Presentation on theme: "1 DESCRIPTION. 2 TRAITS Key Elements of a Descriptive Essay: o sense details (more than just sight) o arranged spatially o to support a Dominant Impression."— Presentation transcript:
2 TRAITS Key Elements of a Descriptive Essay: o sense details (more than just sight) o arranged spatially o to support a Dominant Impression
3 ASSIGNMENT o To describe a familiar object utilizing only SENSE DETAILS: -sight-taste -sound-touch -smell o To describe only the physical characteristics; o To appeal to the senses; to use concrete details
4 TOPICS 1) Your dorm room or bedroom (the room in your home where you spend the most time); 2) Your automobile; 3) The master bedroom in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”
6 1) 5 SENSES o make 5 lists (one for each sense) o sight, smell, sound, taste, touch o under each, list as many relevant details regarding your topic as possible
7 PREWRITING 2) IMPRESSIONS o from the previous lists, make connections between items on the previous lists o group according to likeness o that is, certain sense details are related by the impression that they create o “eerie” o “messy” o “feminine”
8 PREWRITING 3) DOMINANT IMPRESSION o the longest list of impressions from the previous lists will be your dominant impression, the most striking impression concerning your object o to this list add o adjectives o adverbs o similes/metaphors
9 PREWRITING 4) SYNONYMS o Make a list of synonyms for your Dominant Impression o Consult a thesaurus o “Tidy”: o neat o orderly o organized o uncluttered o anal-retentive/obsessive-compulsive
11 INTRODUCTION FUNNEL EFFECT 1. Generalize 1 st o Introduce your topic o Most people, Most college students 2. Narrow your focus o Some o Others 3. Focus on you o Me 4. End with Thesis Statement
12 THESI S GENERALIZE 1st -Introduce your topic -Most college students NARROW your FOCUS -Some -Others FOCUS on YOU -Me
13 INTRODUCTION FUNNEL EFFECT: EXAMPLES 1) Owning a car these days is a necessity, especially for students at a community college. Looking around the parking lot at Luzerne County Community College, I usually see three types of cars: the new, high-end graduation-gift cars, the modified sports cars, and the run-down first cars. Unfortunately, my car is one of the latter.... (thesis with clear Dominant Impression: My gray 1986 Oldsmobile Omega is a Bondo Buggy, especially in terms of its exterior, interior, and trunk.)
14 INTRODUCTION FUNNEL EFFECT: EXAMPLES 2) Most people have a place to go to feel refreshed when life gets too tough. (OR) Most people have a place they visit to get away from everyday life. It could be a car, a place in nature, or a room at home. For me it is my bedroom. (then comes the thesis with clearly stated Dominant Impression)
16 INTRODUCTION THESIS STATEMENT o Comes at the end of the first paragraph (“Funnel Effect”) TOPIC + MAIN IDEA + SUPPORT
17 INTRODUCTION THESIS STATEMENT o Example for Descriptive Essay: o My car is a junker in terms of its…. o Three aspects of my car that make it a junker are the front seat, the back seat, and the trunk. o Contains the Dominant Impression and the 3 aspects/parts of your object that support it. TOPIC: MY CAR D.I.: JUNKER SUPPORT: (1) FRONT SEAT (2) BACK SEAT (3) TRUNK
19 INTRODUCTION DOMINANT IMPRESSION *CHARACTERISTICS of a Dominant Impression: o *ADJECTIVE or NOUN* o Declared in thesis statement o Unifying or controlling aspect; ambiance; this will link all of your sense details. o Without this, your details are like marbles without a jar. o The first adjective that comes to mind when you think of your car.
20 DOMINANT IMPRESSION SENSE DETAIL ALL SENSE DETAILS RELATE TO & SUPPORT DOMINANT IMPRESSION
21 INTRODUCTION DOMINANT IMPRESSION *HOW TO CREATE a Dominant Impression: o Write the 5 senses on a blank sheet of paper with room beneath each to write; o Then, list as many details that appeal to a particular sense under its name; o Go from the front of the car to the back & from the outside to the inside; o Then, see which details are related to each other, that paint a similar picture of the object, and group them together; o What these details relate to will be your Dominant Impression.
22 INTRODUCTION DOMINANT IMPRESSION: EXAMPLES ROOM: o oasis of peace, o tranquil refuge, o feminine/masculine, o reflects personality (*you must briefly define your personality; use the appropriate adjective before the word “personality”: creative personality, artistic temperament), o reflects my musical tastes, o disaster area, o pig sty
23 INTRODUCTION DOMINANT IMPRESSION: EXAMPLES CAR: o total embarrassment, Bondo Buggy, o off-road monster, o Junk Mobile, o typical college student’s (in terms of mess, neglect,...), o typical first car (in terms of price, efficiency...), o “The Black Beauty,” “The Polar Bear” o giant toy, sporty car, Daddy’s car, o accessorized car (“Pimp My Ride”) (tricked out)
25 BODY 3 Body paragraphs (3 paragraphs = 3 parts of your object) o TOPIC SENTENCE – o starts each paragraph o reiterates your thesis, Dominant Impression o DESCRIPTION – o sense details, figurative language o that supports only your Dominant Impression o CLINCHER SENTENCE – o ends, wraps up the paragraph o reiterates your Dominant Impression
26 BODY: DO’s Qualities of a Strong Descriptive Essay 1)*** DESCRIBE—DO NOT LIST!! o Describe items found in your car/room; o Lists do not describe; lists are more exemplary than descriptive; o This is a descriptive essay using sense details, not an illustrative essay using reasons; o Show rather than tell o Make us see, smell, taste, feel, hear it as you want us to…to fit your Dominant Impression
27 BODY: DO’s Qualities of a Strong Descriptive Essay 2) SENSE DETAILS only: o Appeal to the 5 senses, not just sight o Appeal to as many of the 5 that are relevant o Consult your prewriting lists Relying solely on sight leads to LISTS o Number, size, shape, texture, material, odor/scent, taste, sound
28 BODY: DO’s Qualities of a Strong Descriptive Essay 3) SIMILES & METAPHORS: o use similes & metaphors to reinforce your D.I. o EX: “The smell is like…” OR “The smell reminds me of wet, moldy leaves soaking in a crammed rain gutter for a month. (not a pleasing D.I.) o rust = cancer, leprosy, flesh-eating bacteria; o “angry red beast:” headlights = giant glaring eyes, grill=hungry chrome jaws, bumper=chin with battle scars (continue the metaphor throughout, only those details that support “beastly”) o *Warning: Similes only support your sense details; they do NOT replace the need for sense details.
29 BODY: DO’s Qualities of a Strong Descriptive Essay 4) Relate all SENSE DETAILS to your DOMINANT IMPRESSION: o all details should reinforce your D.I. o if it does not, omit the detail o all sense details and metaphors should support a single impression o this is NOT a “word picture” in which you describe every aspect of your car o instead, focus your description on your D.I.
30 BODY Relate all SENSE DETAILS to your DOMINANT IMPRESSION o Repeat THESIS: o “Another aspect of my room that makes it a pig sty is….” o at the start of each paragraph o ADJECTIVES and ADVERBS that are synonymous with your Dominant Impression o ADJ: busy = hectic, energetic, bustling, crowded, swarming, packed, jammed, overrun, popular, populous, active, lively
31 BODY: DO’s Qualities of a Strong Descriptive Essay 5) Use TRANSITIONS: o between sentences (logically or spatially connect details in each sentence) AND o between paragraphs (repeat thesis) 6) Use proper PN REFERENCE: o *especially when generalizing in Introduction o Everyone has a place he/she could call his/her own. o see how the use of “he/she” gets old fast o so go plural: Most people have a place they could call their own.
32 BODY: DO’s Qualities of a Strong Descriptive Essay 7) DICTION:—use creative, selective, and pointed details & words (employ concrete/specific word choice) 8) Include an INTRODUCTION (see above) and a CONCLUSION (see below or consult the textbook) 9) Have a CLEAR VISION of the object (best to visit the place you will describe)
33 BODY: DO’s Qualities of a Strong Descriptive Essay 10) Have a CAREFUL SELECTION of DETAILS o only those that support your DI 11) Maintain a consistent point-of-view (POV) o no second person POV “you” o your room, your car, your impression, your details your POV (speak from the “I”)
34 BODY: DO’s Qualities of a Strong Descriptive Essay 12) COHERENCE: o develop a logical flow of ideas/details o “camera angle” -- spatial organization 13) Paragraph Structure: o 3 Body paragraphs = 3 parts of car/room o do NOT arrange the essay around the senses (each paragraph is not one of the senses) 14) *REMEMBER: o this is NOT a “why” or “because” essay which is supported with reasons o instead, use aspect, feature, characteristic, portion
35 BODY TAKE THE HINT o SENSE DETAILS ONLY o ONLY THOSE SENSE DETAILS THAT SUPPORT YOUR DOMINANT IMPRESSION o IF ANY DETAIL DOES NOT SUPPORT YOUR DOMINANT IMPRESSION—NO MATTER HOW “COOL” OR INTERESTING IT MAY BE—OMIT IT FROM THIS ESSAY
37 BODY: DON’Ts 1) ***DO NOT LIST items found in your car/room; this does not describe; lists are more exemplary than descriptive (this is a descriptive essay using sense details, not an illustrative essay using reasons) (show rather than tell) 2) Do NOT just throw ideas onto the page; make sure you have a Dominant Impression -- a clear purpose, a point; be a movie director and limit what you want the audience to see, to see it/them from your perspective
38 BODY: DON’Ts 3) Do NOT describe emotions, feelings, personality (these are not sense details) 4) Do NOT use pat expressions/clichés (rough around the edges), contractions (I’ve, it’s), poor diction (“things,” “a lot”), or abbreviations (especially CD=compact disc) 5) *NUMBERS: 3+ syllables/numerals = 350, 1 or 2 syllables/numerals = six, twenty-five; year = 1998, 2005)
40 CONCLUSION PURPOSE of CONCLUDING PARAGRAPHS o To stress the importance/relevance of your thesis (SO WHAT?!) o To repeat your purpose o To repeat your thesis (moral, point, lesson, Dominant Impression) o To repeat your main ideas o To give the essay a sense of completeness/finality o To leave the reader with a final impression (*this is your last chance to convince/persuade the reader, so make the most of it!)
41 CONCLUSION SUGGESTIONS o Discuss in full the lesson learned o Suggest larger implications of your findings o Suggest future papers or research o Refer back to your purpose and/or scenario mentioned in your Introduction o Pose rhetorical questions o Offer a 3rd side to the issue o End with a CLINCHER SENTENCE
42 CONCLUSION CLINCHER SENTENCE o Just as you ended each Body paragraph with a concluding sentence that wrapped up that point/paragraph, so too will you end the entire essay o (Thesis Statement : Topic Sentence :: Clincher Sentence : Paragraph Clincher Sentence) o Avoid the empty cliché o Wrap it all up o Relate to your point (for example, if you wrote a process paper on making a PB&J sandwich, end by saying that you are now hungry for one)
52 Descriptive Essay VS Example Essay o SENSE DETAILS o Dominant Impression o BODY STRUCTURE: o 3 Body paragraphs o 3 parts of the room/car o Each supported by: o sense details ONLY o metaphors to support DI o LISTS = prohibited o SHOW o SPATIAL ORDER o REASONS o Argument/Claim o BODY STRUCTURE: o 3 Body paragraphs o 3 reasons o Each supported by: o examples o descriptive details o narratives o types/roles o LISTS = permissible o TELL o EMPHATIC ORDER