Literacy‎ > ‎Writing‎ > ‎


description is a text that explains the features of something. A description allows readers or listeners to form an idea in their minds about what things are like. It may include all five senses: what something looks like, sounds like, feels like, smells like or tastes like.

Descriptions may be of:

  • physical things; 'I felt like my legs were going fall off after the race'
  • cultural events; 'There were a lot of fans dressed in green and gold cheering loudly at the rugby match'
  • nature; 'The rainforest had the fresh smell of washed plants'

Description can be used in other texts to set the mood. It may be factual or non-factual.

Caption: A description can be about an event, for example: 'There were a lot of fans dressed in green and gold cheering loudly at the rugby match'.

Below is an example of a descriptive text.
The Zebra
No animal has a more distinctive coat than the zebra. Each animal's stripes are as unique as fingerprints—no two are exactly alike—although each of the three species has its own general pattern.
Why do zebras have stripes at all? Scientists aren't sure, but many theories center on their utility as some form of camouflage. The patterns may make it difficult for predators to identify a single animal from a running herd and distort distance at dawn and dusk. Or they may dissuade insects that recognize only large areas of single-colored fur or act as a kind of natural sunscreen. Because of their uniqueness, stripes may also help zebras recognize one another.
Zebras are social animals that spend time in herds. They graze together, primarily on grass, and even groom one another.
Source: Extracted from the National Geographic Website ( )

  • Good descriptive writing includes many vivid sensory details that paint a picture and appeals to all of the reader's senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste when appropriate. Descriptive writing may also paint pictures of the feelings the person, place or thing invokes in the writer.
  • Good descriptive writing often makes use of figurative language such as analogies, similes and metaphors to help paint the picture in the reader's mind.
  • Good descriptive writing uses precise language. General adjectives, nouns, and passive verbs do not have a place in good descriptive writing. Use specific adjectives and nouns and strong action verbs to give life to the picture you are painting in the reader's mind.
  • Good descriptive writing is organized. Some ways to organize descriptive writing include: chronological (time), spatial (location), and order of importance. When describing a person, you might begin with a physical description, followed by how that person thinks, feels and acts.
  • Comments