How to Write a Descriptive Essay Outline
Descriptive essays are mainly used to help readers have a vivid idea or image of the object, place, or person being reviewed. Writers, therefore, try to engage the audience’s senses by creating a near perfect description. Readers, or the audience, need to feel like they have already visited a place or met a person after reading a descriptive essay. Writers must employ their mastery of language to make sure that their final piece creates an emotional connection with the readers.
Descriptive Essay Structure
Understanding the structure of an essay is a key to writing a perfect essay. An essay’s structure mainly contains the segments or sections that need to be included within an essay. Writers should, therefore, understand how an essay is structured before embarking on the writing process. The structure of a descriptive essay is simple and mainly includes three sections which are:
- an introduction,
- the body section,
- and the conclusion.
These three must be included in an essay if a student is to score high marks.
Tips Concerning Introduction Writing
An introduction provides a writer with the opportunity of making the first impression and impressing the readers. It is, therefore, essential that a writer sets off on the right footing. Additionally, it is in the introduction where the writer shapes their essay and either impresses the readers to the point where they want to read the entire essay or scares them off. When given this chance, it is essential that writers make the best out of it and deliver their best. Writers should build their essays from the introduction and make it easy for their readers to comprehend whatever information they will share in the essay. A majority of readers make the decision to continue reading an essay after the introduction. Therefore, writers should strive to make them interesting and captivating enough.
Here are some tips to help you write a good introduction:
- Start the introduction with a hook. Capture the reader’s attention with an interesting first sentence. You can make use of fun facts about a city or use a phrase.
- Be brief and direct in your introduction. Be mean with the information you share in the introduction, however, you should include enough to entice the readers to read the entire essay.
- Include a thesis statement. Have your main argument stand out and make sure your audience understands it.
Tips on Thesis Writing
A thesis statement mainly contains the writer’s main argument or the idea that will be prominent in the entire essay. Writers often use it to make their audience understand the purpose of their essay as well as reveal the scope of the subject under discussion.
When writing the thesis statement, consider the following:
- Define your scope and make it narrow.
- Avoid using clichés for example, “The focus of this article will be…”
- Make the thesis statement intriguing.
Tips on Body Paragraphs
Descriptive essay writing is not a challenging task, but some students often find themselves struggling to support their thesis statement. The body of an essay should develop or offer support to the thesis statement. Writers should, therefore, express their points in a way that builds on the introduction.
Here are some tips concerning the development of the body paragraphs:
- Use topic sentences. The main arguments should be the first sentences in the subsequent paragraphs after the introduction.
- Use transition words. For example, firstly, secondly, additionally, subsequently, etc. These help the readers to follow an essay systematically.
- The number of the paragraphs differs and depends on the instructions provided. However, the length of each paragraph should be five to six sentences.
Tips on Conclusion Writing
The conclusion in a descriptive essay represents the last opportunity for the writer to impress the readers. Writers should ensure that their conclusions leave the readers with a lasting impression and in a way affects their thinking.
To write a good conclusion, consider the following tips:
- Restate the essay’s thesis statement.
- Provide a summary of the essay’s points.
- Leave the readers with something intriguing. Make sure they think about the essay beyond the assignment.
Example of an Outline
A descriptive essay outline simply details the main points the writer will discuss in the essay. When writing an outline for a descriptive essay, it is essential to first of all, understand what the essay`s structure is. The above is important because the writer needs to focus on the points they will include in each of the sections. Descriptive essay outline writing is, therefore, essential and will help you decide on the scope of an essay while also developing points for the essay.
Below is an example of a descriptive essay outline:
My Best Friend
- Start with a funny memory about your friend or a phrase that they often say.
- Provide basic information about your friend. (Name, Age, School, Work, etc.)
- Provide a small history of your friendship. For example, when you first met.
- Thesis statement (focus on what makes them a great friend, what values they uphold, their favorite programs, their most radical views about an issue such as abortion or divorce).
- Physical attributes (short/tall, blonde/brunette/black/Asian/Latino).
- Favorite TV programs and movies.
- Most important Christian values.
- Views on marriage and divorce.
- What views or policies they feel contradict their faith.
- Their stance on the current issues, for example, their view on President Trump’s immigration policy etc.
- Restate the thesis statement.
- Provide a summary of the main points. Try to emphasize on their greatest qualities or their most intriguing quality. These tend to remain in the memory of the readers long after they have read the essay.
Types of Outlines and Samples
This is the most common type of outline and usually instantly recognizable to most people. The formatting follows these characters, in this order:
- Roman Numerals
- Capitalized Letters
- Arabic Numerals
- Lowercase Letters
If the outline needs to subdivide beyond these divisions, use Arabic numerals inside parentheses and then lowercase letters inside parentheses. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The sample PDF in the Media Box above is an example of an outline that a student might create before writing an essay. In order to organize her thoughts and make sure that she has not forgotten any key points that she wants to address, she creates the outline as a framework for her essay.
What is the assignment?
Your instructor asks the class to write an expository (explanatory) essay on the typical steps a high school student would follow in order to apply to college.
What is the purpose of this essay?
To explain the process for applying to college
Who is the intended audience for this essay?
High school students intending to apply to college and their parents
What is the essay's thesis statement?
When applying to college, a student follows a certain process which includes choosing the right schools and preparing the application materials.
Full Sentence Outlines
The full sentence outline format is essentially the same as the Alphanumeric outline. The main difference (as the title suggests) is that full sentences are required at each level of the outline. This outline is most often used when preparing a traditional essay. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.
The decimal outline is similar in format to the alphanumeric outline. The added benefit is a system of decimal notation that clearly shows how every level of the outline relates to the larger whole. Select the "Sample Outlines" PDF in the Media Box above to download the sample of this outline.