ADULT LEARNING CENTRE
The Specific is Terrific
April 30, 2003
Writing improves when you become more specific. Specific writing often
appeals to our senses: hearing, tasting, seeing, touching. More
specific terms help readers understand your writing better.
Examples of General versus Specific:
General: I lived in a small town near the United States.
More specific: I lived for five years in Morden, Manitoba, a
town of 2 000 people located about 25 miles from the United States
General: He stood too close to me.
More specific: He stood about half a meter away, so close I
could smell his garlic breath.
General: The flowers are beautiful in the spring.
More specific: The cherry and plum blossoms are beautiful
clouds of white and pink, filling the air with their sweet scents.
General: My neighbour has a noisy stereo.
More specific: My neighbour has an eighteen inch subwoofer that
makes the dishes rattle in my cupboards.
Write a 125 word paragraph about springtime, being as specific as
Include a sound, a sight, and a smell. If you can, also include a
taste and a touch. If you wish, write about springtime in your home
Please also visit your Advanced
Composition Class Page where you can access current and past
For more assignments, visit our