Information about writing descriptive compositions

The descriptive composition is the composition which most heavily relies on vocabulary, so the candidate attempting a descriptive composition needs to know enough nouns and adjectives associated with the topic to go that little bit further than they could at A2  level.

The basic structure of a descriptive composition is the same whatever the level, so the candidate must show that they can describe in greater detail and with greater accuracy of detail as the levels progress.

There are obviously elements of description required in the narrative and imaginative compositions, and elements of narrative and imagination in the descriptive compositions, but for the compositions where the word ‘description’ or ‘describe’ is actually used, the examiners expect the candidate to concentrate on describing the topic in the most clear and appropriate vocabulary available to him or her.

The composition should be clearly organised and for a really good composition the candidate should now be beginning to show that he or she has a range of links and connectors available both between and within sentences, for example

  • In addition
  • As well as
  • However,
  • In spite of /despite
  • Nevertheless
  • Also
  • As a result of 

Here are some examples of descriptive composition titles from recent Intermediate examinations:

  • Write a description of the shop or market you like most.
  • Write a description of an outdoor activity you enjoy.
  • Describe the kind of clothes you prefer to wear at the weekend.
  • Write a description of the last holiday you had.
  • Write a description of a town you know very well.
  • Write a description of your most interesting relative.
  • Describe your home town or village in the winter.
  • Describe the best family celebration you had last year.