How to Write a Descriptive Essay about a Person
There is something about the personal essays - sometimes they are referred to as “character sketches.” But it is difficult to learn how to write a descriptive essay about a person, because we really do not read them often. We get “pictures” in our heads about characters in a piece of fiction over many pages of writing; and most non-fiction does not entail character sketches. So, when you are assigned this type of essay, you may be at a loss as to how to construct it or even what to say. We have explored a lot of information about this kind of paper and have made a whole article about it in order to help you out. Here are some pretty basic tips and strategies to use as you develop your piece.
Select a Person You Know Well
You cannot write a character sketch about anyone you do not know intimately. This person can be a member of your family, a close friend, or even a main character in a novel or movie if you loved it so much you read or saw it many times.
You can select a totally fictitious person, of course, but it is probably wise to make the person at least a combination of people you know, so that your description “sounds” authentic to a reader. Most fiction writers admit that their major characters are a bit autobiographical or combinations of people they know, because they are just more believable. Also it will help you to get more ideas about what to write and you won’t get lost. If you want you may even have some sort of an interview with the person you are writing about in order to know more about them. Thus you will present them in a way more realistic and truthful way.
Show, Don’t Tell
A descriptive essay about a person is a failure, if all you do is describe that individual physically and then tell the reader that s/he has three or four personality traits. Physical descriptions should be revealed indirectly, and those three or four personality traits must be shown be specific words, actions, and behaviors.
Go back and read your favorite short story or novel. How does the author reveal everything about that main character? Chances are s/he does not spend paragraphs of prose describing what that character looks like. Bits and pieces are revealed along the way, and often the details are left up to the reader to fil in. How do you know what the character’s personality is like? You get that over time, as that character speaks and takes action throughout the work.
Consider these two methods of providing a physical description:
Carol has long curly brown hair, brown eyes, and stands about 5’ 4” tall. She is slender, and her long legs give a graceful appearance as she walks. (Very boring.)
Carol has a completely contagious laugh. When she laughs her entire body is involved. Those long brown curls fly about her face and shoulders, and all 5’ 4” of her is somehow involved. And when she is angry, watch out. Those piercing brown eyes are throwing daggers of light, and those long legs are poised in a true fighting stance, like she is ready to go 16 rounds.
Same person – two different writers. See the difference? When you don’t have an entire novel to gradually provide a physical description, you have to get creative with the way in which you do it. There are a lot of tips and pieces of advice from professional writers on the web that can help you to improve your skills in writing character’s description. Also a lot of writers like Chuck Palahniuk, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King and others have written whole books about the art of writing so consider reading them too.
Describing Personality Traits
Part of learning how to write a descriptive essay about a person mastering this art of showing not telling as you reveal his/her personality traits. Words and behaviors must be used. Let’s take a look at Carol again. Suppose you have decided that she really has extremes in emotions when she is happy or sad – there doesn’t seem to be much “in between” with her. So, that is one of the traits that you want to address in your description. You can take what was written above and expand it a bit, still keeping the physical descriptors but now giving specific examples of these extremes. You should reveal them in real-life situations. Incorporate them in a realistic way. Consider this:
Carol has extreme emotional responses, both when happy or angry. When she found out she was accepted to her first choice for college, she threw her head back, long brown curls flying, raised those slender arms toward the sky and immediately broke into dance moves that I had never seen before, as she sang “Don’t Stop Believin’” and threw those long legs all over the room. And one day, when someone stole a parking space she had been waiting for, I watched her follow that man all the way into the store, shaking her finger and calling him a rude guy and several other terms I won’t mention here.
You have now “proved” to the reader that Carol has extreme emotional responses and done so in an engaging way. It’s important to give such descriptions if you want to keep your writing interesting and not to be boring. It also helps you to carve your own style and to improve writing skills at all.
When You Write Your Essay
As you search for descriptive essay ideas that will make your character “live” on your paper, you can look online for examples of character sketch or personal description essays – you will find plenty to review that will help you see how to formulate your own “picture” of your character. It’s very useful to read other essays if you want to learn how to write good papers. It may also give you plenty of new ideas or to inspire you to write a descriptive essay.
Generally, in a character sketch essay, you should identify three personality traits that you will present, each in a different paragraph. It’s not advised to describe whole personality as it will become a novel. Instead consider using this scheme. Your introduction will obviously introduce your person, and the traits that you will be covering. Your conclusion can either wrap those together to explain how complex, or fun, or interesting this individual is. A conclusion for Carol might be something like this:
Living with my sister Carol has been an adventure, to be sure. And I hope that adventure continues for years to come, even after we are grown and have our own separate lives.
Panicked and Out of Time?
It’s all good! You can contact GrabMyEssay.com, and someone can write your essay for you in an hour. How is that possible? We have wonderfully creative writers who whip up character sketches every day! All of them are highly experienced and have Master’s and PhD. degrees in English or Literature. Also you don’t have to worry about the deadlines, as we deliver all the papers on time no matter how urgent or difficult the order is. Get in contact with our support team to find out all the important details and place an order.
descriptive essayessay about a personessay writingessay helpessay tips
Descriptive Essay About a Person
The Art of Writing
In a descriptive essay, the writer expresses his/her feelings on a subject that can be a person, an object, experience, an event or a place. Like any other essay, a descriptive essay should have a topic, an introduction, body and a conclusion. The writer tries to express their feelings and opinions and their perceptions by describing the subject matter. The descriptions should bring out the elaborative and unique qualities of the subject. Make your essay as appealing as possible. Keep in mind the good qualities that a good descriptive essay should possess.
Grab the reader’s attention
Let your descriptions capture the interest of the reader. It should be an interesting piece to read. You should know your audience and tailor your subject descriptions to appeal them. As a writer, try to show that you are explaining. Express your thoughts and emotions through your writing
Visualize your subject
Let your tale give a visual idea of whatever you are describing. Express your emotions and perceptions. Create a vivid experience of the reader. Ensure that your observations and description regarding the subject are detailed.
Make use of your senses
When writing a descriptive essay, you must use your five senses. As a writer, convey your perceptions through senses and figures. You need to come up with a piece of work that appeals to the readers’ five senses (sight, smell, sound, touch and taste). You should paint the picture of your feelings.
Show, don’t tell the descriptive essay about a person
When showing through your description, you cultivate imagination in the reader’s mind. You make it as if they are already experiencing the same thing as you are.
Use Similes and metaphors
Use similes and metaphors in describing your subject. This brings out the content description perfectly. They also make your essay look glossy. Select the powerful words that appeal to the reader
Are your views subjective or objective?
A descriptive essay about a person can be factual or personal. The Emotions that you as a writer wants to get out of the reader determines how to write your essay. Make sure to give all the characteristics of the subject you are describing.
What about starting my paragraphs?
The exercise of writing a descriptive essay can be very rich and rewarding. It can also be very complicated. To begin with, your subject should be meaningful. Choose what you want your essay to focus on. Develop a checklist of the important questions that you will keep answering as you write your essay. Start by introducing your subject. Immediately start engaging the readers’ five senses. You definitely have a reason as to why you want to describe something. Get in touch with the reason and the questions you developed so as to remain focused throughout your description. All the descriptions should be illustrated rhythmically.
Be sure to revise your essay after your write up. This you do as you tick your checklist to see whether there is any of your details and descriptions that has been omitted. It will also enable you to find out whether you have provided enough descriptions that your readers can visualize.
For example, when describing a person, show their physical appearance, how charming they can be, how it feels to hang around with them and what you admire in that person. Whatever your perception and experience about your subject is what you need to focus on in giving the descriptions.
Descriptive Essay about a person
A descriptive essay about a person, also known as character sketches is the most common assigned type of essay for students in Colleges and Universities. In writing this type of essay, one can be asked to describe:
- A colleague,
- A relative or a friend
- A scientist in a movie character or any person
To begin with, make sure that you know the main features of the person that you want to describe. This will enable you to create an efficient custom paper. Make the details that you think will make the person you are describing look vivid. Show the person’s physical features as well as their personality traits. Use the person’s actions and behavior to show their personality.
As a writer, ensure that you know the different ways of presenting the right identity of the character and in a prolific manner. Like any other paper, a character sketch should have an introduction, main body and a conclusion. At the introduction, present the reasons as to why you want to describe the person. Remember to grab your reader’s’ attention. At the main body, include three paragraphs, one to talk about his/her physical characteristics, the second to talk about the environment where they live, and the third to talk about his emotions and personality. I the conclusion section, show how this write up is significant. Remember to show alive representation of the person you are describing.
Ask a question