Week 3


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  • Week 3

    1. 1. English 1010 Session Three “The Descriptive Essay”
    2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.