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Notes on Writing a Descriptive Essay

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Descriptive Essay – Guidelines
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Descriptive Essay

Write a 500-750 word essay using description as the chief method of development. Follow the guidelines for formatting as described in “Notes on Writing a Descriptive

Essay.”
Writing Assignment

Purpose: to inform and/or entertain

Method of Development: description

If you are having a hard time thinking of a topic for description, see the list at the end of “Chapter 3: Description” in The Longman Reader (p. 135). Be

sure that you are writing a descriptive essay, not a narrative.

For additional help, please review these links: “Writing to Describe (The Descriptive Essay) Workshop” and “Descriptive Essays.”
Planning the Essay:

Brainstorm for topics.
Accumulate as many details as you can about your topic, and then sift through them, discarding those that are irrelevant, weak, or unrelated to the impression you

would like to convey.
Organize your ideas.
Use vivid language and varied sentence structure.
Check the syllabus for due dates.
Writing Approach

As your text points out, “Description can be a supportive technique that develops part of an essay, or it can be the dominant technique used throughout an

essay” (79). In this essay assignment, description will be the dominant technique used to develop a distinct impression of your topic. Remember that description

must appeal to the senses: taste, touch sound, sight, smell. While you need not appeal to every sense in your essay, be sure to give the reader enough description so

that he/she can be a part of your topic’s development. You may certainly use figurative language in your descriptions – simile, metaphor,

personification, etc. In any case, be aware of your audience (your classmates) and your tone. Your choice of words may greatly influence your reader’s

impression of your topic. Be careful to present your topic as you would like it to be interpreted.

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