main purpose of a descriptive essay is to describe something in a vivid and particular manner, so that the readers can easily picture the described object, person or state, in their mind.

Steps for Writing a Descriptive Essay

1. Choose a subject on which you want to write and decide what, or who, you will describe.
2. Do an outline or a sketch, listing the facts, characteristics and peculiarities you will develop throughout your essay.
3. Gather information for the introductory paragraph, if necessary (in case you choose to write about a certain holiday, historical event, building, place or well-known figure).
4. Decide upon the main idea for each of your paragraphs in the Main Body section.
5. Write each of the paragraphs, starting from an introductory sentence and then going into details as you develop your thoughts.
6. Write a conclusion.
7. Lay your work aside for some time and then do a thorough proofreading.

Key Points to Consider

·     A descriptive essay, as with any other successfully written piece, needs to have a clear well-balanced structure. Normally, you should start with an Introduction of the object, person or place you plan to describe. You should specify your relation to the person, the location of the place, the purpose of the object, etc.
·      In the Main Body, you should focus on specific qualities of the chosen subject, and go into details of each of the most peculiar qualities in the following paragraphs. For instance, if you chose to write about a person, you could include a paragraph about their appearance, another one about their personality, traits and justification, and the third paragraph of the main body can be about the person’s hobbies, talents and interests.
·         Your Conclusion should focus on your personal feelings about the chosen subject, justifying why it had such an influence on you that you decided to write about it.
·      A descriptive essay focuses on details, so make sure to be specific in your descriptions. Including as many colorful adjectives as you can is always a good idea. Another tip is to introduce some peculiar facts, situations and words that you associate with the person, place or object you are describing. The more innovative and unique you get, the better.
·        When going into the details of your description, group similar and opposing qualities together to make your writing sound more versatile. For similar qualities, use “also”, “as well as”, “in addition to”; for opposite qualities use “”at the same time”, “in spite of this”, “nevertheless”, “although”, “however”.

Dos and Don’ts

- Do use a variety of connective words to make your descriptions more logical and connect one idea with another.
- Do use comparisons to make your descriptions more vivid and brighter. For example, when describing an object, say what its shape reminds you off; when talking about a person, compare their characteristics with that of an animal, flower, or whatever you associate with the person.
- Do use your emotions, analyze how you feel about the described person, place or object and do not be afraid to include your subjective opinion.
- Do be creative in your descriptions.
- Do not be afraid to approach your description from an innovative angle.
- Do use a variety of techniques to express your thoughts: build your ideas into subjective clauses and compound sentences.
- Don’t begin all your sentences in a similar way as it will make your essay sound boring and template-like.
- Don’t switch from present tense to the past and back. If you chose to describe an event that occurred in the past (your visit to some place, a person you used to be close with etc.), then only write in the past tense throughout your essay. Similarly, if you chose to describe everything in the present or future form, be consistent throughout.
- Don’t write too generally or too sketchily. Go underneath the surface in your descriptions to make your essay sound more realistic.
- Don’t write about everything you can think of. Whether it is a person or building that you chose to describe, think of the most peculiar and interesting characteristics that distinguish and highlight this particular person or building for you.
-Don’t focus on what is generally known, believed or considered about your subject. Write about things that matter to you personally.

Common Mistakes

·                   Absence of a general idea. Your essay should focus around one main idea that needs to be transparent. Students often forget about this rule and get lost in separate striking descriptions, which make the whole essay sound abrupt and inconsistent.
·                   Usage of too many banal and trivial adjectives which make your writing sound mediocre. Instead, try to describe the object or person from a personal perspective, using your emotions and feelings.
·                   Applying an out-and-out approach when you include negative adjectives in your description. Try to use mild language in such cases. For example, you can replace “John is arrogant” with “John can sometimes be rather arrogant”.

Thanks to Academic Help

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