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Description Notes

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Notes to help students prepare to write a strong descriptive composition.

Notes to help students prepare to write a strong descriptive composition.

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  • 1. DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE More than just adjectives and adverbs
  • 2. DESCRIBING AN OBJECT
  • 3. DESCRIBING AN OBJECT Descriptive writing is more than just adjectives (words that describe nouns) and adverbs (words that describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs)
  • 4. DESCRIBING AN OBJECT Descriptive writing is more than just adjectives (words that describe nouns) and adverbs (words that describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs) Also, words like “nice,” “good,” “fun,” and other vague adjectives are NOT good descriptions.
  • 5. DESCRIBING AN OBJECT Descriptive writing is more than just adjectives (words that describe nouns) and adverbs (words that describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs) Also, words like “nice,” “good,” “fun,” and other vague adjectives are NOT good descriptions. Ex. “He had a good game.”
  • 6. DESCRIBING AN OBJECT Descriptive writing is more than just adjectives (words that describe nouns) and adverbs (words that describe verbs, adjectives and other adverbs) Also, words like “nice,” “good,” “fun,” and other vague adjectives are NOT good descriptions. Ex. “He had a good game.” Not a good sentence because it doesn’t say how he had a good game, or why it was a good game.
  • 7. “VERBING” UP YOUR DESCRIPTION
  • 8. “VERBING” UP YOUR DESCRIPTION One of the most important factors in writing a quality description is to have strong, active verbs.
  • 9. “VERBING” UP YOUR DESCRIPTION One of the most important factors in writing a quality description is to have strong, active verbs. Ex. He had a good game.
  • 10. “VERBING” UP YOUR DESCRIPTION One of the most important factors in writing a quality description is to have strong, active verbs. Ex. He had a good game. Is “had” a strong verb? Think of verbs that can replace “had.”
  • 11. “VERBING” UP YOUR DESCRIPTION One of the most important factors in writing a quality description is to have strong, active verbs. Ex. He had a good game. Is “had” a strong verb? Think of verbs that can replace “had.” “He played a good game” still isn’t a strong description, but it is greatly improved by the better verb.
  • 12. MORE TO DO WITH VERBS
  • 13. MORE TO DO WITH VERBS Bad: He is funny because of the joke he told. Better: The funny man made people laugh with his joke. Even better: People laughed at the joke that man told. Best: The audience couldn’t stop laughing when the comedian told the joke about the lightbulb and nuns.
  • 14. PROPERTIES
  • 15. PROPERTIES When describing the properties of an object, do the following:
  • 16. PROPERTIES When describing the properties of an object, do the following: Ask yourself if the noun you are using as specific as possible.
  • 17. PROPERTIES When describing the properties of an object, do the following: Ask yourself if the noun you are using as specific as possible. Ex. “The man” is vague. “The big man” is still bad. “The man in my class” is better. “The teacher” is even better. “My freshman composition teacher” is better than that. “Mr. Del Muro, my freshman composition teacher,” is the best.
  • 18. AN OBJECT’S PROPERTIES
  • 19. AN OBJECT’S PROPERTIES Size, color, shape, and purpose should all be taken into account when describing an object.
  • 20. AN OBJECT’S PROPERTIES Size, color, shape, and purpose should all be taken into account when describing an object. Don’t use VAGUE adjectives.
  • 21. AN OBJECT’S PROPERTIES Size, color, shape, and purpose should all be taken into account when describing an object. Don’t use VAGUE adjectives. Instead of “tall boy,” use “the 6 foot 6 inch basketball player in my English class.”
  • 22. AN OBJECT’S PROPERTIES Size, color, shape, and purpose should all be taken into account when describing an object. Don’t use VAGUE adjectives. Instead of “tall boy,” use “the 6 foot 6 inch basketball player in my English class.” Instead of writing “Bears are scary,” write “Polar bears long, sharp teeth on frighten me.”
  • 23. MEASURING UP
  • 24. MEASURING UP When describing something’s size, think remember to describe its length, width, weight, speed.
  • 25. MEASURING UP When describing something’s size, think remember to describe its length, width, weight, speed. Bad: “The football player is fast.”
  • 26. MEASURING UP When describing something’s size, think remember to describe its length, width, weight, speed. Bad: “The football player is fast.” Better: “Reggie Bush, a 5-foot 10-inch running back, runs a 4.2-second 40-yard dash.”
  • 27. USE ANALOGIES
  • 28. USE ANALOGIES Similes and metaphors are welcome in your description of something. Just make sure it makes sense and helps with your description.
  • 29. USE ANALOGIES Similes and metaphors are welcome in your description of something. Just make sure it makes sense and helps with your description. Bad: The ocean was like heaven. (How is that??)
  • 30. USE ANALOGIES Similes and metaphors are welcome in your description of something. Just make sure it makes sense and helps with your description. Bad: The ocean was like heaven. (How is that??) Better: Floating in the ocean’s warm water was like sleeping on a heated water bed.
  • 31. COMPARISONS ARE FINE TOO
  • 32. COMPARISONS ARE FINE TOO Use comparisons to describe something.
  • 33. COMPARISONS ARE FINE TOO Use comparisons to describe something. Bad: The tomato was squishy.
  • 34. COMPARISONS ARE FINE TOO Use comparisons to describe something. Bad: The tomato was squishy. Better: Biting into the tomato reminded me of eating human flesh.
  • 35. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Use prepositional phrases to describe where something is. Prepositional Phrase: Phrases that begin with a preposition (above, in, at, below, beside, etc.) and end with a noun, pronoun, gerund or some type of other clause. Ex. He is in the bathroom. Ex. 2: The bridesmaid near the alter likes me.
  • 36. A FEW MORE NOTES
  • 37. A FEW MORE NOTES Specificity is key to writing a strong descriptive composition.
  • 38. A FEW MORE NOTES Specificity is key to writing a strong descriptive composition. Don’t overuse adjectives and adverbs.
  • 39. A FEW MORE NOTES Specificity is key to writing a strong descriptive composition. Don’t overuse adjectives and adverbs. Paint a word picture of a scene. Make the reader feel as if he or she is at the place you’re describing.