How to Write a Descriptive Essay about a Person


Students deal with a tremendous variety of academic assignments. Each may induce certain complications. Thus, a descriptive essay seems to be a very simple task. Nevertheless, it is challenging for some students, especially when you have to describe a person. It’s not that easy to provide a description so that readers could imagine the appearances in their heads. Moreover, it’s even harder to provide a description of personality traits. Therefore, we offer several tips to write a descriptive essay about a person.

Know the person you will describe

If the main hero of your essay is optional, you’re lucky. It gives you a great advantage because you are free to choose whoever you want. Accordingly, choose a person you know very well because it’s much easier compared to unknown people.

You can choose between a celebrity beloved by you or a person you communicate. Of course, it’s much better to describe your friend or someone out of your family. You definitely know this person in all possible situations. Thus, it’ll be easier to describe personality traits.

Choose the right descriptive method

It’s essential to choose the right method of describing people. We mean a description of the physical appearances of somebody. You can describe a person in two ways. One of them is totally wrong. We can bet you will understand it after you read two examples.

Example #1: “Sarah has short dark hair, big blue eyes, and is 5’ 3” tall. She is slender with long legs and a pretty attractive appearance when she walks.”

Example #2: “Sarah possesses an unbelievable laugh that charges everyone around and live eyes. When Sarah begins to laugh the entire body goes rocking. She has short dark hair, which makes her extremely attractive. She is slender and really gentle. Sarah is a real portrait of perfection, a woman’s beauty. She is 5’ 3” and those long legs drive every man crazy. If she’s angry, you should be careful. Just as nice as she is when Sarah is happy, the same ferocious girl she may be when she is in no mood. Those blue piercing eyes seem to look through right into your heart and may easily put you to shame.”

As you can see, there is only one person but two descriptions are quite different. The first one is rather boring and weak. It doesn’t tell even the half about Sarah compared to the second example. The second one even tells a bit about her temper. Stick to the second example and imitate in your own descriptive papers. Use vivid language to outline as many features of a person as possible. Readers will gladly read them.

A helpful chart.

Describing personality traits correctly

As you give a portrait of the chosen person, you should make it indirectly. Physical appearances are important but character traits are more desired by readers. They want to know who your hero really is. Use special and precise words and describing situations to reveal the inner world of your hero. You’re supposed to show and not to tell.

Heading back to the second example, we can see some of Sarah’s extremes when her spirits are high or low. It can tell us that she can drastically change the mood and so, her emotional state isn’t stable. It’s a good beginning of describing her character. Go on and use her behaviors and some appearances when she interacts with other people. Such combinations are the best to support your descriptions. It’s like you state the main claim of your research paper and afterward, provide a clear example that proves that your theory is right.

You should choose about three or five personality traits and combine them with life situations. Reveal the most important features your readers are supposed to learn. Thus, they will be able to claim that they really know your hero.

Use the Internet

It’s better to have some help. You should read as many samples as possible. We can describe you, one hero. However, this information may not be sufficient to fully understand the art of description. Therefore, we recommend surfing the Internet and reading samples from other authors.

Fortunately, one may find multiple websites that cover all possible pieces of writing. Read other guides to find out more tips that may also come you in handy. Besides, access some essay databases. Read complete essay samples to figure out how other students cope with this interesting assignment. Finally, reading books of such famous writers like Stephen King, John Tolkien, Joan Rowling, and others. These are great experts and can perfectly describe how the person looks out and acts. They show concrete situations combined with the person’s expression and behavior.

Choose the emotion

It’s also important to choose a specific emotion. Yes, you ought to reveal as much as you can about the person. Nonetheless, there should be a central idea about him or her. What do you want your readers to feel when they read about your man hero? If you want to make him/her adorable, work in that direction. You may depict a few defects, which are worthless when you see other traits of the hero. If you want to display your hero as an antagonist, depict his/her bad habits, problematic character and so on.

Keep these points in your mind. They are suitable for a descriptive essay about a person. Using them wisely, you’ll easily describe anyone.

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