Performing assignments with descriptive elements helps students to learn to analyze various subjects, phenomena, personalities. This type of work develops creativity and artistic sensuality better than any other task. Composing such a paper does not involve any difficulties. However, if you do not know how to start a descriptive essay, examples written by other authors will become invaluable auxiliary tools.
Peculiarities of descriptive essays
A description is a type of speech in which permanent or temporary attributes of an object are listed. Definitions of subjects may be found in descriptive essay introduction examples. It is the central figure of a paper which is set initially and disclosed in the main part through a list of characteristics.
The described picture is static. The action does not develop. The description can be based on present or past / future time (in this case, time acquires a relative, generalized character). It is impossible to combine several verb tenses in one descriptive essay example.
The purpose of the description is to give a reader the most complete idea of the subject.
In case of an objective description, an author presents the indisputable attributes of the described object or phenomenon, without expressing his own attitude. In case of a subjective description, the author selects facts, emphasizes his attitude towards them by means of written language. The second scheme is most often used in examples of a descriptive essay.
The leading parts of speech in this type of papers are nouns and adjectives. The description is characterized by the use of simple phrases, often with homogeneous parts of a sentence. Parallelism (uniformity of structures) and enumeration are used as the main principles of construction.
Structure of descriptive essay
Each correctly composed descriptive essay outline example consists of the following elements:
- Introduction, which contains a designation of the subject being described, a general idea about it.
- The main part is a set of subject's characteristics. Authors usually move from the most significant to the less significant details.
- Conclusion should convey the author's attitude to the subject.
Describing a subject, it is necessary to ensure the unity of the image, of the attitude to it and the logical sequence.
Types of descriptive essays
You can find a huge number of examples of descriptive essay topics and papers written on them in free access. However, do not rush to take the first text you find and to copy the main writing methods that the author used. To begin with, you need to determine what type of description the teacher wants to see in your essay. The most popular options are listed below.
This is the shortest type of description which relates the concept to the nearest generic concepts (The antonyms are words...) and indicates the specific differences of the given concept or phenomenon (The antonyms are words with the opposite meaning).
In determining the concept, you can use comparison, contrast, example-illustration:
- "Autumn is a period of transition from summer to winter." This is a definition with the elements of a comparison.
- "Poetry is something opposite to prose." It is a contrast.
- "Blue orange is the lexical incompatibility". It is the definition with an example.
This is a kind of transformation of the definition which is characterized by a developed form of detalization. Let's consider an example. "The comparison of language and speech can be likened to a comparison of the details of a clock and an assembled clock. The language gives the material for the structure of speech. Just as it depends on a watchmaker what the clock he will assemble, it depends on a speaker what speech he will have."
When composing a characteristic, it is necessary to indicate only the essential features of the given object or phenomenon, whereas in the expanded description, both essential and non-essential signs are indicated (depending on the author's purpose).
What is the difference between descriptive and narrative essays?
A common mistake of many students is that looking for an example of a descriptive essay, they download a narrative text and build their work on a wrong principle. It is important to clearly understand the differences between these two types of papers.
In a broad sense, descriptiveness is the opposite of narration. Descriptive texts are focused on static images. They draw pictures, give portraits, summarize recurring, cyclical processes, depict an environment, classify natural or social phenomena by types, etc. As a rule, descriptive texts depict only one state. The narration, in turn, implies active actions of the main characters.
Despite this theoretical difference between the narrativity and descriptiveness, the boundary between narrative and descriptive texts is not always clear. Each narrative necessarily contains descriptive elements that give the text a certain static character. The images of situations, actors, and actions themselves are not complete without the use of a descriptive material. At the same time, descriptive works can (in order to illustrate a situation) include dynamic elements, narrative structures.
Not the number of static or dynamic elements contained in the text, but their final function is decisive for the descriptive or narrative character of the essay. The functionality of the work can be mixed. But in most cases, a certain basic function is dominant. This dominance is subject to interpretation and is not perceived by all readers in the same way.
Intensive practice and originality
In order to see subtle differences and features of literary genres, the beginning author needs an intensive practice. Read one example of a descriptive essay after another, and eventually, you will be able to identify the peculiarities of such texts from the first lines. It may seem that there is nothing easier than to describe an object or a phenomenon. But in reality, you need to take the academic task seriously in order to create a text that will satisfy your teachers.
And of course, remember that examples are only a step on the path to independent creativity. They will provide you with invaluable, useful information, but in the end, you will have to rely on your own thoughts and feelings.
Examples are needed to study the structure of the essay, different points of view on certain things. However, each of your papers should be written from the heart. Do not copy other people's statements if you disagree with them. Even thinking that the grass is blue and the sky is green, you have the right to write about it. Let the readers see the world through your eyes. Good luck!