Guide to Writing a Descriptive Essay about a Place with an Example
This article will teach you step-by-step how to write a descriptive essay about a place. You will find a full guideline on how to start a descriptive essay about a place, structure and proofread it in this article as well as an example that will demonstrate all of these guidelines in practice.
How to Start a Descriptive Essay About a Place
The first step to writing a descriptive essay about a place is to create a draft. Write down the name of the place you want to describe and then proceed to the following steps:
1Brainstorm the ideas you want to include in your essay
- Location of the place
- How you found out about it or why you visited it
- If it is your favorite place, explain why
- Your own feelings about the place
- Remarkable details and facts about the place
This way, you will be able to determine the most important facts about the place that you will cover in your essay and organize them.
Gather available information about a place
If you are not aware of the background of the place you are going to write about, it is important to find out everything you can.
Here is a comprehensive list of questions that might be relevant to your own essay:
- Is it a tourist attraction in the area?
- What architecture style do buildings have?
- When were they built?
- Who was the architect?
- How do local people call this place?
- What kinds of trees/plants/animals can be found there?
- Has any famous persona lived there?
- What is the weather like in this place?
- Are there any particular elements of the landscape you noticed (mountain, river, etc.)?
- Do you have any stories told by the locals and/or your friends and family about the place?
The answers to some of these questions can be further incorporated into your essay and help make it more engaging for readers.
3Use five senses to write a descriptive essay about a place
Nothing can help a reader to imagine a place more than feelings and emotions connected with it. Use your own five senses to grasp the mood and ambiance of a place and merge them into your essay. Describing your own feelings of sight, touch, smell, sound, and taste, to provide your readers with understanding how it is like to be there.
Despite that we get the majority of information about the environment through visual perception other senses are equally important for creating a full picture. Imagine watching a music video without a sound or shopping for a winter coat without touching any – that is same tough as trying to imagine a particular place without having the information from other senses than eyesight.
Here is a list of things you can describe in your essay that refer to five senses:
1.Shapes of objects and landscape elements (sharp, rounded, spiky, etc.)
2. Scents and aromas you associate with the place (the smell of freshly mown grass, brewed coffee, smoke, blooming flowers, etc.)
3. Feelings you get from the sense of touch (feeling of wind on skin, rough texture of tree bark, cold water, etc.)
4. Sounds you hear in this place (chirping birds, a rustle of leaves, sound of water flowing, bell ringing, music, etc.)
5. The sense of taste you associate with the place (taste of the food you’ve tried there, local specialty description, coffee you’ve had there, etc.)
Consider your own senses and memories about feelings you’ve had in that place as a source of information.
4Expand your vocabulary
Vivid descriptions are the most effective at setting the mood and drawing a picture of a place for readers of your essay, so make the best out of it by expanding your vocabulary. While describing many objects, use vocabulary to solve the problem of finding synonyms and antonyms to avoid repetitions.
Another important aspect is describing colors. Malevich used only black for his iconic Black Square painting, but unless you are describing a place with your eyes closed, using one color won’t do any good.
Did you know there is such color as Ferrari red? Here you can find an exciting list of color names that will help you bring your essay language to another level of richness. Write down all colors you think are appropriate for specific objects in the place you describe in your draft.
Writing a Descriptive Essay About a Place
If you have followed the steps above, you have around 70-75% of your work done – congrats! Now it is time to organize and structure your essay to make sure it is consistent and easy to follow. Below you will find steps that will help you accomplish that.
1Introduction for a descriptive essay about a place
Start your introduction with a hook – a catchy sentence that will instantly grab readers’ attention. A hook can contain a relevant quote, idiom, reference to your own feelings about a place.
Here you can find some interesting quotes about a place that can help you get started or inspire you to create a catchy hook.
Then briefly introduce the place you are to write about: state if it is your favorite place or you have visited it, and why you decided to write about it.Here, you can include one of the facts or interesting details you have found out about this place earlier, while starting to write the essay. Create a thesis statement about a place that provides a quintessence of your essay.
2Writing the main part of a descriptive essay about a place
The main part of your essay is where you can fully uncover all your thoughts about the place, your experiences, and feelings. Make sure that the central part of the essay is consistent and you describe one object or topic at a time.
If you struggle on what to begin with in the main part of your essay, try to start with surroundings of the place or its background. This will help you set the atmosphere and mood for the readers and make describing the place easier.
Devote each paragraph to the specific topic and describe everything that is connected to it, including your own perception and feelings. Use feeling adjectives that describe your own feelings associated with the place and will help translate that mood to your readers.
3Conclusion for descriptive essay about a place
Conclusion will summarize your essay without introducing new ideas. Restate your thesis statement in the conclusion to remind your readers of the core idea of your essay. Keep in mind that your thesis in the introduction may become irrelevant while writing the main part, so make sure to revise it and tie introduction, main part, and conclusion together.
How to Proofread a Descriptive Essay About a Place
Here is a list of steps you need to take in order to proofread your descriptive essay:
1. Reread your essay carefully, paying attention to the train of thought
2. Make sure there are no repetitions – use synonyms where possible
3. Check the length of paragraphs – they should be consistent in length
4. Check sentence length – too long sentences are hard to follow
5. Check consistency – your essay should cover topics
6. Make sure your descriptive essay has your personal approach rather than a mere description of a place
Example of a Descriptive Essay About a Place
Central Market Hall in Budapest, Hungary
Lailah Gifty Akita, the founder of Smart Youth Volunteers Foundation, once said that “We travel to see the beauty of souls in new landscapes.” For me, traveling to Budapest, Hungary, truly uncovered the beauty built in history and the souls of people who live there. Central Market Hall in Budapest, or as locals call it Nagyvásárcsarnok, has unexpectedly become the highlight of my trip and a place that stunned me the most.
The Central Market Hall is located on a picturesque street Váci utca and not far from metro station Kálvin tér. The building looks like it has been built as a castle rather than a market and is fascinating to view. The most captivating element of the building is, by all means, its roof, which is made of Zsolnay tiles brought here from Pécs city in Hungary. The colors of the tiles are contrasting shades of yellow, blue, and turquoise, that form diamond shape pattern. If you are lucky to visit this place in a sunny day as I was, you will be able to discern the variety of shades used, including ecru, mustard yellow, saffron, teal, pine green, and orchid tiles. Altogether, the roof of this building, as well as its neo-Gothic entrance gate style, create an almost fairytale vibe to this place.
As much as I was fascinated by the facade of the Central Market Hall, I was stunned even more by the interior and ambiance of it on the inside, which looks like a miniature city jammed in one building. The streets with market stalls seem endless same as the rows of products, including sausages, spices, meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and beverages, such as traditional Hungarian alcoholic drink pálinka, which is a fruit brandy. Despite that the majority of signs are in Hungarian, it is easy for foreigners to find what they are looking for even without knowing the language because sellers are cheerful and ready to assist.
The air in the building is filled with a variety of smells and noises. While approaching any stall, I could sense the aroma of spices, especially paprika, which is highly popular in Hungarian national cuisine. The scent of fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, meats, sausages, and herbs make this place a gastronomical paradise for gourmets. On the second floor the market also has a variety of food stalls where visitors can try traditional Hungarian foods, such as langos – one of the most popular street foods here. The Central Market Hall is also a noisy place with a lot of people selling and buying, which adds to the experience of being there. This building has a very special vibe where everyone is welcome and can have a great sense of belonging.
Overall, this place has its own unforgettable ambiance that is created by architecture, aromas, sounds, and colors. Central Market Hall is surely one of my most memorable tourist spots in Budapest and a must-see for everyone visiting this beautiful city.
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1. Don’t be afraid to be emotional in your essay and express your own perception
2. Feel free to edit your draft as many times as needed
3. Check pictures and photographs of the place you are to describe to refresh your memory
4. Use outlines to organize your thoughts
5. Write your introduction last – this way you will be able to coordinate it with the main part and conclusion and achieve consistency