March 22, at 3: She was going on with another nurse about latest drama with that no-good boyfriend of hers.
Although it may be only in school that you are asked to write a specifically descriptive essay, description is an important element in many kinds of writing. Description embedded in an argument paper, for example, may be intended to make a position more persuasive.
However, in this TIP Sheet we will discuss the descriptive essay as it is commonly assigned by instructors as an exercise in organizing sensory information and choosing vivid details. If you choose "showing" words, those that supply vivid sensory details appropriate to your subject and purpose, you will succeed in showing rather than telling.
The following first example mostly makes statements about what is lacking in the room, whereas the second example describes the sights, textures, smells, and sounds of the empty room: The empty room smelled stale and was devoid of furniture or floor covering; the single window lacked curtains or blinds of any kind.
The apartment smelled of old cooking odors, cabbage, and mildew; our sneakers squeaked sharply against the scuffed wood floors, which reflected a haze of dusty sunlight from the one cobwebbed, gritty window. Though the writer of the second example does not actually use the word "empty," she nevertheless suggests emptiness and disuse.
The suggestion of emptiness in the second example is more vivid than the statement of emptiness in the first. The sharp odor of fresh paint cut through the smell of newsprint. Four stacked cartons of inkjet printer paper sat squarely in the middle of a concrete floor, illuminated by a shaft of morning light from a sparkling chrome-framed window on the opposite wall.
Do not mistake explanation for description. The tenants had moved out a week earlier because the house was being sold to a developer.
No one had bothered to dust or clean because they assumed the apartment was going to be knocked down and replaced with single-family homes like those built just a block away. When description devolves into explanation telling rather than showingit becomes boring. Observing details Once you are ready to abandon the attempt to explain or to tell about, evaluate your subject in terms of visual, auditory, and other sensory details.
Think in concrete terms. The more you are interested in and connected to the subject, the easier it will be to interest your reader, so if you describe a person, choose a person whose characteristics stand out to you.
If you describe a place or a thing, choose one that is meaningful to you. You are painting a picture that must be as clear and real as possible, so observe carefully and, preferably, in person.
Note what sets this subject apart from others like it. If the subject is a person, include physical characteristics and mannerisms. Describe abstractions such as personality traits only insofar as you can observe them.
Similarly, if the subject of your description is an object or a place, you may include not only its physical appearance but also its geographic, historical, or emotional relevance-as long as you show or suggest it using sensory details, and avoid explaining.
Is there an important overall impression you wish to convey? A central theme or general point?
This is your thesis; organize your essay around it. Or, you might describe your car as an immaculate, beautiful, pampered woman on whom you lavish attention and money. To achieve this impression, you should not necessarily include all details; use only those that suit your purpose.
Avoid telling a story unless it is of central importance to the description or an understanding of it. Keep background information to an absolute minimum or avoid it altogether.
Use whatever progression seems logical—left to right, inside to outside, top to bottom-and stick to it. A quote from your subject or a brief anecdote about him or her may provide an interesting introduction or conclusion ; dialogue can be a great way to add interest to a descriptive essay.
In your introduction, you might be permitted to make general, abstract statements tell about your subject or supply background information, as long as you demonstrate these points concretely later in the body of your essay.
Use vivid nouns, verbs, and adjectives, and appropriate metaphors, similes, comparisons, and contrasts. Like the introduction, the conclusion is another place you can get away with reflecting about your subject: Why did you write this description?TIP Sheet WRITING A DESCRIPTIVE ESSAY.
The aim of description is to make sensory details vividly present to the reader. Although it may be only in school that you are asked to write a specifically descriptive essay, description is an important element in many kinds of writing.
This essay, which was originally published in English Studies () as 'The Bronte Pseudonyms', appears in the Victorian Web with the kind permission of the author and the English Studies publishers Swets & Zeitlinger, who retain copyright..
Notes to this WWW edition. Numbers in brackets indicate page breaks in the print edition and thus allow users of VW to cite or locate the original page.
An essay devoted entirely to Chris Evans being very huggable? WOULD READ. The Writing Prompt: Take an event from history and write a fictional account describing a conspiracy theory about what "REALLY" happened.
Or, if you prefer, write a scene about a character who believes in one or more conspiracy theories. While reviewers enjoy moaning about his novels, McEwan is enjoying a new life on film. But whether it is On Chesil Beach or The Children Act, filming brilliant books is far from easy.
It is absurd for the food media to assert that all steakhouses have pretty much the same menu and therefore do not deserve attention. Fact is, the menus at the majority of restaurants of any stripe have more or less the same menus.