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Really, the only rule is to make sure you describe your subject as vividly as possible, using the five senses and showing versus telling.There are, however, a few ways you can organize your descriptive essay to make it even easier for the reader to follow what you're saying and visualize your subject.One option is to organize your essay from general to particular.
This is how a descriptive essay uses things we are familiar with - in this case, our five senses - to take us to a tropical paradise.
Even more, the description helps set a mood by using more vivid language to complement the sensory-based description.
The warm sun brightly shone on my face and greeted me, 'Good afternoon'.' Based on this paragraph, where is the author? Thanks to the five senses, you can gather that he or she is just waking up from what seems like a really peaceful nap in a hammock on a beach somewhere. Based on the description, we can see waves hitting the shore as the tide comes in, hear the water as it hits the sand, smell the salty air, and feel the warm sun.
See how the senses use concrete things we've all probably experienced to some degree in our own lives to help you visualize a new scene?
The smell of salt air and a warm afternoon wafted through the sky.
Slowly, I awoke from my slumber, cuddled in a hammock that surrounded me like a cocoon.The author shows us, rather than tells us, what the afternoon on a beach is like.Rather than saying, 'I heard the waves as the tide came in,' the author says, 'As the waves leisurely collided with the shore, I could hear the delicate lapping of the water as it met the sand.' The extra detail really helps us visualize the scene that the author is trying to create.We can begin to experience the same peacefulness through the use of words like 'leisurely' and 'delicate.' Again, rather than just telling us it was a really relaxing and peaceful day, he or she lets the descriptive language show us.Another useful technique for setting a mood with your descriptive writing is to use similes and metaphors.As you can see, similes and metaphors are another tool to help make your descriptions more vivid.They paint a more detailed picture for your reader, making it easier for them to understand what you're saying, not to mention more interesting, because you are showing them what you have in your mind's eye, rather than just telling them.Descriptive essays do this through the use of more concrete concepts, which most often include our five senses.Behold, the power of using the five senses in a descriptive essay: 'As the waves leisurely collided with the shore, I could hear the delicate lapping of the water as it met the sand.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.