Writing A Descriptive Essay: Sentence Structure

Students who are assigned essays often forget about sentence structure. When you are assigned an essay, whether it be persuasive, narrative, or descriptive, the sentence structure you use will help guide the focus of the essay. When you write a persuasive essay, your sentences should use clear language without too many overly descriptive words. The narrative essay should include sentences that tell a story and build on each other. The descriptive essay needs to include sentences that give a clear picture of the event, person, or thing that is being described.

Covey the Image in Your Details

Sentence structure is vitally important in a descriptive essay. If your sentences are too plain, you will not be able to convey the sensory images that make the essay descriptive. Each sentences should contain vivid verbs and details that will help the read visualize what you are trying to show. The purpose of the descriptive essay is to describe not only visual images, but details that will engage the other senses, too. You should be sure to alternate between sentences that create sound, taste, touch, and smell.

Alternate Sentence Beginnings to Help with Description

In order to keep the essay flowing and your reader wanting to continue, you should be sure to alternate the beginnings of your sentences. Every sentence should begin with a different word than the one that came before it. If you use too many of the same first words, then your paragraphs will begin to have a choppy feel. The sentence beginnings you use should help the reader get a better picture of the item you are describing. Beginning a sentence with different phrases can help the reader get a sense of place, time, and tone, too.

Use Flow to Get a Better Picture

Your sentence beginnings not only help the reader get a better picture of your description, but they also help improve the fluency of the paper. Fluency is the flow of your paper and without varying sentence structure, you will create a chop that makes readers stop. Without a smooth flow, the paper can be uncomfortable to read. In a descriptive paper, the flow of your paper should emulate the item you are describing. Longer sentences with varying beginnings will give a paper a smooth flow. Short, simple sentences create more chop. While you are writing, consider where you want your reader’s eyes to go and how often you expect your reader to stop for a breath.

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