Essay writing prompts- describing people, places, and things

Many essays that students have to write while in school are descriptive papers where they have to talk about a person, place, or thing, and describe it in great detail. These are some of the easiest topics yet are one of the types of essays students complain about the most. This usually is because students do not know how to describe in depth and with strong examples.

Let's say that you have to write a paper where you describe someone who had a big influence on your life. You need to do more than talk about their height, weight, hair color, and so forth. Talk about their personality, how they motivated you, and why they are someone of influence to you. Instead of saying they are nice, give an example of how they were nice to you and the impact it had on you. Instead of just making a statement such as “he was kind to me” bring that person alive by explaining how they were kind by saying something like “he helped me out during my parent's divorce and gave me the encouragement I needed to finish school.”

This same concept applies to when you are describing places and things too. Do not just give simple statements that could be said by anyone. Back them up with personal stories and memories. The beach nearby where you grew up might be your favorite place to visit now as an adult, but you should use some of the childhood memories you treasure to help bring that place to life for the reader. Likewise with describing things, if you can tell a personal story or share a personal incident it helps the reader connect and understand what you are trying to communicate.

Description essays like these are often one of the first essay types students learn and because they have not have experience with them before, many students find them challenging. But if you look at it from the viewpoint of the reader you can work to make it a successful essay. Your instructor would rather read an essay that shows personality and depth rather than just a rattling off of shallow and vague statements that could have been made by anyone. Taking the time to add that personal touch to an essay, especially one that is asking you to describe a person, place, or thing, can go a long way in helping you be successful with your assignment.

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