sense of place or observational essay, English

Expository Writing: Sense of Place or Observational Essay

Writing as observation

Another kind of expository writing is a sense of place or observational essay. This writing focuses on your ability to describe a place, event, or person in a unique or interesting way. State writing assessments want to evaluate your sense of observation and your skills in recording, describing, and organizing information. Knowledge of the 5W who, what, when, where, and why-will help in writing these essays, as well as knowing how to use sensory details in your description.

Be the Camera

As an observer, you are constantly recording and taking notes about your surroundings and environment.Think like a camera taking a snapshot of a special place. What details would you capture in that moment? What makes this place or event unlike any other place or event? You will need to get a sense of using concrete details as opposed to abstract ideas so that your observation will come to life. For example, writing that the beach is lovely is abstract compared to the concrete details of the beach that had golden sand that shone in the sun.Here are some writing prompts that ask you to think concretely:

    Describe a special place from your childhood that was a place of happiness for you

    Illustrate with vivid details the place where you live to a person from another country

    Describe a person you look up to and illustrate how his or her words and actions have impacted your life

    Explain how your room has changed through the years as you have become older

Brainstorming and Prewriting

    Use your personal experience as much as possibly when this is a timed essay. Recall as many specific details as possible in your brainstorming process.

    Know your purpose in writing this essay. The prompt most likely will want you to create an atmosphere or mood about a particular subject. This means that sensory details should be a major part of your prewriting and should appeal to the senses.

    Organize your brainstorming so you get a sense of what is most important to bring out. For example, if you are writing about a favorite aunt, is it more important to say that she works as a secretary or that she has a house full of rare and exotic birds? Think of what is most interesting about the topic and bring this out with particular details.

Organizing Your Essay

    The introduction should include the 5 Ws so that the reader is grounded in a setting and time. The reader will want to know who, what, when, where, and why. Your introduction should encompass all of these, and it should grab the reader attention. Instantly the reader should sense or feel what the atmosphere of the writing will be is this reflective, objective, sarcastic, or happy?

    Body paragraphs should follow in logical order and develop a feeling or mood in the essay. Develop body paragraphs from your brainstorming list that include concrete details and sensory impressions so this place, person, or event comes to life.

    The concluding paragraph should leave the reader feeling that he or she has been taken somewhere unique and different. Even if this place is the grocery store, what makes this store different from all other grocery stores?

    Remember the time element: You only have so much time to convey a sense of place through observations and detail. Focus on your subject and explore it as much as possible in this essay.


Posted Date: 5/2/2013 2:41:08 AM | Location : United States

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