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Brad's Advanced Composition  October 7 Assignment

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Advanced Composition
Descriptive Writing: Writing about a Place
October 7, 1999

Good descriptive writing follows four rules. We'll look at the four rules tonight, and then write a description from an interesting and unusual point of view.

Four Rules of Description


Observe carefully. Look at the world around you. Doing this will give you the most benefit when writing a description.


Form a central impression. What do you see, in general, when you observe. You may note that a person's room is very messy. This is your central impression.


Now, select specific, concrete details to support your impression. In the messy room are three pairs of dirty socks strewn across the floor. On the desk, a brown banana skin is beginning to grow a dull green mold.


Finally, organize your details. For a messy room, you might start with eye level, then move to what you see on the floor. 

Think of a place you either dislike or like very much. Describe it as if everything about this place was carefully planned in every detail. For example, for a messy room I might say, "It is clear that the boy has placed each dirty sock on the floor with great care, so his mother will see them the moment she enters the room." See teacher writing on this topic.

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