Writing 20 - Cora Agatucci
Basic Writing I

Paragraph #3 (Description) - Fall 2001
for CRN #40561, Tues.-Thurs. 11:00 am - 12:15 pm, Jefferson 101 (Cora Agatucci)
Webtip:  When you re-visit this webpage on your internet browser (Netscape or Explorer),
please click "Refresh" or "Reload" to ensure you are seeing the latest version of this webpage.

See Fall 2001 WR 20
Course Plan for Deadlines

Directions for Paragraph #3 (Description)


Janet Student (Your Name)
WR 20, Dr. Agatucci  (Identify Course & Instructor)
Paragraph #3: Description (Identify Assignment)
1 November 2001 (Date Due for Revised version to be graded)  

Directions for Paragraph #3: Description
(Worth: 10% of course grade)

DUE TUES., OCT. 30:  Preliminary Draft of Paragraph #3, with 3 readable copies to be workshopped in class

DUE THURS., NOV. 1:  Revised Draft of Paragraph #3 (to be graded).  Please submit Revised Draft in a manila folder, with preliminary drafts enclosed.  Revised Draft (to be graded) must be typed or word-processed, and double spaced.  Use the recommended heading for WR 20 assignments (see above) and give your paragraph a title relevant to the topic or point of your paragraph. 

Recommended length:  100 to 200 words (or about one typed, double-spaced standard sized page, in 12 or 10 point font size).


Competency 8: Understand the principles of the writing process in its basic form: generating ideas, organizing ideas, drafting, revising and editing.


1.  Analyze & Understand the Assignment.  A key first step in the Writing Process for college students is to analyze and understand the assignment:

TOPIC:  Write a descriptive paragraph on a person, place or thing
of your choice and of interest to you.

  This assignment requires that you write a stand-alone paragraph in the mode of description—to recreate a vivid picture in words of an individual, a scene, or an object.  Read below “WRITING STRATEGIES FOR DESCRIPTIVE PARAGRAPHS,” review Ch. 6  “Description” & Ch. 3 “Composing: Creating a Draft” to remind yourself what it means to write a “descriptive paragraph.”   Within these requirements, you are free to choose your topic—so make the most of your freedom and choose a topic that interests you!  You will want to engage and interest your WR 20 readers in your writing—but if you are interested in your topic and engaged in what you are writing, we are very likely to catch your mood and become interested because you are!  Some topic ideas are given Ch. 6 and/or suggested by the example descriptive paragraphs in Ch. 6.

See previous Paragraph Directions handouts for advice on Generating Ideas through Pre-Writing, Composing and Organizing your paragraph, and Considering your audience.


·        Describe a person, place or thing to create a dominant impression or a single main idea, to be expressed in a clear topic sentence. 

·        Try to create a picture in words, with descriptive detail and vivid word choice that appeal to the reader’s senses (taste, touch, sight, sound, smell, movement).  Combine objective and subjective description, describing clearly the object, place, or person, as well as your feelings and impressions about that object, place, or person.  You may also wish to use comparisons or note changes in the subject’s form or condition.

·        Organize your description logically, which usually means in spatial order and/or from a distinct point of view.  What is seen/shown depends how things are located in space, who is doing the seeing and from what perspective.  Use transitional words and phrases that signal spatial and other relationships among the parts described, and that connect the parts to the main idea or dominant impression [i.e. topic sentence/s]of the description.

·        Select & include specific details that create or emphasize your main impression or point (as expressed in your topic sentence/s); then make sure everything in your paragraph belongs (paragraph unity) because it contributes to the dominant impression or main idea (topic sentence) of your description.

Cora's Fall 2001 WR 20 Syllabus | Course Plan |
Assignments are being webposted after they are discussed in class.
WR 20 Course Home Page

You are here ~ Paragraph #3 (Description) ~ Fall 2001
URL of this webpage: http://www.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/wr20/p3description.htm 
Last updated: 12 August 2002

This webpage is maintained by Cora Agatucci, Professor of English,
Humanities Department, Central Oregon Community College
I welcome comments: cagatucci@cocc.edu
© Cora Agatucci, 1997-2001
Cora's Home Page | Current ScheduleCora's Classes | CopyrightSite Map

For problems with this web, contact webmaster@cocc.edu