Description Paper

Description Essay Minor #2 is due on Monday July 12 by 11:59 PM Hawaii Standard Time.

This unit will help you learn strategies for utilizing PATHOS and crafting effective descriptions.
In this paper, you will be writing a description of a person or place you are familiar with or have a definite opinion about.
If you want to work with an object instead, this may be a little trickier. The paper should be about one to one and a half pages long (500 to 750 words) but consider this length as a guideline, not a restriction. Feel free to write less (or more!) if it will help your description. Writing Strategies to help you get started Think about a particular, overall quality or feeling you have for this person.

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Your goal will be to get the impartial reader to come to the same conclusions/feelings about this person. Use language that will create the appropriate mood and keep a consistent tone throughout the paper. A rich description can create impressions without saying them directly. Rather than simply writing “the man was creepy”, use words, examples and tone of voice to create this feeling for readers. Descriptions are all about the details. A good description shows rather than tells. Use words and descriptions that appeal to the five senses: sight, smell, touch, sound and taste. Other strategies: Simile—A direct comparison between two things to show similarities or likeness. Example: “Her laughter was sharp and rough, like the edges of a broken champagne glass.” Metaphor—An indirect comparison that uses images to show similarity. It avoids the use of “like”, “as” or “similar to”. Example: “His town was a closed fist. There was the suggestion of danger wherever one went, and residents seldom left.” Note that the town is not REALLY a closed fist but the image suggests qualities or traits that the tow have in common. Cliché—A familiar, well worn descriptive expression that should be avoided. Writing that uses cliché tends to be predictable and flat. Example: “It’s as easy as falling off a log.” “Her lips were as red as a rose.” Connotation—The feelings that specific words evoke in the reader. Example: Compare “sad” versus “depressed”. One sounds more heavy and serious.

General Grading Criteria “A”—An excellent description. Original and inventive—gives readers a fresh perspective on the subject. Avoids clichés and relies on strong tone of voice, word connotation, examples and perspective. Varied use of language and sentence structure demonstrates superior descriptive technique. Good command of grammar, spelling. “B”—A good description. Allows readers to draw their own conclusions about the subject rather than simply telling them what they should think. Good use of details and examples. Consistent tone of voice. “C”—An average description. Clear, focused writing that gives readers a believable picture of its subject. Effectively gets the point across. May contain a few clichés. “D”—Minimal effort at description. May read like a list of characteristics, or sound like a mug shot/suspect profile (tall, white male, weighs 200 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes…) May contain a few clichés. “F”—Incomplete or plagiarized material.

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