Description Unit AP Language & Composition. Descriptive Writing Purposes. To convey information without bias or emotion To convey it with feeling. Detailed Language Ex: humid, sticky day Backlighted by the sun and smelling faintly sweet, an acre of tiny lavender flowers spread away from me. .
Ex: humid, sticky day
Backlighted by the sun and smelling faintly sweet, an acre of tiny lavender flowers spread away from me.
Ex: hot day
Beautiful, scented wildflowers were in the field.Concrete vs. Abstract Language
You describe your subject so clearly and exactly that your reader will understand it or recognize it AND you omit your feelings.
Ex: Technical or scientific descriptive writing is objective (i.e. biology report).
You describe your subject with emotional, personal, or impressionistic appeal.
Ex: An email to a friend or a magazine advertisement for a new car.
“Imagine the ship herself, with every pulse and artery of her huge body swollen and bursting…sworn to go on or die. Imagine the wind howling, the sea roaring, the rain beating; all in furious array against her. Picture the sky both dark and wild, and the clouds in fearful sympathy with the waves making another ocean in the air.” Charles Dickens, American Notes
“At 0600 hours, watch reported a wind from due north of 70 knots. Whitecaps were noticed, in height two ells above the bow. Below deck, much gear was reported adrift, and ten casks of ale were broken and the staves strewn about.” Charles Dickens, Ships LogObjective Description vs. Subjective Description
It is usually weaved into other rhetorical strategies. It enlivens narration, argument, and cause and effect.
Ex: “The sound it made was as big as God. It kicked little me back to the ground like a bully, like a foe.” (Vowell, Shooting Dad)