- Количество слайдов: 49
The Descriptive Essay
Essay #2: Description Let’s talk about your topic. . .
What topic must I choose for this essay? n Describe an important event in your life. n Describe an important person in your life. n See Essay Topic document for more information.
What is description? The expression, in vivid language, of what the five senses experience
What is description? n. One of the most common methods of development in both paragraphs and essays
What are some examples of description? How a person looks n How a glass of lemonade tastes n How a headache feels n How cinnamon rolls smell n How a rock concert sounds n
Where can descriptive passages be found? Fiction n Poetry n History n Science n Biographies n Business documents n Police reports n
How do we get the “subjects” for description? Observation of the present
How do we get the “subjects” for description? From our memory
The Descriptive Essay n “For me the initial delight is in the surprise of remembering something I didn’t know I knew. ” n Robert Frost, Poet n “The fact is that there’s no understanding the future without the present, and no understanding where we are now without a glance, at least, to where we have been. ” n Joyce Maynard, Columnist and Author of Looking Backward: A Chronicle of Growing Up Old in the Sixties
The Descriptive Essay n “Time passes and the past becomes the present. . . These presences of the past are there in the center of your life today. You thought. . . They had died, but they have just been waiting their chance. ” n Carlos Fuentes, Mexican Essayist and Novelist, Author of The Crystal Frontier n “Some very small incident that takes place today may be the most important event that happens to you this year, but you don’t know that when it happens. You don’t know it until much later. ” n Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize. Winning Author of Beloved and Song of Solomon
The Descriptive Essay n n The brain is a pack rat. Nothing is too small, obscure, or mundane for the brain’s collection. Often the brain collects AND discards information without regard to our wishes. With no warning, some of this information may emerge – when you least expect it.
The Descriptive Essay n Why is MEMORY so important in our lives? n n It keeps us connected to our origins. It is a highly valued intellectual skill, especially in the contemporary era of information processing.
The Descriptive Essay n What is the role of MEMORY in our lives? n n n We can recall very vivid and meaningful events in our lives. It allows us to have a double perspective on these events. It helps us keep track of our lives and to be aware of changes that have made us who we are.
The Descriptive Essay n What are three types of memory? n Skill n Verbal Response n Emotional Response
The Descriptive Essay Our ability to recall what we have learned to do, like SKILL n n n ride a bike change an oil filter smock a dress hit a softball write an essay
The Descriptive Essay Verbal Response The ability to recall a specific event or idea, like n n n who was the first president of the United States the date and time of our next dentist appointment what recipe to follow when making lasagne
The Descriptive Essay What do skill memory and verbal response memory have in common? They can both be improved by Concentration n Practice n Use of certain techniques n
The Descriptive Essay Emotional Response Involves our FEELINGS about certain events or experiences n n n Our first trip to the dentist Our first experience at writing an essay Our first experience at making lasagne
Types of Description Objective Subjective Skills, Verbal Response Emotional Response
Objective Description Used to describe the subject in a straightforward and literal way, without revealing YOUR own personal attitude or feelings See p. 98 – “Sensory Impressions”
Subjective Description Used to convey a highly personal view of your subject and seek to elicit a strong emotional response from your readers See p. 99 - “Dominant Impressions”
What role does description have in formal writing? Description can be a supportive technique that develops part of an essay, or it can be the dominant technique throughout the essay.
Is TONE important when writing a descriptive essay? YES!!!!!! The tone of a subjective description is determined by your n purpose n attitude toward the subject n reader response you wish to evoke
Is the LANGUAGE used in a descriptive piece important? YES!!!!! Two types of language Denotative Connotative
Denotative Language n n n Consists of neutral, dictionary meanings Works well with objective description Is straightforward Is precise Is factual Example: The large crowd at the football game made a mass movement onto the field after the last second ticked away on the clock.
Connotative Language n n Is emotionally charged Provides emotional associations that go beyond the literal meaning Reveals the author’s feelings about the subject Works well with subjective description Example: The swelling mob made a rowdy stampede onto the football field as the last second of the clock ticked away.
Examples: Connotation Example #1 Example #2 The young woman emerged from the interview, her face aglow. Moving briskly to the coatrack, she tossed her raincoat over one arm. After a carefree “Thank you” to the receptionist, she glided from the room. The young woman emerged from the interview, her face aflame. Moving hurriedly to the coatrack, she flung her raincoat over one arm. After a curt “Thank you” to the receptionist, she bolted from the room.
Which young lady probably got the job? Example 1? Example 2? Note how changing just a few words in a passage can change the tone and even the entire meaning of the passage.
Select the details to include. Develop sensory details to appeal to the senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. n Develop factual details to give exact facts information about a subject. n n A combination of these elements provides strong support for the main ideas of a description.
How can I write an essay about my memory of a person or an event? n n n Use detailed observation of people, places, and events. Create specific scenes set in a time and space. Note changes, contrasts, or conflicts. Make connections between past events, people, or places and the present. Discover and focus on a main idea (thesis or DOMINANT IMPRESSION)
Strategies for Using Description in an Essay n Focus on a dominant impression n Select the details to include n Organize the descriptive details n Use vivid sensory language and varied sentence structure
Focus on a dominant impression. Has the same role as a thesis statement n Can be implied n Can be stated n Is located at the end of the introductory paragraphs(s) n Gives the reader insight into the scope of the essay n Sets the tone of the essay n
Select the details to include n Use effective comparisons to create images in the reader’s mind n Examples: – The windows in the house were as bright as diamonds. – The windows were so small that a person would think that they were holding their breath.
Organization n Read p. 90 in the text. n Keep in mind that this essay is to have an introduction with a thesis statement, a body, and a conclusion just like Essay #1. While they use great descriptive techniques, the sample essays that you will read often do not follow this basic organizational pattern. So. . . Utilize the authors’ techniques, but not organization! n n
Having trouble with organization? Review the Sample Outline for Person document. n Review the Sample Outline for an Event document. n Contact me! n
Organize the details to include. n Space order (place) n Time order (event) n Order of importance (any type of descriptive approach) – You might want to consider saving the best points for last!
Common Questions n Can I use personal pronouns in this essay? n YES – You will be writing this essay from your personal perspective, from your own experience, from your own viewpoint
Common Questions n Can I use the second person pronoun “you” in this essay? n. ONLY if you choose to include this in a direct quote!
Common Questions n Can I use third person pronouns in this essay (You have made me do this on all of the other essays!!!!!) You may use third person pronouns in the introduction and conclusion, especially if you are attempting to “set the stage for” or “recap” the dominant impression. n Remember: This is a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE essay! n
How do I develop the ideas that I want to discuss? n n Make a list of the objective description that you wish to reveal about the person or event. Make a list of the subjective description that you wish to reveal about the person or the event. ORGANIZE the raw materials into a manageable form so that you can begin to visualize the outline that you will use for the paper. See Generating Ideas document for more information.
Helpful Hint Make sure that you develop ideas that SHOW, not just TELL, your reader what you want him or her to see or understand about your topic. n See the Sample Paragraph with Comments document. Take the time to read the comments! n
The Descriptive Essay: Guidelines for Revision n n Re-examine your audience and purpose. Revise to make the main idea of your account clearer. Revise to clarify the important relationships in your story. Close and detailed observation is critical. Revise to show crucial changes, contrasts, or conflicts more clearly.
The Descriptive Essay: Guidelines for Revision n n n n Have you used a straight chronological order? Be clear about point of view. Have you incorporated transitional expressions to guide your reader? (Review the Transitions document. ) What are the key images in the account? Revise sentences to improve clarity, emphasis, variety. Check your dialogue for proper punctuation and indentation. When you are COMPLETELY satisfied with your draft, edit for correct spelling, appropriate word choice, punctuation, and grammar. Review the Grammar Help document.
Your Final Draft “The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug. ” – Mark Twain
Additional Readings. . . n n First, read “Reading Strategies, ” “Reading Critically, ” and “Reading as a Writer” on p. 440. Second, read “When the Full Moon Shines Its Magic Over Monument Valley” on p. 440 and review the notations in the margin. These notations will guide you in being able to determine exactly how all of the techniques that you are read about are actually incorporated into a descriptive piece.
Additional Readings. . . n n Third, read “Assembly Line Adventure” on p. 446 and note the use of dialogue. You might like to incorporate dialogue in your own essay; this descriptive piece can give you a few ideas. Another good example of dialogue – in conjunction with narration – is “Momma’s Encounter” by Maya Angelou on p. 433.
Additional Readings. . . n Last, read “Once More to the Lake” and pay special attention to E. B. White’s intermingling of subjective and objective description.
Best wishes as you work on this essay! Contact me if you need assistance!