• Do Now
• Spend 10-20 minutes writing about one day within the last
week when something memorable happened to you.
– Isolate that incident so it’s clear in your mind
– Create a list of words that remind you of the event
– Think of all the details that happened during the day – from
the time you opened your eyes in the morning to the time
they closed at night.
• These are the bits of information you can discard
– What you should be left with is that memorable thing that
occurred and a few details directly related to it, some
details that preceded it, and a few details that followed.
• GOAL: The reader of your description would be able to
experience at a distance what you experienced firsthand.
• Why would you want to tell a joke?
• Why would you want to compare one car to
• That “why” is your purpose
• An effective description of a giant feedlot will
– Its smell
– Its looks
– Its sounds
– How the author feels about the place
• Knowing what you want to write and
organizing it requires drafts
• The last page of Hemingway’s Farewell to
Arms was written 39 times
• Anne Porter spent 20 years writing and
rewriting Ship of Fools
• “What is written without effort is in general
read without pleasure.”
- Samuel Johnson
• To write “descriptively” is to re-create it – so that
the reader can see and understand it
• Personal narratives depend heavily on description
• Descriptive essays are characterized by:
– Use of detail that appeals to the senses
• Example: “…a small green tree frog, no bigger
than a penny whose round salmon-colored toes
stuck out like tiny soupspoons” allows us to see
what the writer sees. It’s visual!
• Example: “when buckeye leaves hissed n the
wind they sounded like rattlesnakes” calls to
mind our sense hearing
• Description that appeals to the senses bring
scenes – your scenes to life so the reader can
hear, see, smell, touch , and even taste.
• Rewrite your Do Now using what you now
know about descriptive writing.
• Your rewrite and draft are due at the start of