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A descriptive essay allows a reader to understand the essay's subject using illustrative language.Descriptive essays are great because, in a sense (pun intended), they can help us see places we might not be able to go ourselves, hear new things, taste different flavors, smell foreign smells, or touch different textures.
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.
One option is to organize your essay from general to particular.
For example, if you were describing the new Big Tex at the State Fair of Texas, you might start out by describing the setting - the smell of the corn dogs frying, the crowds of people, the happy children dodging in and out of the midway games - then get into his grandiose size - after all, everything is bigger in Texas, right?
A simile is a phrase comparing two unlikely things using 'like' or 'as' in order to make a description more vivid.
You've probably heard the phrase, 'running like the wind' before. Rather than saying, 'running really fast,' you replace the speed with something that might represent running quickly, like the wind.A metaphor has the same function as a simile, but the comparison between objects is implicit, meaning there is no 'like' or 'as' used to signal the comparison.Here's an example of a metaphor from good old Shakespeare: 'All the world's a stage and the men and women merely players.' Rather than saying life is just like a play, he compares the world to where a play is acted out.By now, you probably get the idea that the style choice for your descriptive essay is pretty open.The subject of your essay and the mood you want to create really dictates how your essay is structured.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.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?You can describe a feeling, a sound, or even an emotion.Descriptive essays are just the same: they help you illustrate something in a way that your reader can see, feel, or hear whatever it is you're talking about.