How To Write A Great Descriptive Essay Topic Sentence: Tips And Examples

Every good essay should include a topic sentence or thesis statement. When you are writing an argumentative or analysis paper, this statement should sum up your argument. But in a descriptive paper, where you are describing a person, place, thing, action, or event in detail, your topic sentence should sum up how you view the subject, and how you want your reader to view the subject.

Use these tips and examples to write a great descriptive essay topic sentence:

  • Choose an interesting aspect of the subject
  • Before you can write your topic sentence, you’ll need to decide what subject—typically a noun or verb—you want to describe. Then, you’ll need to decide what you want to describe about it. Try to choose an interesting aspect of it.

    EXAMPLE: If you were to write a paper describing your childhood teddy bear, do you think it would be more interesting to your reader to read a detailed description of what the bear looked like, or to read your recollection of what the bear smelled like? While it may seem strange to describe it’s smell, doing so is a way for you to tell a story: The bear smelled like the peanut butter cookies you’d bake with your babysitter, like your favorite dog, or like your grandfather’s aftershave. Using a sense like smell can be an interesting way to approach a description. Make sure your topic sentence shows this unique perspective.

  • Help your reader see the subject in a new way
  • If you are going to describe something that your reader already knows about, and may already have their own personal associations with, try to get them to experience your subject in a new way.

    EXAMPLE: If you are going to write a descriptive essay about running shoes, there is only so much you can do to describe them as physical objects to your reader, because they already have a clear picture of them in mind. But what if you described them from the point of view of the shoes? Maybe they’d be self conscious about certain aspects of themselves, or maybe they’d talk more about what the different parts of them do or feel like, than just what they look like. In this case, your topic sentence should capture this point of view.

  • Keep it simple
  • Keep your topic sentence simple. You want to reader to be able to understand it easily.