DESCRIPTION The Patterns of Paragraph and Essay Development
Definition of Descriptive It is a method of developing a paragraph or essay that is used to explain the nature or people, places, or things. In a descriptive paragraph or essay, you rely heavily on information from the five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste) to create a clear image of a subject for the reader. Sharp, vivid details help paint a picture of your topic for the reader. The more vivid, crystal clear details you can provide the more interested the reader will be. It uses figurative language as a means to engage the reader's imagination. It is a “writing that shows rather than tells.”
Features/Elements Questions to Consider What exactly am I describing? What kind of language and details should I use? How should I organize my paper? How can I move smoothly from one detail to the next? Why am I writing this? What is my purpose? What do I want my readers to learn or understand? How should I conclude?
Types Narrative Description (storytelling): tells a story, real or fiction, in such a way that the reader can relate to it personally. This may be done by accessing the reader's prior knowledge through personal experience or by invoking imagery that will elicit the reader's empathy for the characters, conflicts and resolutions.
Types Subjective Description (persuasive): relates details from an intentionally skewed point of view. The writer already has an established attitude or opinion concerning the subject or situation about which he is writing. Descriptors serve to convey this attitude to the reader mainly for the purpose of persuasion.
Types Objective Description (factual): is factual in nature, but are written in ways that enable the reader to experience them via one or more senses.
Techniques Remember: The point of a descriptive essay is to describe in detail. You should make sure that you are “showing” rather than “telling.” For example: Telling: The cake was beautiful and looked delicious. Showing: The wedding cake was three layers high and snow white, covered with fluffy whipped cream and delicate pastel pink roses made of butter cream frosting.
Telling: I felt tired at work today. Showing: As the day wore on at work, I felt a cramp beginning to form at the nape of my neck, my eyes began to feel droopy, and the computer screen in front of me began blurring. Telling: It is a very hot day. Showing:It was hot. It was too hot. The girl stood beside the road and waited. She was so uncomfortable that she lifted her hair off her neck to cool down. She began to sweat.
Use clear and concise language. This means that words are chosen carefully, particularly for their relevancy in relation to that which you are intending to describe. Choose vivid language. Such choices form a firmer image in the mind of the reader and often times offer nuanced meanings that serve better one’s purpose. Use your senses! Remember, if you are describing something, you need to be appealing to the senses of the reader. Explain how the thing smelled, felt, sounded, tasted, or looked. Embellish the moment with senses. What were you thinking?! If you can describe emotions or feelings related to your topic, you will connect with the reader on a deeper level. Many have felt crushing loss in their lives, or ecstatic joy, or mild complacency. Tap into this emotional reservoir in order to achieve your full descriptive potential.
Leave the reader with a clear impression. One of your goals is to evoke a strong sense of familiarity and appreciation in the reader. If your reader can walk away from the essay craving the very pizza you just described, you are on your way to writing effective descriptive essays. Be organized! It is easy to fall into an incoherent rambling of emotions and senses when writing a descriptive essay. However, you must strive to present an organized and logical description if the reader is to come away from the essay with a cogent sense of what it is you are attempting to describe.
How to write a descriptive paragraph? 1) Find and Explore a Topic Before you can write an effective descriptive paragraph, you need to do two things: find a good topic study the topic carefully (*focus* : In the descriptive world of metaphors and similes, it is easy to veer away from the original topic. )
2) Draft a Descriptive Paragraph Once you have settled on a topic for your descriptive paragraph and collected some details, you're ready to assemble those details in a rough draft. Here's a common model for organizing a descriptive paragraph. Begin the paragraph with a topic sentence that identifies your subject, and briefly explain its significance to you.Next, describe the subject in four or five sentences, using details.Finally, conclude the paragraph with a sentence that emphasizes the personal value of the subject.
3) Revise a Descriptive Paragraph Now you will revise your descriptive paragraph, concentrating on its organization. That is, you will check to see that your sentences follow a clear and logical order, each detail related to the one that came before and leading to the one that follows.