Descriptive Writting

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Humanities 11
Descriptive Writing

Refer to Act of Writing, pages 99-101, for a complete explanation of descriptive writing. Below, I’v summarized the main points:

* Descriptive language makes writing “come alive”

* It is language that appeals to sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste

* Description creates a more life-like experience for the reader

* Behind every descriptive choice you make should be your overall purpose – not all pieces of descriptive writing have a thesis, but it should always have an underlying purpose, such as a value judgement

* Figurative language, onomatopoeia, and diction (word choice) help create vivid description


Read “Hurricane” by Anne Michaels, pages 102-104, including the introduction in italics. Please note, that this passage is taken from her novel, Fugitive Pieces, whose narrator, Ben, was born in Canada to two Holocaust survivors of World War II.

1. Identify at least one example in the passage of language that appeals to a) sight:

b) hearing:

c) touch:

d. taste:

2. Considering that Ben’s parents had survived the Holocaust and moved to Canada to start a new life…

a) Why, do you think, did Ben’s father have such an intense reaction to the hurricane and flood? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

b) What do you think Ben’s mom means at the end when she says, “Who dares to believe (Ben’s father) will be saved twice?” ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

c) Write your...
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