A. Descriptive Paragraphs

(Notes by Huifang Peng)
(# required knowledge: What is a paragraph?
# objective and features: to paint a clear picture of a topic which can be about any person, place, or thing
1. often contains descriptive details that show readers what something looks, sounds, feels, tastes, or smells like
2. may also describe how something makes you feel, what its key characteristics are, or what impression it creates in other people
3. may include some background information to explain who, what, when, where, why, and how 
# writing steps: (only suggestive, not prescriptive) 
Step One: planning and prewriting
1. select a topic that you can
a. describe easily in a single paragraph
b. picture clearly in your mind
2. try a graphic organizer to gather and arrange descriptive information and then freewrite for about 10 minutes
3. Work with a partner to discuss the ideas and details you wrote. Based on your discussion, make changes and additions to your writing.
Step Two: writing the first draft
a. the topic: the person, place, or thing your description is about 
b. the controlling idea about the topic: the opinion or observation that you will develop and support in the body sentences
c. It may also include one or more concrete descriptive words that help express your controlling idea about the topic.
2. Body/Supporting Sentences: support and develop your topic by giving
a. background information 
b. descriptive details
a. Restate or summarize the controlling idea in a different way.
b. Some writers may use the transition words in conclusion, all in all, or in summary to signal the ending.
c. Some other writers do not summarize or restate the controlling idea or use transition words at all. They signal the ending by giving a strong observation or a lasting impression about the topic.
Step Three: revising
1. Reread the first draft and use a revision checklist to identify parts of your writing that need improvement.
2. Review your plans and notes and your responses to the revision checklist. Then revise your first draft.
Step Four: editing
1. Use an editing checklist to edit and proofread your paragraph.
2. Prepare a clean copy of the final draft and hand it to your teacher.
Focus on Writing 3: Unit 2
Great Writing 2:
How to Become a Descriptive Writer
source: eHowEducation    2013-01-14
#1--use sensory details
#3--avoid redundancy (e.g., "blue sky," "green grass")
#4--emphasize overlooked items

Descriptive Writing
Karen Hamilton    2013-03-14

Descriptive Writing
source: WritingThroughArt   2012-04-29

Writing a Descriptive Paragraph
source: LearningEngineer.com     2011-04-26

It's Your World: Descriptive Writing with Adora Svitak
source: adorasvitak      2009-03-24