A descriptive paper on a child could entail a research study examining a particular child with a learning disability, or a child who has suffered a trauma or other unique circumstances. On the other hand, such a paper could describe a child protagonist in literature, such as Jo from Charles Dickens "Bleak House" or Dolores Haze from Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita." Regardless of your subject matter, each paper is going to entail a comparable approach and format.

Introduce the child in question in the first paragraph of your essay. For example, if you are writing about a real child who has suffered through extreme conflict in a specific part of the world, introduce the name and age of the child and describe where the child is from and why his circumstances are so unique. If you discuss a fictional character, take a similar approach, describing the fictional circumstances that surround this child, mentioning also the name of the author and title of the book.

Summarize your research findings in a single sentence at the end of your first paragraph, if you are writing a research paper. If you are writing about a fictional character, state your thesis.

Begin your second paragraph with a declarative sentence that boldly supports your research findings or thesis. For example, if you think the child is suffering from posttraumatic stress syndrome, explain carefully how the child has been exhibiting such symptoms and how the manifestation of such symptoms are different in children as opposed to symptoms in adults. Use details to unmistakably paint the picture for the reader.

Start each subsequent paragraph with a piece of evidence that bolsters your thesis or research findings. Each piece of evidence should contain descriptive information about the child in question. For example, if your thesis is that Jo from Dickens' "Bleak House" is a living example of the overlooked suffering creatures of society, pull meaningful quotes from the novel that demonstrate how Jo embodies exactly that character, so the reader can truly visualize this individual.

Summarize your findings or thesis once more, using new language in a final concluding paragraph. Restate your most important pieces of evidence, painting a clear idea of the child in question and proving your points in a lucid fashion.


  • The key for this descriptive paper is that the reader should be able to picture all the key points and aspects of the child you are describing.