The Poetry of Emily Dickinson. Comprising 597 poems of the Belle of Amherst, whose life of the Imagination formed poetry essay example introduction transcendental bridge to modern American poetry. Copyright Butte College, All Rights Reserved.
The aim of description is to make sensory details vividly present to the reader. Although it may be only in school that you are asked to write a specifically descriptive essay, description is an important element in many kinds of writing. Description embedded in an argument paper, for example, may be intended to make a position more persuasive. However, in this TIP Sheet we will discuss the descriptive essay as it is commonly assigned by instructors as an exercise in organizing sensory information and choosing vivid details. Showing” uses very specific details: cabbage and mildew, scuffed and dusty floors, unwashed windows. Though the writer of the second example does not actually use the word “empty,” she nevertheless suggests emptiness and disuse. The suggestion of emptiness in the second example is more vivid than the statement of emptiness in the first.
The sharp odor of fresh paint cut through the smell of newsprint. Four stacked cartons of inkjet printer paper sat squarely in the middle of a concrete floor, illuminated by a shaft of morning light from a sparkling chrome-framed window on the opposite wall. Do not mistake explanation for description. The tenants had moved out a week earlier because the house was being sold to a developer. No one had bothered to dust or clean because they assumed the apartment was going to be knocked down and replaced with single-family homes like those built just a block away. The more you are interested in and connected to the subject, the easier it will be to interest your reader, so if you describe a person, choose a person whose characteristics stand out to you. If you describe a place or a thing, choose one that is meaningful to you.
You are painting a picture that must be as clear and real as possible, so observe carefully and, preferably, in person. Note what sets this subject apart from others like it. If the subject is a person, include physical characteristics and mannerisms. Describe abstractions such as personality traits only insofar as you can observe them. How a subject interacts with others is fair game for description if you can observe the interaction. On the other hand, a subject’s life history and world perspective may not be, unless you can infer them, for example, from the photos on his walls or the books on his bookshelf.
Similarly, if the subject of your description is an object or a place, you may include not only its physical appearance but also its geographic, historical, or emotional relevance-as long as you show or suggest it using sensory details, and avoid explaining. Even description for description’s sake should have a purpose. Is there an important overall impression you wish to convey? A central theme or general point? Or, you might describe your car as an immaculate, beautiful, pampered woman on whom you lavish attention and money. Avoid telling a story unless it is of central importance to the description or an understanding of it. Keep background information to an absolute minimum or avoid it altogether.
Extended description that lacks organization has a confusing, surreal quality and easily loses readers’ interest, so choose an organizational plan. For example, it does not make sense to describe a person’s facial features and hair, then his sonorous voice and impressive vocabulary, and then return to details about his eyebrows and glasses. Use vivid nouns, verbs, and adjectives, and appropriate metaphors, similes, comparisons, and contrasts. Why did you write this description? What is its significance to you?
If you have achieved your purpose, your conclusion should only confirm in the reader’s mind what you have already shown him by your use of selected sensory details. Read a Belorussian translation of this page by Uta Bayer. On Black Tuesday, October twenty-ninth, the market collapsed. Westinghouse lost two thirds of its September value.
The “Era of Get Rich Quick” was over. You want a room for sleeping or jumping? Los Angeles during the Great Depression. Washington to pressure Congress and the White House. July, the Senate rejected the bonus 62 to 18. Hoover’s offer of free passage on the rails. Glassford’s assistant suffered a fractured skull.
Two of the marchers were killed. Bud Fields and his family. Squatter’s Camp, Route 70, Arkansas, October, 1935. Philipinos cutting lettuce, Salinas, California, 1935.