THE DESCRIPTIVE PARAGRAPH
This kind of paragraph is used to describe what something looks like.
Good description relies on the five senses.
The reader should hear, see, taste, smell, and feel what the writer is describing.
What is a Descriptive Paragraph?
Good description is synonymous of clarity.
Subjective description allows you to provide an emotional account and evoke feelings.
Objective description usually uses neutral words, since they do not evoke emotions; this type of description generally provides information without adding feelings.
What is a Descriptive Paragraph?
Characteristics of the Descriptive ParagraphIt has a subject worthy of description.
It has an emphasis, either direct or indirect, on the five senses.
It uses figures of speech to enrich the description and spark reader interest.
It has one of three patterns of organization: chronological, spatial, or an order of importance.
How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph?Read other writers' descriptions. This will help you recognize what works in descriptive writing and what doesn't.
2. Plan your description. Think about the subject. Close your eyes and immerse yourself in it. If describing a place, imagine you are actually there. Notice all the sights, smells and noises around you. If describing a character, imagine he is standing in front of you and look at him closely, visualizing all the details of his appearance. Imagine he is talking to you.
Make notes. Never attempt to write something until you have done this. Make notes based on all the thinking you imagined in the previous step. Write down notes relating to all five senses. Think about and jot down any strong adjectives and adverbs you could use in your description. Write down any ideas for metaphors, similes and personification.
4. Make a draft. Try out different sentences, words, adjectives and see if they work. If not, try new ones. Use a thesaurus to help you find alternative words if your writing is too repetitive or if you want a word that is more dramatic or descriptive. Try writing a sentence to describe each of the five senses. Attempt different ways of ordering your sentences to see which is the most effective How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph?
5. Write your paragraph once you are pleased with your draft. Use your notes and your draft to help you. Make sure you include all the relevant information and that you use a variety of different kinds of sentences to make your paragraph interesting. Check that your sentences are grammatically correct and that you have used the right punctuation.
6. Read through your finished paragraph. Try reading it out loud so you can really hear how the vocabulary you have chosen creates a mood and brings your description alive. Have a friend or classmate read your paragraph to see if she can picture what it is you are trying to describe. Don't be frightened to change anything you are not satisfied with. How to Write a Descriptive Paragraph?
Transition Words in a Descriptive Paragraph
Chrnonological OrderSpatial OrderOrder of Importancefirst... second... third... generally... furthermore... finally in the first place... also... lastly in the first place... pursuing this further... finally to be sure... additionally... lastly in the first place... just in the same way... finally basically... similarly... as wellabove, below, besides, between, next to, in front of, behind, inside, outside, opposite, within, nearby, over, under First, second, third,Firstly, seconly, thirdlyprimarily, on the first place, on the second place
Activity. Read the paragraph and guess which picture is being describedWatson and the SharkWatson and the Shark is a painting by John Singleton Copely. In the foreground of the painting, one naked man is being attacked by a huge gray shark in the cold and choppy seawater. One small overloaded rowboat is near the naked man and the frightening shark. There are nine horrified men in this rowboat. They are trying to rescue the naked man. One young man takes a long spear and wants to kill the shark. Some people are reaching for his hand, and some are throwing a rope for him to catch. In the background of the painting, under the dark and cloudy sky, there are many ships stopping in the stormy harbor. The whole painting makes people feel tension and fear.
****Read other writers' descriptions. This will help you recognize what works in descriptive writing and what doesn't.