Skip navigation

Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

Modes of Organization
Description Mode

Description Mode of Organization

The descriptive mode of organization is a way of organizing information focusing on describing a person, place, object, or event in detail.

Description involves using sensory language to help the reader create a vivid mental picture of the topic. Sensory language refers to words or phrases that evoke the senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell).


For example, this description of a valley evokes the sense of smell and hearing. It also evokes a sense of movement.

“The wind in the valley creates a gentle rustling as it passes through the trees. It mixes thecrisp, woody aroma of the pine trees with the earthy scent of the wet soil. Sometimes the wind soundslike the constant roar of a waterfall, and other times it whistles during strong gusts.

Topics or ideas that call for the description mode of organization include, for example, “what a person, object, or place looks, sounds, smells, or feels like" or “what a particular moment was like.”

Types of Text Using the Description Mode

The descriptive mode is frequently used in creative writing, journalism, and technical writing. It can be particularly effective in providing readers with a clear and detailed understanding of a subject, and can help to engage readers by appealing to their senses.

Transition Words Used in the Descriptive Mode

Transitions commonly used in the descriptive mode include:

  • For example, for instance, specifically, namely: These transitions help the reader identify where the writer included specific examples supporting the description.
  • In addition, furthermore, moreover, also: These transitions signal additional details adding to the description.

Example description mode of organization

The following paragraph is written using the description mode of organization:

One of the most famous paintings in the world, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa embodies the Renaissance style. The painting depicts a woman, believed to be Lisa Gherardini, with a slight smile on her lips and a mysterious gaze in her eyes. The woman is sitting in front of a landscape. Her features and expression seem to change depending on the viewer's angle. The painting’s colors are subtle and delicate, blending warm and cool tones harmoniously. The folds in the woman’s clothing and the texture of her hair show so much detail that they appear life-like

Note. The above paragraph is used for instructional purposes only. Search the topic for accurate information on it.

Note for Readers

When you read, it is important to identify the mode of organization as descriptive so you can focus your reading and, ultimately, improve comprehension.

When reading descriptive text, you should pay attention the descriptions and the images they evoke. Interpret the descriptions so that you understand what the writer wants you to know about the topic: what it looks like, what it feels like, how it is build, what it is made of, and so on. This will give you a better understanding of the topic, which is the writer’s ultimate goal.

Up Next: Definition Mode

Continue the lesson to learn about the definition mode of organization.