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Descriptive Writing
Lecture one: Introduction and language
Purpose
* Describes physical characteristics of a person, place or thing * Relies on the fire senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, taste * Create a vivid impression

When to use
* Rarely an entire paper
* Common to all essays
* Can persuade through description

Type of Description
* Objective
Focus on the object itself rather than on your personal reaction to it * Subjective
Conveys your personal response to your subject
These are not mutually exclusive, balance is key
Your purpose and audience determine whether you should use objective or subjective description

Objective Description
* Goals are to be:
Precise
Literal
Accurate
* Used in news history, scientific texts, technical writing * Accompanied by visuals

Subjective Description
* Goals are to convey
Opinion
Significance
Selection of details
* Thesis is implied
Selecting and emphasizing details

Connotation vs. Denotation
* Denotation: precise, dictionary definition (factual)
* Connotation: relies an emotional reaction
* Relies on figurative language
Simile
Metaphor
Personification
Allusion

Be selective: all details are not created Equal
* Be specific
Avoid vague word: nice, great, terrific, awful, good, bad… Show don’t tell
* Go for quality description over a large quantity of descriptions * Always keep your thesis in mind

MAUS NOTES
Rego Park-C 1958
1 Artie’s roller-skate snaps and his friends leave him
2 Artie goes to see his father Vladek, who is working in the front yard, Artie is crying 3 Vladek ask Artie for help and also why Artie is crying
4 Artie explains that his friends left him
5 Vladek questions Artie understands of friendship

Foreshadows
(Hints at an event or events that will occur later in the narrative) * Vladek will be changed by his experiences in the concentration camps * Vladek will be shown both truth and false friendships

* Artie will learn from his father’s experiences and know specifically about WWII * Friendship will be an important topic discussed shown throughout story * Change relationship between Vladek and Artie

Character Development
Vladek
* Strengthened through his life experiences of hardship and suffering * Feels strongly about what he believes in
* Vladek has own experience and beliefs over the feelings of others * Lock sympathy for others, always comparing back to his own experiences

MAUS NOTES
Terms
Conjugate
* To inflect (verb)
* To join together, especially in marriage
Gestapo
* The German state secret police during the Nazi regime organized in 1933 and notorious for its brutal methods and operations Dowry
* The money, goods, or estate that a wife brings to her husband at marriage * Archaic, a widow’s dower
Presumptuous
* Full of characterized by, or showing presumption or readiness to pressure in conduct or thought * Unwarrantedly or impertinently bold, forward
Tuchus
* The buttocks, the rump (Yiddish)
Yiddish
* A high German language with an admixture of vocabulary from Hebrew and the Slavic languages, written in Hebrew letters, and spoken mainly by Jews in eastern and central Europe and by Jewish emigrants from these regions and their descendants Valise

* A small piece of luggage that can be carried by hand, used to hold clothing, toilet articles, etc. suitcase; traveling bag Shrink
* To draw back, as in retreat or avoidance
* To become reduced in extent or compass
Pogrom
* An organized massacre, especially of Jews
Munition
* Materials used in war, especially weapons and ammunition * Material or equipment for carrying on and undertaking
Governess
* A woman who is employed to take charge of a child’s upbringing, education * Archaic, a woman who is ruler or governor
Anti-Semitism
* Discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews...
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