Choose a subject appropriate for a descriptive essay. Be sure you are choosing a subject that lends itself to description. I recommend that you choose a thing, especially if you are not confident that you can describe a person or place without too much narration. Do NOT choose a concept or verb for this assignment. See the difference between abstract and concrete details, and try to use descriptive versus emotional information.
Take time to study your subject, making rough notes of descriptive elements, personal connections, and dominant impressions. During this initial observation, sketches, dual-entry lists, phrases, and passages of free writing can be particularly useful. Be sure to note objective sensory qualities (smell, touch, feeling, hearing, taste, sight) and subjective qualities (comparisons and images).
Write a coherent essay that describes your chosen subject. Bring your reader to the object of your observation and make them touch, feel, taste, hear, smell, and see the essence of the item that you have chosen to share.
Each one of us moves about every day with rare and beautiful moments wherein we notice that we exist. The sweet air and sharp corners of these moments often remain smothered by the daily clutter of frantic scurrying and hurried conversations. I invite (and assign) you to breathe for a moment the neglected atmosphere of your surroundings and to share, in words, the elements that fill and surround and infuse your life. Show your reader one tiny snapshot of the world that only you can know, and then call upon your reader to experience more than two dimensions of that world by recreating the very object of which that snapshot was captured. Because this is a formal assignment, take great care in the growth and revision of your work.
• Sensory details — do you paint a clear picture of your object for the reader?
• Organization and development – do you use transitions that work to improve the flow of your paper? Does your paper have a time or space order?
• Focus and perspective – please do not refer to the act of writing the paper or the assignment itself.
• Dominant impression – what idea do you want your reader to come away with after reading your observation?