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Down and Dirty Tips: Narrative and Descriptive Essays: Descriptive Organization

Tips for students on writing a Narrative / Descriptive essay. While this guide is not comprehensive, it does provide enough information for to students to follow and pass the assignment. This guide is especially helpful for those who don't have much time.

Organizing: Descriptive Essay

Descriptive Essay

Step 3: Organize the Body

Step 3: Organize the Body Paragraphs


A key component to an effective descriptive essay is organization. The order you choose will depend on how you wish to present the information, but the most important is that you intentionally choose an order. The images below are some of examples of how to organize your essay. You’ll dedicate one paragraph to each section. For example, you could have a paragraph about the left side of the painting, a paragraph about the center of the painting, and a paragraph about the right side of the painting.





For the thesis statement, “No matter time of day, it always seems like Michael just woke up” you could use top, middle, bottom organization and describe Michael’s tousled hair and scruffy face in the first body paragraph, his wrinkled clothes in the second body paragraph, and his holey socks and beat up shoes in the last body paragraph.

Or, you could use the senses and describe how he looks, sounds, and smells.


For the thesis statement: “Abraham Rattner’s oil painting, Gomorrah, is a chaotic and gloomy reminder of humanity’s darker aspects” you could describe the foreground in the first paragraph, then the middle ground in the next, and the background in the final body paragraph.

You could alternatively approach the organization of the essay by art terms, for example colors, shapes, and techniques.