1. 9/20/05 Information & Application #2 Descriptive Writing
2. 9/20/05 Information & Application #2 Descriptive Writing Consider purpose or occasion
share thoughts & feelings
How familiar is your audience with the subject?
3. 9/20/05 Information & Application #2 CONTENT: Gathering Details Sensory Details (imagery)
appeals to the five senses
names, dates, quotes, true statements
simile, metaphor, personification
be careful not to use clichés Unique Features
Thoughts & Feelings
4. 9/20/05 Information & Application #2 Dominant Impression Most important point conveyed through details
A central observation toward which all details point
Find relationship of details
“How is this detail related to other details on my list?
Identify one descriptive thread or similarity.
Write a sentence that clearly states a dominant impression in terms of the thread you identified.
5. 9/20/05 Information & Application #2 Practice: Identifying a dominant impression Read the following details. Is there a common thread or idea to unite some of the details?
A comfortable place to have fun with friends
sometimes gets repainted
maintained by parks department
located halfway between home and school
2 of the 6 basketball goals are missing, but no one minds too much
doesn’t have a fence around it
asphalt is so hot in the summer that…
always alive with shouts: “I’m open--pass the ball!…Good game!…Watch out!”
some people don’t like to play basketball
an NBA player played pick up games here when he was in high school
sometimes used for other sports
7. 9/20/05 Information & Application #2 Evaluating Details Choose the details that best support your dominant impression
Are details included that will create a clear image of the topic in the mind of a reader?
Are details included that describe the location and size of the topic?
Are details included to show ways in which the topic is unusual?
8. 9/20/05 Information & Application #2 WORD CHOICE: Show! Don’t tell! Use active, precise verbs
Common: He told me not to go.
Precise: He warned me not to go.
Use fresh figurative language
use similes, metaphors, and personification
Avoid “Deadwood Adjectives”
Paired adjectives work well; however, avoid words with almost the same meaning.
Deadwood: It has wood-grain cabinets and an old, ancient stove…
Revised: It has wood-grain cabinets and an old but sturdy stove…