this is required for this paper.
1. Pleasant/Unpleasant Description of the Place: Choose a place you can observe for an extended period of time (at least 20-30 minutes). Use all of your senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, even taste if possible) to experience the place, and record all of the sensations that you experience. As you record your data, you may wish to note which details naturally seem more positive, negative, or neutral, in terms of tone. (For instance, a stinky and overflowing trash barrel swarming with flies in a nearby alley might seem more inherently negative than a little white bunny rabbit hopping playfully across the lawn.) Then, you will use this information to help your write descriptions of the place: one positive, one negative. Both descriptions should be factually true (same real time and real place), but you will want one description to be positive in terms of tone and the other to be negative. In addition to including the information and sensory details you’ve collected as the basis for these descriptions, you will also use the Writer’s Toolbox to create your two contrasting impressions for this assignment. (The Writer’s Toolbox is explained in the Lecture Notes section of this unit.) As you revise and refine your descriptions, please be sure you are “showing” your readers your place (really putting the readers “there” in the moment and in this scene), rather than simply “telling” them about it. You will also want to try to eliminate unnecessary linking verbs as much as you can, incorporating verbs that show “action” whenever possible.
2. Rhetorical Analysis: Looking back at your descriptions, analyze how you created these two very different impressions of the place (one positive, one negative) without changing any of the facts. How did you make your place seem so positive in one paragraph and yet so negative in the other paragraph, without changing the facts? Discuss how you incorporated each of the tools from the Writer’s Toolbox, and cite examples of this from each of your descriptions. (This analysis should be at least 400-500 words in length.)
3. Reflection: In one to two paragraphs, consider at least one of the following questions: What have you learned about writing through this assignment? How might you apply this knowledge? Has this process of using the Writer’s Toolbox affected your vision of various information media–for instance, television and print news sources, magazines, etc.? If so, how so?
The following is a student example of the first portion of this assignment:
â€œNatureâ€™s Call at Pillsbury Crossingâ€
Natureâ€™s beauty surrounds me. On a calm, mostly sunny day, the bristles the leaves as if they were applauding the breath of the land. Green, yellow, and brown hues sparkle in the warm sunlight, offering a mosaic reflection on the water. A short waterfall branches like a limb from the pond, whisking the water down into a misty creek. The clear water rushes through the mossy rocks and falls, creating a soothing melody.
Different bugs whistle and chant around me, voicing their opinions and contributing to the symphony of nature. The tall sunflowers rise by the water, trying best to place their roots so they are not washed away when natureâ€™s cool drink falls again. Two young people sit in inflatable chairs, drifting above the crystal clear water. Their shoes are off, and they dip their toes in the pondâ€™s relieving temperature. They bathe in the sun like flowers in the springtime, soaking all of the sunâ€™s warm, crisp rays. Short blasts of relieving wind soothe the skin and the backs of their necks. They sit and enjoy the day as the sun passes through the clouds, absorbing all the comforting rays before the sun is whisked away.
â€œGrim Times at Pillsbury Crossingâ€
Death has had her way here. On a partly cloudy day at the end of the tropical summer, the withering leaves fall from a dried tree that has been suffocated by days of countless painful sun rays. The gust swishes again and brings more brown leaves to their final resting place on the cracked ground. A waterfall sits not far from the leaf cemetery, filled with rotting garbage decaying to the roots of the hungry plants. As bugs swarm, a bright flash of lightning sparks the distant sky, serving as a warning for nature to take cover. Thunder bangs through the clouds like a cannon, echoing off the hills of the horizon. The old, moldy stench stealthily slithers in before the rain droplets hit the floodplain. All of nature will get their drink, but most will drown in the water to cover the fractured land.
Hereâ€™s a student example of the second portion of this assignment. (This is the same student who focused on Pillsbury Crossing in his positive and negative descriptions.)
I chose Pillsbury Crossing for my descriptions in this paper. I enjoyed writing about Pillsbury Crossing because it seemed to offer many positive and negatives, and I had never been there before. This allowed me to record my own first impressions, both pleasant and unpleasant. The floodplain is very peaceful, yet it is scarred by humankindâ€™s misuse of the nature park.
I wrote my first sentence as an overt statement which explained the mood of the rest of the paragraph. For my pleasant impression, I stated â€œNatureâ€™s beauty surrounds me,â€ emphasizing the beauty on can find in a place such as this. In contrast, for my negative impression, I wrote â€œDeath has had her way here.â€ The notion of death immediately makes the tone grim and unpleasant, even though death is also a fundamental aspect of the natural world.
With my tone clearly established, I next had to consider my word choice very carefully. In order to show the reader what I experienced, I had to choose words that fit the mood of the description as set by my overt statements of meaning. In my pleasant description, I discuss the sunâ€™s rays and how they are â€œcrispâ€ and â€œrelieving.â€ These words make the sunâ€™s rays seem pleasant and positive; however, in the negative description, the sunâ€™s rays were â€œhazardous.â€ This description emphasizes the fact that the sunâ€™s rays can be harmful and dangerous. I also describe the leaves in both paragraphs. While the leaves were colorful, reflecting â€œgreen, yellow, and brown huesâ€ in my positive description, they were â€œwitheringâ€ and falling to the ground to create a leaf â€œcemeteryâ€ in my negative description. This helps maintain the mood of each of my respective paragraphs.
I also left out details from certain paragraphs to keep the mood and tone consistent. In my pleasant description, I omitted the observation of garbage â€œdecaying to the roots of hungry plants.â€ I did not include the garbage in my pleasant paragraph because it did not fit into my description of the gorgeous scenery. If I had included the garbage and trash in the positive paragraph, the reader would picture a nice place filled with a bunch of filthy waste. This is not what I wanted. In the unpleasant impression, I left out how the bugs whistled and chanted. By simple describing them as â€œswarmingâ€ and omitting the beauty of their sounds, the bugs seem to be only an annoyance in the negative paragraph.
Similes and metaphors were helpful as well, allowing me to create an impression that nature was either alive and comforting or dead and disturbing. In the pleasant description, I wanted the impression to be welcoming and lively, so I wrote â€œthe wind bristles the leaves as if they were applauding the breath of the land.â€ I wanted to make Mother Nature have a personality. By using similes like â€œsymphony of nature,â€ it gives Mother Nature a graceful, caring attitude, which makes the description seem more pleasant. In the negative paragraph, I compare thunder to a cannon, â€œechoing off the hills of the horizon.â€ This portrays thunder as a menacing force, roaring through the landscape, making Mother Nature seem mean, stingy, and threatening.
Throughout my descriptions, I also paid attention to sentence structure. I start each paragraph with a short, tell sentence, to make sure the reader knows exactly what impression I have of this place. â€œNatureâ€™s beauty surrounds meâ€ contrasts sharply with â€œDeath has had her way here.â€ In the rest of the paragraph, I used longer sentences, which allowed me to truly show the reader my place. For instance, in the sentence â€œDifferent bugs whistle and chant around me, voicing their opinions and contributing to the symphony of nature,â€ I state the object being described, describe it, and try to elaborate as much as possible.
14 hours ago