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    • 1. English 1010 Session Three “The Descriptive Essay”
    • 2. What is Description? • Description can be defined as the expression, in vivid language, of what the five senses experience. • A rich descriptive essay: – Freezes a subject in time – Evokes sights, sounds, smells, textures and taste in such a way that the reader is joined with the author Longman P 126
    • 3. Objective or Subjective • In the objective approach to descriptive writing you describe the subject in a straight forward and literal way – A newspaper reporter might write in the objective manner • In the subjective approach to descriptive writing you convey a highly personal view and seek to elicit a strong emotional response from the readers – A “character piece” or “reflective essay” would be an example of the subjective approach Longman P 127-128
    • 4. Descriptive Essay Topics • Look at these possible topics for descriptive essays – Which of these could be best written from the objective perspective? – Which of these could be best written from the subjective perspective? – Which could be written from either perspective? a) A trip to the zoo b) The sounds of a baby’s cry c) A walk through an open-air market d) How you envision your dream house e) The first snow of winter f) The violence of war g) The fear of flying
    • 5. Strategies for Writing the Descriptive Essay • Focus your essay around a dominate impression • Include as many vivid details as possible • Organize your essay in a logical sequence • Chronological Approach – time sequence of events • Spatial Approach – taking things how they appear in real life (the big picture approach) • Emphatic Approach – builds to a crescendo, saving the most compelling for last • Simple-to-Complex Approach – proceeds from step one to step to and so on Longman P 129 - 132
    • 6. Strategies for Writing the Descriptive Essay • Imagery is language that appeals to the senses. • Vivid imagery helps us see, smell, and feel the scene. The highlighted phrases help put you right in the midst of the field. “They were standing in a sunlit field, and the air about them was moving with the delicious fragrance that comes only on the rarest of spring days when the sun’s touch is gentle.” —from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle • Sensory language is the words writers use to create images. “. . . I worked in construction, mostly hitting my fingers with a hammer and making serious attempts at cutting something off my body with power saws while I tried to build houses. . . .” —from My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen Use vivid sensory language
    • 7. Strategies for Writing the Descriptive Essay Try incorporating these sentence styles : Simile – a comparison that although unrealistic draws attention I walked confidently like an unstoppable hero. The girl stepped as lightly as a panther stalking its pray. Time was as slow as a turtle migrating from the North to the South pole. Metaphor – providing an uncommon characteristic to make a point • The incident left me boiling mad. • As the plane took off I was frozen with fear • Steer away from the controversy and you will have a successful career. Personification – giving a human characteristic to an inanimate object • The trees whispered in the wind. • The flowers danced in the grass. • The sun kissed the ocean. • The painting screamed "LOOK AT ME!!" Vary your sentence structure
    • 8. Your Assignment • Compose a 3-5 page descriptive essay on a topic of your choice – It is suggested (but not required) that your essay relates to your program of study • The essay should be double spaced in 12 pt. Arial or Calibri font with standard margins • There should be no “Title Page” for this assignment. • If you use any outside sources of information, you must document these sources using MLA style and provide a list of sources at the end of the paper.

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