Sense and Descriptive Essay

Your second portfolio will be a descriptive essay about your favorite location. You will not be focused on building characters or telling a story in this paper – Your paper will purely describe. Remember that your descriptions should use imagery and sensory details, meaning that it should appeal to

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the five senses. While reading your paper, I should be able to picture your location.

Your favorite room of your house
Your favorite location in nature
An event you have attended that was particularly fun, such as: A school field trip
A youth retreat
A summer camp
A tourist destination
Think about the following questions to help you brainstorm ideas for your description:

– What places in nature, such as the ocean or mountains, do you especially enjoy visiting? Think about places you have visited with friends or family.

– What unusual plants or animals in nature would lend themselves to being described in an interesting way?

– What is an object or place that you see often without really thinking much about it—for instance, your backyard? Try observing it more closely.

Observe and Record Details (Prewriting)

A descriptive essay is most effective if it is packed with details that vividly portray the object or place being described. Set aside some time to
observe your subject closely and write down the details you notice using the Sensory Chart Prewriting Activity Sheet (attached). Record sensory details (sights, sounds, scents, flavors, and textures) that you can include in your descriptive essay.

As you record sensory details, it helps to pretend that your reader has never seen the object or scene you are describing. Even if some details seem obvious, write them down! Remember that your reader can’t see what you’re seeing, so you want to record as much detail as possible in order to paint a mental picture of your object/scene for your reader

When you record what you see, record things like colors, textures, lighting, and movements. When you record what you feel, describe textures & temperatures (bumpy, smooth, rough, soft, fluffy,

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warm, cold). Use similes to make comparisons between what you feel when you touch the object or objects in your scene to familiar things Example – The tree’s bark is rough like coarse sandpaper. When you record what you hear, smell, and taste (if applicable), close your eyes! This helps you to hone in on these senses.

It is best to observe your subject directly if possible. However, if you are not able to do so—for instance, if you are writing about a faraway vacation spot you visited last summer—you can still take time to brainstorm details. Use photographs, letters, or conversations to jog your memory. Then write down the sensory impressions you recall.

Your paper should consist of the following:

1. Introduction:
Begin with a memorable image or idea that sets the tone for your essay. Try to convey an overall impression about the place you are describing. For instance, a beach scene could come across as tranquil and idyllic or stormy and foreboding, depending on the details chosen.

2. At least 3 body paragraphs:
The details presented in the body of your description should present a vivid portrait of your scene. This is where you need to load up on that sensory detail from your observations. 1st body paragraph – Explain one reason why you like your location & use at least one sense to illustrate that reason. 2nd body paragraph- Explain a second reason why you like your location & use at least one sense to illustrate that reason. 3rd body paragraph- Explain a third reason why you like your location & use at least one sense to illustrate that reason.

3. Conclusion
Sum up why this place is important to you and end with a memorable final image.

General Guidelines:
2 pages in length
At least 5 paragraphs (intro, 3 body, conclusion)
Double space
12 point, Times New Roman font
Heading in upper left hand corner with your name, date, and name of assignment (Descriptive Portfolio) Title for your essay, centered.
Proofread for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Descriptive Essay Rubric

Criteria
Expectations
Points Up for Grabs
Focus
-The essay is tightly focused on a single location/scene.
-The importance of the scene is explained in detail to the audience. – Ideas and details in the essay are consistently relevant to the topic. Final – 20

Content
– Essay consists of an introduction, at least three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. – Essay consistently develops the description effectively with vivid details (including sensory images) and specific examples and
explanations. Final – 20

Organization
– The essay is consistently well- organized and follows a clear pattern of organization. – Transitions are used consistently and effectively within and between paragraphs. Final – 20

Style, Voice & Language

– Vivid and specific details and explanations used.
– Precise word choice and varied sentences used.
– The voice of the essay reflects the writer’s feelings and personality and is appropriate to the subject and audience. Final – 20

Conventions
– Correct use of spelling, punctuation, grammar.
– Heading included (name, date, title of assignment)
– Double Spaced
– 12 point, Times New Roman font
Final – 20

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