The descriptive text aims to inform a phenomenon, a place, an object or a being and to describe it precisely. It is usually the type of essay used in documentaries because it is composed only of real and verifiable facts. In the descriptive text, it is important that the narrator in no way express his opinion. This type of text has features that distinguish it from others, such as aspects and sub-aspects. Also, the quality of a descriptive text relies on certain elements that help with clarity: structure, textual organizers, relationship markers, descriptive sequence, textual coherence, and information progression. We will focus on the structure (to download in PDF here, and for the Word version, here!) A descriptive text, which will facilitate your understanding of the drawing.
In the type of text that is described as descriptive, the narrator must remain neutral and never speak directly to its intended audience. Since it is not present in the text, the author must avoid the first and second person singular and plural, and thus focus on the third person singular or plural: “they”, “they” , “He”, “she” or “on”. For verb tenses, the present and the imperfect are more dominant in the descriptive texts. It will therefore be necessary to choose between these two verb tenses, in relation to the content of the text. For example, if you describe a deceased character, you will have to choose the imperfect one. On the other hand, if you decide to write on a place, the present would be a better choice.
The structure of the descriptive paper
The structure of a descriptive essay is based on three distinct steps, all of which are essential to the smooth running of the text.
1. The introduction
The introduction is very important in a descriptive essay. Its purpose is to bring the subject and to make the reader want to continue reading. In short, it must be short, clear and structured. The introduction is often presented as a funnel, as the subject is presented more and more clearly.
1.1 The subject brought
The subject brought is in the first sentence or sentences of the introduction. He must bring the subject and capture the attention of the reader. Although we must introduce the subject in this part of the introduction, we must not talk about it too precisely, because we will present it better in the following parts. We must remain vague on the subject, while remaining in context. To give you an idea of a clear subject, here is an example:
Subject: A house in 1500
With the evolution of the human race, the dwellings of the populations in the Middle Ages have undergone great changes.
You may notice that the group of words “house in 1500” is not explicit in the subject brought.
1.2 The subject posed
The subject is presented in a simple and short sentence, just after the subject brought. It is in this part that you will be able to explain the subject. To do this, one can formulate a question or a sentence depending on the content of the text. WARNING! Even if you decide to ask a question, do not give your opinion. The narrator must remain neutral at all times.
Subject: A house in 1500
Example: Indeed, the houses around 1500 were already very advanced in comparison with those of the medieval time.
1.3 The divided subject
In this part of the introduction, it is necessary to present the aspects of the subject. So, in order that they will appear in the text, it is necessary to enumerate the aspects of each of the paragraphs of the development.
Subject: A house around 1500
Example: In many ways, the houses of those years were fascinating. Among other things, the layout of the rooms, the exterior decoration and the interior decoration differed from the houses of the Middle Ages.
2. The development
It is in development that we will see the paragraphs dealing with different aspects and sub-aspects. Usually, the number of aspects will define the number of paragraphs. So, if you want to deal with three aspects, your essay should have three paragraphs dealing with different sub-aspects.
In this part of the introduction, one should summarize the important information of the text and make a reminder of the different aspects. This is the same process as in the divided subject of the introduction.
This is the final part of the conclusion, and therefore the end of the text. Openness must lead the reader to think or project in the future. You could also decide to leave it on a new sub-aspect or appearance, a famous quote, etc. In short, several options are available to you at this stage. It is necessary that the opening captures the attention and leads the reader to think. It is important to keep a connection with the subject, to close everything in a consistent way and to mark the reader.