Sample Descriptive Paragraph—Nonfiction
“Let’s walk,” she says serenely, slipping her arm in mine and heading into Central Park. As she strolls along, folks check her out and occasionally point. She is tall, strong, and straight-backed, glowing with vegan health and moving confidently through the crowds in her all-black ensemble. In videos and photos, she looks like she has a prominent jaw, but in person it is much softer, as are her other features (Windex-blue eyes, glossy black hair). Her voice is gentle and melodious, and she looks you square in the eye when she speaks. —from Jancee Dunn’s “The Cole Truth,” Rolling Stone 786, May, 1998. Sample Descriptive Paragraph—Fiction
It was a tiny, grubby-looking pub. If Hagrid hadn’t pointed it out, Harry wouldn’t have noticed it was there. The people hurrying by didn’t glance at it. Their eyes slid from the big book shop on one side to the record shop on the other as if they couldn’t see the Leaky Cauldron at all. In fact, Harry had the most peculiar feeling that only he and Hagrid could see it. Before he could mention this, Hagrid had steered him inside. For a famous place, it was dark and shabby. A few old women were sitting in a corner, drinking tiny glasses of sherry. One of them was smoking a long pipe. A little man in a top hat was talking to the old bartender, who was quite bald and looked like a toothless walnut. The low buzz of chatter stopped when they walked in. —from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling (Scholastic, 1999) Sample Narrative Paragraph—Nonfiction
During the final years of his life, [Franz] Kafka’s health deteriorated rapidly. In 1923 he fell in love with Dora Dymant and settled in with her in Berlin; he asked Dora’s father for permission to marry her but was refused. In the winter of 1923-24 he moved into a series of clinics and sanitariums. He died, Dora at his side, on June 3, 1924, at a sanitarium in Kierling, near Vienna. His surviving family,...