Essay Writing

Narrative and Descriptive Essay Overview

Descriptive essay writing vividly portrays a person, place, or thing in such a way that the reader can visualize the topic and enter into the writer’s experience.

The general characteristics of descriptive essay writing include:
• elaborate use of sensory language
• rich, vivid, and lively detail
• figurative language such as simile, metaphor, personification
• showing, rather than telling through the use of active verbs (not DEAD ones!).

Descriptive essay writing appears almost everywhere and is often included in other genre, such as in a descriptive introduction of a character in a narrative.

Narrative essay writing usually tells a story about something that happened to writer to impress the audience and give some useful advice.


Step 1: Complete the brainstorm organizer by jotting ideas next to the title of each illustration. Your ideas are simply notes about a possible story that goes along with the illustration.

Step 2: Select the illustration that you feel you can best describe and write a story about the events that take place.

Step 3: Complete the story organizer and begin shaping your story.

Step 4: Thoroughly develop your main character by completing the character map.

Drafting: Using your pre-writing organizer as a foundation, begin pouring thoughts onto the page. Try new words and include details as well as personal feelings in your narrative essay. Make sure you write in THIRD PERSON. (i.e., Carl nervously reached to open the door. The butterflies in his stomach violently fluttered as he slowly extended his arm towards the shiny brass knob…)

Revising: Review your narrative essay for clarity and expressiveness. Consider the following checklist questions:

□ Did I describe people and events as I visualized them?

□ Does my story sound like something that could possibly happen based on the picture?

□ What can I add to bring the story to life? Did I use SHOW DON’T TELL Writing?

□ Does your story have a exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution?

Editing: After you have made revisions, please proofread the narrative essay carefully for final corrections.

□ Check any sentence fragments or run-on sentences.

□ Use periods, exclamation points and question marks correctly.

□ Use a singular verb with a singular subject and a plural verb with a plural subject.

Publishing: Step 5 Complete the final copy of your piece. Be sure to re-read it one last time before you hand it in.

Be sure to hand in:
□ Pre-write Organizer & Character
□ Rough Draft with Edits and Revisions
□ Final copy neatly presented (typed or written with a pen)
□ Grading Rubric

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