Create a Visualisation for the Reader

Be Detailed

Telepathy, CIE IGCSE English

Create an image for your reader

Writing to describe is a bit like explaining a picture or a film-clip. You need to re-create that image, only using words, so that the person reading your description has an almost exact replica of that image in their head afterwards. It’s a bit like telepathy! The important thing to remember is to be detailed .

cake 1, CIE IGCSE English

Take this picture, for example. Imagine you need to explain what this looks like to someone who can’t see it, and they want to know exactly what it looks like. The trick is in the DETAIL. You need to be very, very specific about your description.

cake 2, CIE IGCSE English

If you’re not specific, they’re going to be missing crucial elements and the image they have in their head will be very different to what you intend.

You want to describe the first picture, but if you’re not careful, you’re reader will end up with the second one.

Things to Remember

Magnifying glass, CIE IGCSE English

Let your reader see what you see

  • Descriptive writing isn’t literary fiction.
  • You’re not telling a story. That’s the ‘narrative’ part of Section B.
  • All you’re doing is creating a visualisation for the reader using language.

“Everything is complicated if no one explains it to you.”
Fredrik Backman

Author: Paul

Paul has been a professional tutor for over 14 years. He’s helped countless students boost their grades, mostly via 1:1 tutoring, and has also run large revision events. He has a 1st Class Degree in English Literature, and before joining Save My Exams he ran an education publishing company, where he edited over 100 books on GCSE/A Level exam texts.