When you are assigned a descriptive essay, usually the professor wants you to paint a picture of the subject in question just with the help of words. If the subject is your childhood home, you may need to dig deeper into your memory to bring those words to life. Can you make the reader feel like they have been to your house? Here are a few tricks to accomplish just that.
In order to resuscitate the images of your childhood home, you can use the trick of the five senses. The first sense is of course the visual. Take out some photographs, or, if you can, visit your home to refresh your memory. Describe everything you see to yourself. What kind of dwelling is it? What material is it made of? How big is it? Pretend you are in retail and gathering information about a space for rent, and you are likely to successfully describe your house to a stranger. Some trivial things that you would not mention at first may be on the contrary quite important for someone who has never been to your city or neighborhood.
It is often said that the olfactory sense brings back the strongest memories. How did your home smell like? Maybe of freshly baked cookies that your mom used to make, of your dad’s collection of wooden ships or of your sister’s scented candles? Think about the other senses: touch, taste and hearing. You might find out something interesting that you would like to include in your paper to make it stand out among the rest.
If you do not want to get absorbed in too many details, but would rather prefer a truthful account of the events, focus on the structural method. Think about your house as you would think of a box from Ikea. What parts is it made of? How do they fit together? Which rooms faced the sun? Describe the number of rooms, and the furniture that belonged to each room. What was the general design? What colors did your house combine? The structural method of describing is a great way to focus on the whole picture without dwelling upon each small detail.
Of course, a house is more worth writing about if it is a real home to you. When we talk about home, the first thing we think about are the people inhabiting it, and everything that concerns them. How did living in such a home influence you? Did you become independent and creative thanks to the tree house in the back yard where you used to play? Or maybe due to the fact that you were crammed with your siblings in one room, you are extra sociable and good at sharing? Analyze your roots and you will be surprised at the conclusions you might draw.