How to write a simple and descriptive essay on a person

Written by lynn burbeck
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How to write a simple and descriptive essay on a person
A library can be a good place to find information on your essay subject. (library books image by Daughterson from

Writing a simple and descriptive biographical essay is a common assignment for students who are developing their writing and research skills. When writing a simple essay on a person, it is important for students to address these most basic questions: who, what, how, where and when. The answers to these five questions will provide the backbone to all biographical essays, regardless of who the essay is about.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Select a person to write the essay about. If the essay is a school assignment, it is important to choose a person that meets the assignment's criteria. Therefore, if the assignment is to write a simple and descriptive essay on famous author or world leader, it is important that you choose a person who is well suited for your essay.

  2. 2

    Go to the library or conduct a web search for information on the subject of your biographical essay. Make sure the information you use comes from well-regarded educational resources such as books, encyclopedias and research journals. For information found on the Internet, look for websites that end in .edu or .gov for the most relevant and factual information.

  3. 3

    Read the information on your essay subject to get a feel for the person's life story and accomplishments. Once you have a basic understanding of the person you are researching, create the angle for your essay—whether it be the person's largest accomplishment or a certain period of her life.

  4. 4

    Use the angle of your essay to create a rough outline that will provide the structure for your essay. This outline will help you to organise your thoughts and determine the order in which you will discuss the information. When writing the outline, think about what the thesis statement of your paper will be. This statement should encapsulate the message so readers know immediately what the essay is about.

  5. 5

    Write the essay using the outline as a guide. In your initial draft, include as much relevant information as possible. During the editing stage, you can pare down the information so that it is concise, simple and descriptive. As the writer, your goal is to include answers to all of the most basic questions while providing a well constructed essay that answers the thesis statement you presented.

  6. 6

    Proofread the essay carefully to ensure that there are no spelling, punctuation or grammar errors. Giving the essay to someone else to edit is a good way to catch errors that you may miss.

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