A descriptive essay uses sensory images to create a

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Imagery has its root in the word image, but as an idea it encompasses so much more than just our visual senses. Imagery in writing is capable of communicating to all five of our senses. When placed in the appropriate order, words can evoke sensations like the heat of the sun on our bodies, the smell of fresh bread or the sound of a subway station. Visual imagery is the most comfortable form of imagery for most writers. Describing that particular shade of pink found at the eraser tip of your pencil, or the blinding white you see when you look directly at the sun easily brings forth the images described. Olfactory imagery -- or that which connects to the sense of smell -- tickles your nose like pepper.

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A descriptive essay gives the reader a mental image of a person, object, place or event using vivid sensory details. Much more than other types of essays, descriptive essays should provide a deeply involved and vivid experience for the reader. Good descriptive essay achieves this affect by using detailed observations and descriptions. Before you begin writing the descriptive essay, you need to have a clear idea why you are writing it.

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Last Updated: April 21, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Jake Adams. With over 11 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is also the CEO of Simplifi EDU, an online tutoring service aimed at providing clients with access to a network of excellent California-based tutors.
Published on July 30, by Jack Caulfield. Revised on October 15, A descriptive essay gives a vivid, detailed description of something—generally a place or object, but possibly something more abstract like an emotion. This type of essay , like the narrative essay , is more creative than most academic writing. Descriptive essays test your ability to use language in an original and creative way, to convey to the reader a memorable image of whatever you are describing.
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