Descriptive Food Paragraph by 4mD4ar

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									Descriptive Food Paragraph

Final draft due:

For this assignment, you are to write one well-developed paragraph describing a food you either
REALLY enjoy, or REALLY hate. The focus here is on concrete sensory detail and tone.

Your essay should:

   1) begin and end with a sensory detail.
      Whether it’s a the smell that hits you first or the sight of it, grab your reader’s attention
      by beginning with something concrete and sensory.

   2) frame the description in a narrative.
      Imagine that you have the food in front of you or think back to the last time you ate it.
      Describe that experience, that particular point in time. Creating a narrative frame allows
      us to be more concrete and to give our reader more to latch onto. Spend time describing
      the process of chewing, tasting, swallowing, etc…

   3) focus on using action verbs.
      One way to be sure you have a narrative frame is to make sure you are showing action
      through your paragraph. Maybe you’re only describing the first few bites, or maybe you
      are describing eating the WHOLE THING. Either way, you may only use three state of
      being verbs! Good luck!

                                                                   state of being verbs:

                                                                  am, is, are, was, were
    Edit carefully for sentence boundary issues.
    Follow MLA format, Times New Roman, 12 point font, double space all
    Use a creative title, not the title of the assignment

Name: _______________________________________

Descriptive Paragraph Rubric:

                                                                       Minor     Satisfactory

Does the essay begin with sensory

Does the author make strong use of
sensory detail through the paragraph?

Does the essay create a dominant
impression/tone through its word
Is there a narrative frame for the

Is the description fully developed?

Does the writer make strong use of
action verbs? Are the action verbs
vivid and specific?

Does the author use three or fewer
state-of-being verbs: am, is, are, was,
MLA Style: Is it an appropriate
Is the formatting correct?

Grammar and Usage?

Additional Comments:

Jessie Holman
Jan. 4, 2010
Descriptive Essay Final Draft


1      Walking up to a cozy, tan ranch-style house in southern California, my stomach was howling for
attention, waiting for a scrumptious meal to help ease its hunger. My aunt’s house was filled with the
rich scent of roasted chicken and garlic, a smell that would drench my taste buds when I would have
eaten mammal flesh. I could almost smell the tenderness of the succulent meat as it baked in the oven
while mashed potatoes churned in melted creamy butter. The smells of a fulfilling feast vanished when
my unwary sense of smell detected a stinging stench. The smell of a flattened skunk by an 18 wheeler
would have pleased your nose more than the stench from the kitchen. Immediately I felt something
beginning to creep up my throat and my gag reflex started to pulse and constrict the further I walked into
the house. The only question on my mind was, “What will be thrown into my unsuspecting mouth
within the next five minutes?”

2      As my family gathered around the table, my attention focused on my faux china plate where the
source of the reeking smell was laid out before me. It was green!! Not just any green, it was a dark
sinister, depressing green, as if from a deep dark forest. The long stalks lay on my plate contaminating
the wonderful and blessed mashed potatoes and gravy. The thought of this sinister vegetable entering my
vacant stomach to satisfy any hunger I had left over was inconceivable. This newly found enemy of
mine had been secreting juices overtaking the defenseless and peaceful chicken breasts. It had finally
pulled a Hitler when it invaded my buttered roll which forced me into action. I grabbed the only weapon
readily available, the courageous fork. With my only defense at hand, I stabbed one of the weaker stalks
to observe my adversary more clearly. I dreaded the perpetual demise of a lifetime’s worth of appetite.

3       “Asparagus.” The word itself made my fingers quiver. It was the length of a sharp number two
pencil but instead of lead it had diminutive leaves attached to the tip. It had only one purpose which was
to fool the digester into thinking a pretty delicious gift was coming its way. It was as if they curled
around the pointed tip, but I was too smart to be fooled. I knew that only misery waited under the dark
green lying leaves. It had pale pea-like lines that wrapped around the forest-like stalks, leaving a quarter
of an inch separating the filth into four or five sections, of horror. Looking from the outside, it seemed as
if it was layered like an onion. It appeared that the first layer was a sea green with a sheer touch of color

from the inside of a lime. The pigment grew more menacing the deeper the layers went. The thought of
this satanic vegetable going near any part of my body was ultimately a chaotic nightmare.

4      I drew the dark vegetable closer to my nose. The steam instantly attacked my nostrils as it seeped
down into the back of my throat. My poor defenseless nose was suddenly filled with an aroma like that
of cat urine and ammonia. I felt a burning sensation in my nasal passages as the hair in my nose tried
fighting off the poisonous steam that was attempting to attack my inner senses. My body went in to
shock as I dropped my once mighty sword and pushed away from the oak wooden table. I soon found
my enemy had the overwhelming power to make me pale. I was pulled fourth into the battle ground by
the green’s allies, my parents, who then tried to persuade a single bite. Forced into caving in and
avoiding a long grounding, I picked up the betraying fork. Eyes opened, I stared my nemesis down as it
entered the gateway of my core.

5      Cautiously, I bit the tip of its bushy summit; the particles broke off and invaded every crevice in
my mouth. It was a gushing sensation as I clamped down. It felt as if centers separated into a flank
position trying to clog the back of my throat which made swallowing feel as if I was shoving a
toothbrush down it to puke. Bits and pieces clung to the inner walls of my throat as bigger chunks fell
farther down the tubes leading to an unsuspecting stomach. It was a bomb of hard wood chips covered in
slime as it hit my acidic stomach. It took a few more tries of swallowing before I had to drown out the
rest of what particles were left with many gulps of creamy white milk. This may not have been the best
decision, but when in dire need one must use whatever resources available.

6      I was poisoned for life. Looking at the tricksters left on my plate I envisioned throwing them into
a pit of despair. I knew I wouldn’t be able eat anything more for at least six days. I took one last look
and I felt an odd movement coming from my stomach. It began to crawl up my spine until I felt a
convulsion and my abdomen began to twitch. My parents took one look at me and rushed me to the
nearest porcelain god in the house as I was forced to regurgitate not only the asparagus, but the garlicky
chicken, and finally, slowly and painfully the mush of mashed potatoes crawled up and out my mouth.
Skipping dessert since the episode in the bathroom, I was finally able to leave my aunt’s house of
asparagus. I felt accomplished and pleased with my performance in the war of green vegetables and
family dinners. My only regret as we climbed into the car was the glorious never-ending image of what
was given to the hallway bathroom’s toilet. I could only picture and taste destroyed pieces of chicken
and asparagus floating among slug-like chunks of potatoes and bile.

                                              Joyas Voladeres

                                               by: Brian Doyle

1        Consider the hummingbird for a long moment. A hummingbird's heart beats ten times a second.
A hummingbird's heart is the size of a pencil eraser. A hummingbird's heart is a lot of the hummingbird.
Joyas voladoras, flying jewels, the first white explorers in the Americas called them, and the white men
had never seen such creatures, for hummingbirds came into the world only in the Americas, nowhere
else in the universe, more than three hundred species of them whirring and zooming and nectaring in
hummer time zones nine times removed from ours, their hearts hammering faster than we could clearly
hear if we pressed our elephantine ears to their infinitesimal chests.

2       Each one visits a thousand flowers a day. They can dive at sixty miles an hour. They can fly
backwards. They can fly more than five hundred miles without pausing to rest. But when they rest they
come close to death: on frigid nights, or when they are starving, they retreat into torpor, their metabolic
rate slowing to a fifteenth of their normal sleep rate, their hearts sludging nearly to a halt, barely beating,
and if they are not soon warmed, if they do not soon find that which is sweet, their hearts grow cold, and
they cease to be. Consider for a moment those hummingbirds who did not open their eyes again today,
this very day, in the Americas: bearded helmetcrests and booted racket-tails, violet-tailed sylphs and
violet-capped woodnymphs, crimson topazes and purple-crowned fairies, red-tailed comets and
amethyst woodstars, rainbow-bearded thornbills and glittering-bellied emeralds, velvet-purple coronets
and golden-bellied star-frontlets, fiery-tailed awlbills and Andean hillstars, spatuletails and pufflegs,
each the most amazing thing you have never seen, each thunderous wild heart the size of an infant's
fingernail, each mad heart silent, a brilliant music stilled.

3        Hummingbirds, like all flying birds but more so, have incredible enormous immense ferocious
metabolisms. To drive those metabolisms they have race-car hearts that eat oxygen at an eye-popping
rate. Their hearts are built of thinner, leaner fibers than ours. Their arteries are stiffer and more taut.
They have more mitochondria in their heart muscles -- anything to gulp more oxygen. Their hearts are
stripped to the skin for the war against gravity and inertia, the mad search for food, the insane idea of
flight. The price of their ambition is a life closer to death; they suffer heart attacks and aneurysms and
ruptures more than any other living creature. It's expensive to fly. You burn out. You fry the machine.
You melt the engine. Every creature on earth has approximately two billion heartbeats to spend in a
lifetime. You can spend them slowly, like a tortoise, and live to be two hundred years old, or you can
spend them fast, like a hummingbird, and live to be two years old.

4        The biggest heart in the world is inside the blue whale. It weighs more than seven tons. It's as big
as a room. It is a room, with four chambers. A child could walk around in it, head high, bending only to
step through the valves. The valves are as big as the swinging doors in a saloon. This house of a heart
drives a creature a hundred feet long. When this creature is born it is twenty feet long and weighs four
tons. It is waaaaay bigger than your car. It drinks a hundred gallons of milk from its mama every day
and gains two hundred pounds a day and when it is seven or eight years old it endures an unimaginable
puberty and then it essentially disappears from human ken, for next to nothing is known of the mating
habits, travel patterns, diet, social life, language, social structure, diseases, spirituality, wars, stories,
despairs, and arts of the blue whale. There are perhaps ten thousand blue whales in the world, living in
every ocean on earth, and of the largest mammal who ever lived we know nearly nothing. But we know
this: the animals with the largest hearts in the world generally travel in pairs, and their penetrating
moaning cries, their piercing yearning tongue, can be heard underwater for miles and miles.

5       Mammals and birds have hearts with four chambers. Reptiles and turtles have hearts with three
chambers. Fish have hearts with two chambers. Insects and mollusks have hearts with one chamber.
Worms have hearts with one chamber, although they may have as many as eleven single-chambered
hearts. Unicellular bacteria have no hearts at all; but even they have fluid eternally in motion, washing
from one side of the cell to the other, swirling and whirling. No living being is without interior liquid
motion. We all churn inside.

6       So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We
are utterly open with no one, in the end -- not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not
child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must.
Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think
there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the
dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and
will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the
defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and
hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman's
second glance, a child's apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words I have something to tell
you, a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother's papery
ancient hand in a thicket of your hair, the memory of your father's voice early in the morning echoing
from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.

                                  Sensory Detail Worksheet
    List all of the sensory details you can come up with to describe ________________.






                                    What is the Frame of your description? Imagine a place when you
                                    have eaten this food before, or imagine yourself in a place eating
                                    this food. It becomes your frame!

  What Food Will You Write About?   Frame:




                                       When you are eating this food, what do you do?
                ______                 List action verbs that best describe your actions:

                                                      1. _______________

                                                      2. _______________

                                                      3. _______________

                                                      4. _______________

                                                      5. _______________

                                                      6. _______________

  Good description
  creates tone for the
  reader, a
  dominant impression.
  What dominant
  impression will you try
  to create?

                                    Gathering Sensory Detail
           List all of the sensory details you can come up with to describe your food.






                          DESCRIPTIVE WORDS
ringing      cheeping      gasping             smashing      piercing     peeping
whooping     tinkling      raucous             chattering    crooning     bellowing
sobbing      bumping       snarling            growling      pitch        crying
thumping     burping       croaking            clattering    yapping      keening
splashing    yelping       rustling            volume        squealing    howling
barking      sniveling     moaning             pealing       tone         rattling
grunting     clanging      coughing            quacking      whining      gagging
fizzing      wheezing      honking             hissing       bawling      trumpeting
swishing     sneezing      rumbling            bubbling      ripping      cooing
chirping     shouting      shuffling           tearing       popping      roaring
thunderous   scratching    snorting            crashing      crunching    cackling
tolling      clucking      silent              tapping       soothing     crowing
tranquil     melodious     cacophonous         singing       quiet        tune
loud         tinkling      noisy               rhythmic      mumbling     twittering
din          beat          blaring             cawing        racket       chattering
murmuring    whistling     clapping            booming       whispering   mewing
snapping     snoring       yelling             mooing        crackling    sighing

                                 TOUCH AND TEXTURE

pressed       damp        fluted           tickling         sculptured    dry
knobbed       raw         corrugated       downy            chapped       scratchy
dirty         grimy       sopping          itching          abrasive      dusty
scaled        rasping     prickly          clammy           pulpy         kiss
scarred       glossy      wet              pocked           tweedy        matte
moist         woolly      hard             foamy            dank          patina
gripped       burning     hairy            soft             cottony       scorching
furry         bumpy       rocking          cushioned        fluffy        searing
fuzzy         boiling     sheer            sheen            scalding      stinging
sandy         warm        shiny            polished         hot           engraved
gritty        inlaid      soapy            bubbly           grooved       cool
glassy        ivory       biting           sharp            rutted        piercing
silky         numbing     velvety          smooth           freezing      steely
keen          icy         corduroy         grainy           cold          metallic
fine          waxy        coarse        greasy          curdled       slimy
splintered    lacy        tangled       spiky           slippery      creamy
matted        slick       shaggy        bushy           fiery         stubbly

                          COLOR AND VISUAL QUALITIES

red           saffron        bright          dark       scarlet       gold
dull          light          carnelian silver           rose          chocolate
crimson       chrome         lilac           sienna     salmon        lime
copper        vermilion      yellow          bronze     avocado       coral
primrose      pale           purple          lemon      canary        violet
pink          cerise         mauve           ruddy      mahogany      topaz
blue          amber          ebony           flushed    maroon        amethyst
crystalline   cyan           navy            wine       white         poppy
cobalt        burgundy       olive           fuchsia    turquoise     claret
drab          chartreuse     orchid          brilliant clear          black
obsidian      transparent    khaki           opaque     translucent   lavender
glassy        jet            gay             rust       carmine       sapphire
dun           cordovan       indigo          milky      tan           grizzly
ocher         flesh          buff            brindle    umber         peach
mustard       ultramarine    snowy           chestnut   green         smoky
sepia         mint           brass     walnut           pearl         aqua
ruby          emerald        twinkling bistre           sooty         shimmering
jade          plum           charcoal        maize      lake          iridescent
garnet        slate          spruce          puce       magenta       sable
pearly        aquamarine     ivory           henna      citrine       onyx
azure         cream          orange


perfumed      lilac     earthy        stinking       fetid         loamy
lemon         scent     odor          fragrance      sweaty        sharp
rose          lime      rotten        biting         pungent       musty
plastic       acrid     flowery       fishy          mildewed      spicy
acid          moldy     doggy         nauseating     redolent      skunky
dirty         sweet     tart          minty          moist         putrid
sour          fresh     musty         spoiled

                                PATTERN AND SHAPE

round         parallel     narrow      reticulated crested       wide
flat          spherical    globe       rounded      shallow      drooping
erect         dappled      rolling     orb          hemisphere   ball
shapely       checkered    adjacent    curved       pied         concentric
triangle      sharp        short       depressed    swollen      long
concave       pyramid      cone        convex       streamlined sunken
square        diagonal     contoured protruding     banded       terrain
horizontal    rectangle    cube        vertical     aquiline     veined
cylinder      depth        disc        palmate      box          width
plate         pinnate      spiked      thread       height       arc
elliptical    length       worm-like crowned        cupped       serpentine
girth         crescent     pentagon    breadth      sinuous      baggy
tight         winding      spotted     oval         hexagon      octagon
tetrahedral   solid        lanky       corkscrew    helix        curly
frail         polyhedron trapezoid thin             fat          crystalline
fanned        oval         pointed     plump        ovate        ellipsoidal

                     Back to Ms. Garrett online-home page

All of these are from student paragraphs. This is a collection of some of the weaker sentences students have
drafted. Using the vague vs. specific ideas we’ve been talking about, identify language that is abstract,
vague, or cliché. Then revise each of these sentences to better show a concrete action and sensory detail.

     1. It was full of red beans, a large amount of ground beef and the spiciest clunky chili pepper.


     2. One day my friend and I went to the kitchen.


     3. When we reached the kitchen we saw multi-colored red and green soup that looked very spicy and


     4. Bystander’s cringe and ponder why he would endure the self-inflicted pain.


     5. His ego grows and grows as he continues to regale the audience.


     6. The sizzle started building in our eardrums as it was catered our way in a teasing manner.


Revise this paragraph to make it specific and concrete. Feel free to add new information and new

        I ate a great dinner at an awesome restaurant the other night. I went with some friends. The food
was great and the restaurant was busy. In fact, the restaurant was so busy that we had to wait almost an
hour to be seated. I ate everything in front of me and nearly licked the plate clean.


Description Review:

Key Terms:
sensory detail        dominant impression   action verb
vague                 specific              state of being verb


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