Descriptive Essay

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Prof. Jessica Denzer
BMCC English 101: Composition 1 Homework: Unit 1
Essay One: Descriptive Essay
Due: September 18th, 2015
Required Paper Length: 5 pages
All essays and research papers must be typed using the following format: double spaced, 12 point
font, Times New Roman, 1 inch margins. All papers must include a header with your name, the
course title, and the date in the left top hand corner of the first page. All papers must include page
numbers at the bottom right corner, and all hard copies must be stapled. ALL PAPERS MUST
HAVE A TITLE that appears on the first page. All papers must adhere to MLA format.
You must email me a copy of your paper by the start of class on Monday Sept. 14th,
and bring a hard copy of your paper to class.
So far in class you have read several essays that use heavy description in order to explain
an idea, a state of mind, an object, a place, or something in nature. You can describe
something in many different ways. You can use details. You can use imagery and
elaborate language. You can compare the thing you are describing with something else.
When describing a scene, you can act as an observer, listing to every detail in the scene
so that the reader gets an exact and clear view of what is happening. There are many
different ways to use description as a tool in writing an essay.
A Descriptive Essay is an essay asking you to describe something – putting into writing a
particular scene, experience, or idea in a way that allows the reader to see and feel what
you are writing about, as well as indentify the reasons why you are writing about your
particular subject.
Your assignment is to write a descriptive essay about one of the three things:
•
•
•
Something in Nature (Annie Dillard’s Living Like Weasels)
An idea or state of mind (Rilke and Didion)
An object (Eula Biss’ Time and Distance Overcome)
Your paper must describe your subject in detail and link it to a larger concept (i.e.
ideological, historical, political). For example, Annie Dillard links the weasel and her
experience in the woods to the larger idea of living by necessity, “to stalk your calling.”
You must use one of the readings we have read in class to support your argument and you
must have a research component. The research component must directly relate to your
topic and you must use MLA citations, bibliography, and format.
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