The Descriptive Essay - PowerPoint

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					Descriptive Writing
   Clear description provides
     a dominant impression.
What is descriptive writing?
• Descriptive writing             • The ten-inch snowfall
  has one, clear                    was beautiful, but it was
  dominant impression.              also quite deadly. Cars
• So to describe a                  had slid off the road,
  snowfall, you must                forcing drivers to walk
  picture it as pretty or           on the ice. The town had
  dangerous, but not                several bad car
  both at once.                     collisions, mostly at
• The thesis sentence               corners. The worst one
  asserts something                 of all happened when a
  about the topic.                  sixteen-year-old driver
                                    hit and killed a
• Then the details all              grandmother crossing
  support that view.                Walnut Avenue.
• What is the thesis?

           What are cars likely
            to do on snow?
Descriptive writing has a point!
• About the        •     The ten-inch snowfall was
  snowfall, the          beautiful, but it was also
                         quite deadly.
  point is that it      1. Cars had slid off the road,
  is dangerous.             forcing drivers to walk on
• The support               the ice.
  sentences add         2. The town had several bad
  details that              car collisions, mostly at
                            corners.
  go from bad           3. The worst one of all
  to worse and              happened when a sixteen-
  then to the               year-old driver hit and
  very worst.               killed a grandmother
                            crossing Walnut Avenue.

              What trouble does snowfall bring drivers?
Is description objective or subjective?
• A descriptive essay can       • Objective or subjective?
  be objective or               • Blondie, a cute wiener dog
  subjective, giving the          with a winsome look, was
  author a wide choice of         my favorite pet. She liked
  tone and attitude.              to follow me. At the store,
• Objective description           when I gave her half of
  of one's dog would              my Twinkie, her eyes
  mention facts like its          would twinkle. She liked
  height, weight and color.       fishing with me, especially
• Subjective description          when I caught minnows for
  would include all that,         her to eat. The only place
  but would also stress           she didn‘t go was school,
  the author's feeling            but she waited at the bus
  toward the dog, and its         stop for me, come cloud or
  personality and habits.         rain. She was a great pet.

               Doesn’t the passage
                promote a feeling?
 How important are the senses?
• Descriptive writing
  relies on concrete,
  sensory detail to
  communicate its point.
• Include sound, smell,
  taste, touch, and inner
  feeling.
   – What sounds do you
     hear?
   – What odors or flavors
     are there?
   – What textures objects
     have?
   – Does it make you feel
     positive or negative?   What sensory trouble
                             did the dog get into?
 What about using specifics?
• Go beyond common       • When Kamie was eleven
  nouns, like car, book,   years old, a routine
  magazine, movie, or      physical uncovered an
  building.                abnormal curvature in
• Use specific names,      her spine, scoliosis.
  such as                  Kamie, as well as her
   – Honda Accord          family, was devastated.
   – Gone With the Wind    They were told by the
   – Seventeen Magazine    doctor that only 10
   – Jurassic Park         percent of all children
   – Dalton State          are afflicted by
     College               scoliosis, but her family
• In the passage on the    just couldn‘t believe
  right, are there any     Kamie was a part of
  specifics details?      that 10 percent.
Here are the specific details:
            • Names and numbers are very
              specific details:
            • When Kamie was eleven
              years old, a routine physical
              uncovered an abnormal
              curvature in her spine,
              scoliosis. Kamie, as well as
              her family, was devastated.
              They were told by the
              doctor that only 10 percent
              of all children are afflicted
              by scoliosis, but her family
              just couldn‘t believe Kamie
              was a part of that 10
              percent.
  Can we use colorful adjectives?
• Forget good, fun, tall,
  fast, short, beautiful,
  ugly, light, rough, or
  kind.
• Say someone was six-
  and-a-half feet.
• Say it went 90 miles per
  hour.
• Say the jerk had a scar
  running from his right
  cheek to his jaw.
• Say ―we ran along the
  beach every morning at
  six.‖
                               What’s colorful about
• Not just ‗we had fun on    Johnny Depp in the role of
  our vacation‘.              Captain Jack Sparrow?
     Can you use active verbs?
1.   Don‘t say that         •   I answered yes to 7
     someone‘s heart            of the 10 symptoms
     was beating fast.          and ―may be addicted
2.   Say that it was            to the net.‖ I never
     thumping, or               realized that I was
     palpitating, or            computer addicted.
     skipping.
                                Then Arnie‘s words
3.   Don‘t say a girl ran       hit home: ‗Technology
     down the hall.
                                is addicting. Like
4.   Write that she             heroin, the bad habit
     skipped or danced
     down the hall.             feeds on our wish to
•    Which active verbs         escape the limits of
     can you find?             time and space; and
                                it consumes us.‘
Here are the active verbs:
             •   I answered yes to 7
                 of the 10 symptoms
                 and ―may be addicted
                 to the net.‖ I never
                 realized that I was
                 computer addicted.
                 Then Arnie‘s words
                 hit home: ‗Technology
                 is addicting. Like
                 heroin, the bad habit
                 feeds on our wish to
                 escape the limits of
                 time and space; and
                 it consumes us.‘
Can you create an impression?
• If you are wanting to    • Americans lead the
  frighten people with a     world in coffee
  description of a           drinking, averaging 3.4
  haunted house, for         cups per person a day.
  example, then you
  should use words that      But is the brown drink
  are dark, gloomy, and      just a morning pick-
  foreboding throughout      me-up? Unfortunately,
  the essay.                 much of today‘s coffee
• You can even make a        is grown in such a way
  list of related words      that it damages the
  before you begin to        environment, although
  write.                     it has been proven
• What is the main           that there are far less
  impression?               harmful methods.
Can you create an impression?
               • Americans lead the
                 world in coffee
                 drinking, averaging 3.4
                 cups per person a day.
                 But is the brown drink
                 just a morning pick-
                 me-up? Unfortunately,
                 much of today‘s coffee
                 is grown in such a way
                 that it damages the
                 environment, although
                 it has been proven
                 that there are far less
                 harmful methods.
    Can you use a normal pattern?
•     Organize by         • It started the first day at
      putting the           my horrible high school. I
      important or          remember walking through
      larger features       that big school on the gray,
      first, and the        evil morning. I walked to my
      less important or     resource room, and I sat
      smaller features      down right next to the guy
      last.                 who would turn my world
•     In your writing,      upside down. I remember
      always describe       looking toward the window
      from                  and seeing his spiking hair
     1. top to bottom,      outline against the dreary
                            horizon. He was looking at
     2. right to left,      me. I knew that he must
     3. or front to         have been looking at a girl
         back.              behind me or something. He
•     What‘s the            couldn‘t possibly be looking
      pattern?             at me. Boy, was I wrong.
    Can you write in paragraphs?
•    Use separate            •   My friend Catherine is as
     paragraphs to               cool as a cucumber. She is
     describe a                  Mormon, and she really
     person’s:                   believes in her religion. I
    1. physical                  respect her for that. She
       appearance                is always there when I
  2. relationships with          need a shoulder to cry on.
       others                    She is extremely nice,
  3. hobbies and                 and she is as sweet as
       interests                 sugar. She is really cool
  4. accomplishments             to hang out with at the
       and achievements          mall because we both
  5. beliefs,                    have the same style in
       likes/dislikes, and       clothing. I have only
       dreams                    known her for a year, but
What‘s this about?              I feel like I have known
                                 her forever.
You can organize paragraphs:
                  •    My friend Catherine is as
                       cool as a cucumber.
                  1.   She is Mormon, and she
                       really believes in her
                       religion.
                  2.   She is always there when I
                       need a shoulder to cry on.
                  3.   She is extremely nice, and
                       she is as sweet as sugar.
                  4.   She is really cool to hang
                       out with at the mall
                       because we both have the
                       same style in clothing.
 How serious is   5.   I have only known her for
 your shopping?        a year, but I feel like I
                       have known her forever.
Describe with more comparisons.
•    Help us understand
     what you are
     describing by using
     comparisons such as
     these:
    1. The cashier was as
       slow as a turtle.
    2. Her father looked
       like an angry bull.
    3. The students faces
       looked like blank        Is the food industry more
       sheets of paper.      advanced than other terrorists?
 How to conclude a description:
• In the conclusion,    • How does this one end?
  connect the reader    • My friend John is easygoing.
  to the description.     He wears jeans or shorts
• Or say how the thing    and doesn‘t care about
  you‘re describing has   fashion. When his daughter
  changed your life.      says she‘s having trouble
                          with a friend, he says,
• Try not to repeat       ―That‘s okay. It will work
  what you said in your   out.‖ One day, my dog bit
  introduction.           John, hard, on his leg and
• Rather, say             tore his pants. He said it was
  something conclusive    his fault because he had
  but new.                disturbed the dog. John
                          helps me keep from being
                          too nervous.
 How to conclude a description:
• In the conclusion,    • How does this one end?
  connect the reader    • My friend John is easygoing.
  to the description.     He wears jeans or shorts
• Or say how the          and doesn‘t care about
  thing you’re            fashion. When his daughter
  describing has          says she‘s having trouble
  changed your life.      with a friend, he says,
                          ―That‘s okay. It will work
• Try not to repeat       out.‖ One day, my dog bit
  what you said in your   John, hard, on his leg and
  introduction.           tore his pants. He said it was
• Rather, say             his fault because he had
  something conclusive    disturbed the dog. John
  but new.                helps me keep from being
                          too nervous.
          It ends with how John changes the writer‘s life,
                making him more calm and peaceful.
 Can you pass the review test?
1. Descriptions          a.   How you see
   basically are              something or
   a. details put into        someone.
   lists                 b.   Exaggerations about
   b. the only writing        reality.
   pattern               c.   Just how you feel
   c. word pictures           about something.
   d. lots of colorful   d.   How something or
   adjectives                 someone look, sound,
   e. pretty normal           taste, smell, and/or
   sentences                  feel.
2. Descriptions          e.   What your
   normally tell              girlfriend wants to
                              know.
    Can you pass the review test?
3.   We use descriptions    a.   What your mother
•     Only when we talk.         wants you to do.
•     Only when we write.   b.   The most important
•     Both when talking          feature.
      and writing.          c.   Why you left high
•     Much more than             school.
      narration.
                            d.   The one you would
•     Much less than             like to forget.
      narration.
                            e.   What you like the
4.    In descriptive             most about a person
      writing, the main          or a thing.
      impression is         f.   All the details added.
    Can you pass the review test?
•    Which of these is     • I toured two major
     comparison?             cities of Morocco—
1.   My essays read like     land of mystery,
     mystery novels.         enticement, and
2.   Your essays read        enchantment. I was
     well enough.            expecting belly
3.   His essays sound        dancers, snake
     good to me.             charmers, and exotic
4.   Their essays could      sights filled with color
     be better than the      and decoration. While
     other ones‘.            I did see that, most of
5.   No one knows where      what I saw was totally
     my essay is.            unexpected and will
•    What stirs up more      haunt me forever.
     interest? 
  Applying Descriptive Writing
• Begin by giving your     • My father was a very
  reason for telling all     active person. As a book
  about someone.             salesman, he drove
• Give your main             hours everyday. He
  impression of the          pitched fast-pitch
  person.                    softball until he was 50.
• Add specific details       He stayed at the dam
  of sight, sound,           fishing till after dark.
  touch, etc.                He shot deer with bow
                             and arrow, providing
• End with what the          meat for his family. At
  person means to            80, he even roofed his
  you.                       own house.
        Now it is your turn! Write out a one-page
        description of your father or your mother!

				
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