FOR 2nd YEAR BACALAUREATE STUDENTS
By: Mubarak Abdessalami
Descriptive paragraphs, on the other hand, are quite tougher for average students to write because they are based essentially on personal observation. Accordingly they necessitate a bunch of colourful vocabulary so as to draw the image perfectly well for the reader to “see” what or who you are describing. Moreover description requires a lot of artistry and details, mostly sensory, to help the reader create a vivid mental picture. For this reason, students need to own a relatively large repertoire of quality adjectives and a certain level of originality.
In addition to that, the students must also master the description techniques. They have to picture their subject in such a bright way that no confusion is probable. Every detail is important to depict with care so that for the paragraph to be clear, impressive and almost alive. You may probably know that description is what makes most novels and stories motivating, understandable and enjoyable.
To describe a person is to imagine him or her first. This person has to be a little particular so that you make your paragraph motivating. The person described should be a famous one or a very particular man with special qualities. He or she may also be so funny that your paragraph depicts the person as a caricature. You can also describe a very common man, but this won’t be impressive, I’m afraid unless you have something original to illustrate about him. You normally need to stimulate or excite the readers by giving them enough solid reasons to urge them to go on reading the paragraph.
At school you might be asked to describe your best friend for instance. Certainly you have one. So think of one with a particular quality and put his or her name in the circle and start writing down any word that comes through your mind about him or her in the way it comes: (profile, appearance, hair, eyes, clothes, qualities etc). Don’t just start thinking if a word or an idea is appropriate for your subject or not. Leave this action for a next stage of your writing process. Am I clear enough?
The most important questions which need answers in a descriptive paragraph are normally in the following order..
You may want to mention his or her job, hobbies and so on but only if you are sure they serve your purpose excitingly well. Your judgement whether what you write might interest your readers or not, can have an impact on your composition. So you have to be cautious. However, the most important thing is to find a strong reason why you have chosen this person in particular. For example, if you are asked to describe your best friend or the most amiable member of your family, you have to think about what make them "best" and "amiable". This would help a lot in creating a stimulus for you to write well and for the readers to enjoy reading your product.
This is just a quickly formulated sample of how your final spider gram might look like. (For more vocabulary, see below) Once you have gone through this stage successfully, you move to the next step. You start gathering your ideas into groups of common features just like in the example below.
In this stage, only relevant ideas and words are to be kept. It is not necessary to use all the ideas on the spider-gram. Likewise, it is not obligatory to stick to the spider-gram. You must be at the same time selective and resourceful. You should cast away the unrelated, the irrelevant or the weak ideas so as to ovoid repetition or redundancy. You still can do more omitting, replacing or rectifying in your editing stage but for the time being, be careful about your material and the diversity and richness of your vocabulary. This method has an additional benefit that is it makes your list a basis on which you can generate more words and build a backup list. This is for advanced levels but as for now; let’s keep up with our simple approach.
The following example will give you an idea about how you get rid of unwanted or irrelevant material.
Organization is half the work. Not only must you care about vocabulary and descriptive adornments, but you must care more about the design of your work. In order not to drop important details, you must plan your paragraph on a separate sheet of paper. The outcome is almost as follows.
This organization helps a lot to clearly visualize what you’re planning to do. However, if you want to save time and effort, you can just organize your ideas this way.
My best friend Dave is the most brilliant student in our school. He is a student. He is young. He is tall. He is slim. He is very frail. He has an oval skinny face. He has long straight black hair. He has small blue eyes. He puts on glasses. He wears casual clothes. He is handsome and elegant. My friend Dave is optimistic. He is an east-going and extroverted person but he is the smartest of us all.
My best friend Dave is the most brilliant student in our school. He is a tall young boy. He looks slim and too frail for his age. He has an oval face with long straight black hair and small blue eyes. He puts on glasses. He always looks elegant and comfortable in his casual clothes, jeans and T-shirts. He doesn't care much about fashion. My friend Dave is an east-going and an extroverted person still he is the smartest of us all.
I hope this paper will give you more confidence to conquer your reluctance and fear from this nightmare named writing and start training. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. You can’t be perfect from the first try. It is by practicing regularly that you can amaze yourself by how much potentials you have got. Stop hesitating and make the first step, but be patient.