I like writing stories They are short little things, but I tend to write them as narrative writing So now for one of my assignments I have to write two essays - one descriptive & one...

I like writing stories

They are short little things, but I tend to write them as narrative writing

So now for one of my assignments I have to write two essays - one descriptive & one narrative.

The narrative shouldn't be a problem.... But how the heck do I write descriptive writing?

Is there any website I can go to or read a book or something that is an example of some sort????

Please help!

Thank you

Kind Regards


Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 4 of The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caufield's roommate Stradlater asks him to write a composition for him.

"What on?" I said.

"Anything. Anything descriptive. A room. Or a house. Or something you once lived in or something--you know. Just as long as it's descriptive as hell."

So in Chapter 5 Holden starts thinking about writing a descriptive essay.

The thing was, I couldn't think of a room or a house or anything to describe the way Stradlater said he had to have. I'm not too crazy about describing rooms and houses anyway. So what I did. I wrote about my brother Allie's baseball mitt. It was a very descriptive subject. It really was. My brother Allie had this left-handed fielder's mitt. He was left-handed. The thing that was descriptive about it, though, was that he had poems written all over the fingers and the pocket and everywhere. In green ink. He wrote them on it so that he'd have something to read when he was in the field and nobody was up at bat.

Stradlater wasn't too pleased with Holden's composition, but a lot of people remember Allie's baseball mitt because it was something Holden cared about. You should find something specific and personal that you really care about, or cared about in the past. The smaller the subject, the easier it should be to write about as long as you have strong feelings about it.

You might write about your own room, what you like about it and what you don't like. Or you might write about the kind of room you would like to have if you could have any kind of room you wanted. You might write about a place you visited in a dream. (I once wrote an essay about a house I had visited in a dream. It was a house I had designed myself.) You might write about your favorite article of clothing--a sweater, a dress, a coat.

The word "essay" comes from a French word meaning "an attempt." In writing an essay you are sailing into uncharted waters. You don't know where you are going or where you will end up. That's the fun of it. It's an adventure. You don't have to worry much about a conclusion. If you write the essay the conclusion will come to you.

You might write about a teacher you liked--or a teacher you disliked. You might write about one of your parents or one of your friends. The point is to focus on a single thing and write about your feelings about it as well as the thing itself.

Two of the best American essayists were E. B. White and John Updike. James Thurber was another great essayist. He wrote one titled "The Dog That Bit People." Thoreau wrote a lot of purely descriptive prose in Walden, and you can access the whole book online. A lot of the book is about Walden Pond itself.

I once wrote a descriptive essay about a man I knew who liked collecting junk mail. He would fill out almost every coupon he came across in a magazine or catalogue, and pretty soon he was on so many mailing lists and had so much junk mail coming to him that he had to buy a new RFD mailbox. It was so enormous that it could have been used as a doghouse for a cocker spaniel. It stood on a rail along with all the neighbors' regular-sized RFD boxes, and it gave the impression that a giant must have lived on the hill up above all the other houses and kept everybody living in terror.

Don't worry too much about writing your essay until you have thought of a subject to write about--something you like, or don't like, or want to get.