Controlled Assessment: Descriptive Writing


Here are the top tips for describing a place:

  • Imagine the scene through the lens of a camera. Aim for a variety of lenses – wide-angle; close up (macro); panoramic.
  • Imagine the textures of the materials in the scene – they may not necessarily be pleasant.
  • Think of the history of the place – are there any tell-tale signs of previous events?
  • Use poetic techniques – personification, metaphor, assonance. The more poetic, the better!
  • Think about how it would sound, if you read it out loud. You want the sounds to emphasize the mood of the place. This will affect your sentence length, your choice of words…

As with most things in life, it’s good to have some kind of plan. A table like this might help:

  Cinema Fairground Prison cell
‘Big’ picture  




Smells, sounds, textures…      
Clues about the past…  


Random ideas       

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