Descriptive Essay

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Descriptive Essay

TASK: Write an essay in which you are describing something. The key to writing an effective descriptive essay is to hook your reader with imagery. USE the 5 senses – SHOW, don’t tell. Consider, also, what your dominant impression to the reader is, and what system of organization you will use.


  1. Write about a ritual that is significant in your life to someone who is unfamiliar. Include setting and people.

  2. What defines “American”? Pick some thing, person, place or tradition that you feel is uniquely “American” and describe it to a foreigner.

  3. We all have critical moments in our lives. Pick one, and describe it as if it were not attached to a past or a future.

  4. Describe a difficult or awkward situation you have experienced. Explain why it was awkward/difficult.

  5. Describe someone you know who exemplifies a “type” of personality. The words change, but the people are the same – brain, athlete, princess, basket case, criminal.

  6. Describe your house. Consider, before you write, what your house says about you to a stranger.

  7. Describe the messages you receive from your peers/parents/others that exemplify the age you are. Consider how these messages are different from the ones you received as a child (share, wash your hands) and will be different from the ones you will get when you are older (children/marriage/retirement). Describe these “signs.”

  8. Why do we need to escape? Describe the need to get away using personal experience.

  9. Describe your dream home. What is required? Consider why. Perhaps place it in comparison to your current home.

    1. Reverse. Describe your current home. What is required? Consider why. Place it in comparison to your dream home.

  10. Your choice (always an option). See me to get approval FIRST.

Guidelines: Your essay must follow MLA guidelines, be 500 words in length (minimum). Your writing will be scored according to the attached rubric.

12 point font

Garamond, Times New Roman, Arial

Double spaced

1 inch margins

Heading: Your name, my name, class name, date all in single column, left-justified.

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