Descriptive paragraphs are often used to describe what a place or an object person looks like, or what a person looks and acts like. Therefore, a good descriptive paragraph provides the reader with an accurate mental picture of the topic of the paragraph whether it is a person, a place or an object.
Read the following paragraphs and pay attention to the numerous descriptive words employed in it.
Jack Collins is the most amazing person I have ever met. He came to my school and talked about his difficult life in prison. He was in prison for 15 years. He made a lot of mistakes when he was young, but now he has changed his life. He saw a lot of violence in prison, so he uses his experience to help secondary school students. Jack is tall and strong. He also looks a little scary because he has some spider tattoos. The thing I remember most is his sensitive personality. He really wants to help young people. I’ve never met anyone like Jack before.(From: Paragraph Writing by Zemach, D.E. and Islam C.).
To write an effective description, it is not enough to give random pieces of information about the particular object, place, or person, you are describing. You descriptions should create the sense of a dominant or overall impression in your reader. You can achieve this by making each individual sentence you write a part of a picture you would like to show to your reader. For example, when you describe Lake Toba, the dominant impression you want to create could be its beauty or its tranquility. When you describe a person, you might want to present the impression of a diligent, hardworking person. It is a good idea to integrate the dominant impression into the topic sentence. This will help you focus as you write and will leave no doubt in the reader’s mind as to the direction of your thinking. This impression must be supported by all supporting sentences.
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