Tips for Good Descriptive Paragraphs

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Tips for Good Descriptive Paragraphs

Good descriptive paragraphs are really fun to read because they fuel your imagination. A good description allows the reader to be a part of your world, to clearly imagine the scene, to feel the sensations, the smells and the tastes of the subject you are writing about.

Since it is much easier to build sentences to reflect your ideas when you already have them, there are a few things to think about before you are ready to write your descriptive paragraph:

  1. Pick a topic you feel strongly about, for example, something you like very much, or something that you dislike very much.

  2. Think of your 5 senses in relationship to this topic.

    What does it smell like when you are in contact with the subject you are describing? For example, does it smell like oranges, or rotten fruit, or like sweet perfume, or like nervous sweat?

     What does it taste like? - Is it tart, or sweet, or bitter, or creamy?

    What does it feel like to the touch? - Does it give you a stomach ache? Does it make your muscles relax? Is it rough, smooth, sharp, slippery?

    What does it sound like? Is it loud, or soft, or shrill, or soothing?

    What does it look like? What is the color, the shape, or the height or the depth?

  3. Summarize your feelings about this topic in one sentence.

With ideas already in your mind, you are ready to start writing:

  1. Start with your main idea. It is the summary of your feelings about this topic.

  2. Continue with explanations for each of the senses you have chosen to use.

  3. Connect each of the senses back to your main idea. This allows you to remind your reader of your general thoughts about this subject.

  4. Follow a logical order when explaining each sense. It is good to think of the first thing you notice, then go to the second, and so on.

  5. Use your strongest feeling, or impression last. If all of your impressions are equally strong, it doesn't matter which order you choose.

  6. Finish with a restatement of your main idea.

Now you are ready to edit your paper.

Check to see if:



1.   all of your sentences relate to the subject you are trying to describe

2.   the order of the sentences is the best possible

3.   you need to add clearer explanations of each  of the senses

4.   your adjectives and adverbs are the best match for your subject

5.   your transitions are good, and the relationships between the ideas are clear

6.   your main idea is clear

7.   your conclusion relates to the overall feeling your subject brings out in you

8.   you have any spelling or grammatical mistakes

9.   your reader will be able to make a mental picture of the subject you are describing. Can your reader draw an accurate picture of it in his or her mind?


Edit your paper again. Put your description away for a day or two, then edit it once more. You will be glad you did.


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