An Explanation of the Purpose of a Descriptive Essay

posted by Andy Preisler 04 May 2015
Table of contents:

What Is the Purpose Of a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay is written in order to get the reader to understand something through the use of descriptive language. In a narrative essay, the reader is told a story. Through that story, they are able to piece together descriptions of the people, places, items, and events that are discussed. In a descriptive essay, there is no story that is being related to the audience. Though previously discussed the purpose of persuasive essay, students often confuse these two purposes.

Here is an example of a car that is being described in a narrative essay:

When John hit the gas pedal, the car took off like a rocket. In less than ten seconds he was going over 100 miles per hour. After the race was over, his opponent approached him and shook his hand. “That sure is a mean green machine!” the man said.

Now, here is an example of a car that is the topic of a descriptive essay:

The car's metallic green paint sparkled in the bright sunlight. If one looked under the hood, he would find a fully rebuilt high performance engine designed specifically for drag racing. When the engine started, the sound was like roaring thunder.

In both examples, we come to understand that the car is green, fast, and used for racing. However, in the second example, it was necessary to use more descriptive words. This is because without the narrative in place, the writer must rely on the reader's senses to get his/her point across.

Read also: How college application essay writers can help you get accepted.

Why is a Descriptive Essay Sometimes Better than a Narrative Essay?

Students often wonder what is the descriptive essay purpose when they can just ask college essay services to write a narrative essay that allows them to tell a story and describe something at the same time. There are a few reasons why a descriptive essay can be preferable to a narrative essay. First, sometimes a subject is so significant and meaningful that it cannot be accurately described in a narrative. This is because the subject must compete with the plot, the characters involved, and other subjects that are being indirectly described. In a descriptive essay, the writer is able to fully dedicate the written content to one subject. In addition to this, the descriptive essay can be an excellent writing exercise. Many writers do not have a well-developed ability to use descriptive language. They tend to rely on very generic adjectives, and they tend to miss out on opportunities to insert metaphors and similes into their writing. A descriptive essay is a great way to force writers who are reluctant to use descriptive writing out of their comfort zones and to foster greater confidence in the use of figurative language.

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What are Some Good Descriptive Essay Topics?

Descriptive essays are no different than other types, in that essay writing is much easier when the subject is one that interests or excites the writer. However some students may need assistance of a cheap custom essays service. When it comes to selecting a descriptive essay topic, there is virtually nothing that is off limits. Think about it. Anything from a shoe to a beautiful tropical island can be described, although most people would probably be more interested in reading about the island. If you are able to select your own descriptive essay topic, your best bet is to pick a topic that you know that you find interesting. Try asking yourself a few of these question. One of them may be the writing prompt that you need:

  1. Is there a member of your family who would be a good subject for a descriptive essay?
  2. Would you be interested in describing your bedroom in an essay?
  3. Describe your best friend.
  4. What was your first car like?
  5. Describe your favorite amusement park.
  6. What is your favorite place to go when you are sad?
  7. Where do you enjoy going on vacation?
  8. What is your least favorite food?
  9. What is the most treasured object in your bedroom?

These types of questions are usually very helpful if you need help thinking of an essay topic. You should also feel free to think up some of your own essay questions and essay prompts. The longer your list of topic ideas, the better able you will be to get started on future descriptive essays.

Where Can You Find Help on Descriptive Essays

Your school writing lab is a great place to find help with writing descriptive essays. In addition to this, there are also lots of great writing resources on the internet. A third option you should keep in mind is an online writing service. Any time you need essay help, you can always contact, a reputable company that can assist you as you write essay works on any subject that you wish to describe. College students have been coming to for essay writing help for many years. Just let a customer service representative know that you want them to “help me write my essay,” and in just a few minutes, you will be getting the help that you need.

Andy Preisler

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay

Andy Preisler


Hey there!

I’m Andy Preisler, and I’m super happy to be joining the blog team at!

While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.

With my perpetual studies (my parents wonder if it will ever stop), I have become a bit of an expert on college life – academic, social, and financial – and love sharing my experiences and my methods of “circumventing the system” with others.  I will be sharing all of these great tips and strategies with my readers, so stay tuned!

When I am not blogging or enrolling in some new course that interests me, I am backpacking through Europe and staying in hostels, working on my second novel (a riveting murder mystery), and pursuing my interest in music. Yes, I travel with my guitar, and you would be amazed at the amount of cash I can accumulate, just performing on the streets of European cities (they are so much more tolerant of vagabond musicians). 

My other passion is environmental. In my short 27 years of life on this planet, I have witnessed the extinction of species, the destruction of rain forests, and irreparable harm to our oceans. I contribute both time and money to several international environmental organizations, because we all must do our part to save Mother Earth.

But I digress! If you are interested in the “ins and outs” of college life, and want some great tales of navigating through the game of “degree attainment,” as well as tips for easing the pain of those pesky essay and paper assignments, follow my blog!

I would love to hear from you, to give you advice, and to lend a listening ear. You can contact me at [email protected] anytime! And follow my posts – you won’t be disappointed!

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