X11 Color Names and Large Department Store

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WJEC GCSE English – Writing to Describe

Every year, the descriptive writing task in Section B of Paper 1 is where students lose the most marks in their English exam. It is therefore a good idea to practice descriptive writing so that this does not happen to you. Furthermore, quality descriptive writing can be used as coursework. You are therefore improving your coursework folder at the same time as you are learning how to impress the examiner.

Below is a selection of descriptive writing tasks from past papers. They all begin with the guidance in the box:

You should write about a page in your answer book.

Remember this is a test of your ability to write descriptively.

1. Describe the scene on a beach or in a park on a summer’s day. (2001)

2. Describe the scene in a large department store or shop on the first day of the January sales. (2002)

3. Describe the scene in the waiting room in a doctor’s or dentist’s surgery. (2004)

When you have developed the necessary skills over the next few lessons, you will be required to attempt either question 1 or 3. Included in this booklet are some responses to the second question.

How much do you already know about how to describe a scene? [pic]

Writing to describe – Checklist of Features

AO3i Form, tone, content appropriate for audience

❑ the tone is usually formal
❑ adjectives and adverbs add precision to the picture
❑ nouns are precise
❑ verbs are powerful
❑ details are multi-sensory
❑ figurative language builds atmosphere
❑ the third person is usually used but first can be appropriate, for example to add reflection or when writing autobiography

AO3ii Paragraphs and connectives

❑ an establishing paragraph sets the scene
❑ topic sentences establish the focus of each paragraph ❑ each paragraph develops a different snapshot view, eg of a particular group of people or an incident ❑ connectives guide the reader through the scene

❑ short paragraphs may emphasise key details

AO3iii Sentences and punctuation

❑ a range of sentences are used for effect
❑ short sentences create impact, long sentences provide pace ❑ subordinate clauses add descriptive detail
❑ the present tense is used to create immediacy

2. Describe the scene in a large department store or shop on the first day of the January sales. (2002)

Script One (Exam conditions response)

It was eight o’clock on a Saturday morning, the day that the January sales began. It was a mad rush to get ready as my sister’s prepared ‘to shop til they dropped’. They came running into the bedroom and said it was time to go. But I replied the shops didn’t open until nine o’clock. They wanted to go early so they could wait in the queue.

We left the house at 8.30, we arrived in town there was three car park’s full already, we only just found a place to park. My sisters were out of the car before I finished parking. They ran from the car park to the shops. They were like children in a playground!

I eventually caught up with them, we turned the corner to go to Next. The queues were massive. It was like a Saturday at a football match but all women of course. We stood in the line. The shop doors opened. It was like an earthquake the ground moved as all of the people ran in, to find the cheaper clothing. Everyone was screaming even my sisters were shocked at the prices. We never seen clothes so cheap in Next before.

We got out of the shop it was like a breath of fresh air. We had 2 bags each filled with clothes.

We went to different shops all of them the same. Rushing with people. It was like a circus, women fighting over a skirt. Even men arguing over aftershave.

We eventually got out of town we will never forget this day, women and men arguing over sales.

Script Two (Exam conditions response)

I push through the crowds of young people hovering outside the automatic doors of Burger King, kicking the empty paper...
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