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Reviewer in English

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  • Pages: 24
  • Word count: 5902
  • Category: Logic

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In order to knock the verbal section of your standardized test or even the reading portion of your test in school right out of the ballpark, you need to know what an inference is, first. An inference is an assumption made based on specific evidence. We make inferences all the time in real life. For instance, your girlfriend might say to you, “Nice hair,” and you could make the inference that she is being rude because she was smirking when she said it. In life, it’s pretty easy to infer the implied meaning – the meaning not stated directly – because you can use context clues like body language, tone, and gestures to help you get the real meaning. Inferences In Real Life

Inferences aren’t wicked devices crafted by reading teachers to make your life miserable. All sorts of people use inferences in both their daily and professional lives all the time. Doctors make inferences when they diagnose conditions. They take a peek at X-rays, MRIs, observations and communication with the patient for evidence that will lead them to a diagnosis. Crime scene investigators make inferences when they follow clues like fingerprints, DNA, and footprints to find out how and when the crime was committed. Mechanics make inferences when they run diagnostics, tinker around in the engine, and chat with you about how your car is acting to figure out what’s wrong under the hood. Likewise, you infer things all the time. If someone stares angrily at you from the rearview mirror and mimics yelling when you’re stopped behind them at a red light, you might come to the conclusion that you’ve offended him or her while driving in some way. If a woman is pushing a covered stroller down the street, you’d probably infer that there’s a baby in the stroller. Inferences and Guessing

Although an inference is a guess, it’s an educated one. It’s based on evidence and support only. If you’re inferencing correctly, you will only be able to come to just a few possible conclusions based on the support, and from there, you’ll have to choose the most likely. For instance, in the cases above, the person staring at you angrily in the car may just be insane. You may not have done anything to anger him or her. Or, he or she could be yelling at someone in the backseat whom you missed in your first observation. The woman pushing the stroller could be wheeling around an old dog. Or, she could be pushing an empty stroller in order to throw her shopping bags in there instead of carrying them. It’s up to you to determine, however, what is the most likely inference and go with it based on all the supporting details and your own logic. Making an Inference on a Test

The writers of reading comprehension tests love to ask inference questions. If you’re taking a reading test, you will know you’ll need to practice your inferencing skills when you see a question like one of these: * “According to the passage, we can reasonably infer…”

* “Based on the passage, it could be suggested that…”
* “Which of the following statements is best supported by the passage?” * “The passage suggests that this primary problem…”
An inference question will often use the words “suggest” or “infer” right in the tag. And since you’re educated about what an inference is and what it is NOT, you’ll understand that you’re to come to a conclusion based on the evidence or support presented in the passage. Step 1: Identify an Inference Question

First, you’ll need to determine whether or not you’re actually being asked to make an inference on a reading test. The most obvious questions will have the words “suggest,” “imply” or “infer” right in the tag like these: * “According to the passage, we can reasonably infer…”

* “Based on the passage, it could be suggested that…”
* “Which of the following statements is best supported by the passage?” * “The passage suggests that this primary problem…”
* “The author seems to imply that…”
Some questions, however, will not come right out and ask you to infer. You’ll have to actually infer that you need to make an inference about the passage. Sneaky, huh? Here are a few that require inferencing skills, but don’t use those words exactly. * “With which of the following statements would the author most likely agree?” * “Which of the following sentences would the author most likely use to add additional support to paragraph three?” Step 2: Trust the Passage

Now that you’re certain you have an inference question on your hands, and you know exactly what an inference is, you’ll need to let go of your prejudices and prior knowledge and use the passage to prove that the inference you select is the correct one. Inferences on a multiple-choice exam are different from those in real life. Out in the real world, if you make an educated guess, your inference could still be incorrect. But on a multiple-choice exam, your inference will be correct because you’ll use the details in the passage to prove it. You have to trust that the passage offers you the truth in the setting of the test, and that one of the answer choices provided is correct without stepping too far outside the realm of the passage. Step 3: Hunt for Clues

Your third step is to start hunting for clues – supporting details, vocabulary, character’s actions, descriptions, dialogue, and more – to prove one of the inferences listed below the question. Take this question, for example: Based on the information in the passage, it could be suggested that the narrator believes Elsa’s prior marriages to be:

A. uncomfortable, but well-suited to Elsa
B. satisfactory and dull to Elsa
C. cold and damaging to Elsa
D. awful, but worth it to Elsa
The widow Elsa was as complete a contrast to her third bridegroom, in everything but age, as can be conceived. Compelled to relinquish her first marriage after her husband died in the war, she married a man twice her years to whom she became an exemplary wife despite their having nothing in common, and by whose death she was left in possession of a splendid fortune, though she gave it away to the church. Next, a southern gentleman, considerably younger than herself, succeeded to her hand, and carried her to Charleston, where, after many uncomfortable years, she found herself again a widow.

It would have been remarkable if any feeling had survived through such a life as Elsa’s; it could not but be crushed and killed by the early disappointment of her first groom’s demise, the icy duty of her second marriage, and the unkindness of her third husband, which had inevitably driven her to connect the idea of his death with that of her comfort. To find clues that point to the correct answer, look for descriptions that would support those first adjectives in the answer choices. Here are some of the descriptions of her marriages in the passage: * “…she became an exemplary wife despite their having nothing in common…” * “…after many uncomfortable years, she found herself again a widow.” * “…the icy duty of her second marriage and the unkindness of her third husband which had inevitably driven her to connect the idea of his death with that of her comfort.” Step 4: Narrow Down the Choices

The last step to making a correct inference on a multiple-choice test is to narrow down the answer choices. Using the clues from the passage, we can infer that nothing much was “satisfactory” to Elsa about her marriages, which gets rid of Choice B. Choice A is also incorrect, because although the marriages certainly seem uncomfortable based on the clues, they were not well-suited to her as she had nothing in common with her second husband and wanted her third husband to die. Choice D is also incorrect, because nothing is stated or implied in the passage to prove that Elsa believed her marriages to be worth it in some way; in fact, we can infer that it wasn’tworth it to her at all because she gave away the money from her second husband. So, we have to believe that Choice C is the best – the marriages were cold and damaging. The passage states explicitly that her marriage was an “icy duty” and her third husband was “unkind.” We also know that they were damaging because her feelings had been “crushed and killed” by her marriages. “Determining the author’s purpose in writing the selection” Why You Need to Know Author’s Purpose

Most standardized tests have a reading comprehension section, and in most of those, you’ll be called upon to answer questions about the author’s purpose, along with other concepts like main idea, vocabulary in context, inferences and more. If you have no idea what author’s purpose means you’re going to have a hard time finding it, huh? Author’s Purpose Practice

Author’s Purpose Basics
The author’s purpose is basically the reason he or she chose to act in a particular way, whether that’s writing the passage, selecting a phrase, using a word, etc. It differs from the main idea in that author’s purpose not the point you’re supposed to get; it’s the why behind the author picked up a pen or selected those words in the first place. If you’re trying to determine the author’s purpose on a standardized test, your question may look something like this: 1. The author most likely mentions the Depression in lines 33 – 34 to: A. identify the primary purpose for Social Security.

B. criticize FDR’s adoption of a program that would run out of money. C. contrast the effectiveness of the Social Security Program with that of family care. D. list another factor that contributed to the need for the Social Security Program. Author’s Purpose Key Words

There are a few key words associated with the author’s purpose. If you can master these bad boys, then you’ll have a much easier time answering those reading comprehension questions on your next standardized test, mostly because these key words are often used in those questions! Bonus! * Compare: Author wanted to show similarities between ideas * Contrast: Author wanted to show differences between ideas * Criticize: Author wanted to give a negative opinion of an idea * Describe/Illustrate: Author wanted to paint a picture of an idea * Explain: Author wanted to break down an idea into simpler terms * Identify/List: Author wanted to tell the reader about an idea or series of ideas * Intensify: Author wanted to make an idea greater

* Suggest: Author wanted to propose an idea
How to Find the Author’s Purpose
Knowing what author’s purpose questions look like is one thing. Finding it is quite another! On a standardized test, you’ll have answer choices to help you figure it out, but distractor questions will often confuse you. On a short answer test, you’ll have nothing but your own brain to figure it out, and sometimes it isn’t as easy at it seems. Author’s Purpose Practice

Look For Clue Words To Find Author’s Purpose
Figuring out why an author wrote a particular passage can be as easy (or as difficult) as looking at clues inside the passage. I’ve mentioned in the “What is the Author’s Purpose” article several different reasons an author would have to write a passage of text, and what those reasons mean. Below, you’ll find those reasons, with the clue words associated with them. * Compare: Author wanted to show similarities between ideas Clue Words: both, similarly, in the same way, like, just as * Contrast: Author wanted to show differences between ideas Clue Words: however, but, dissimilarly, on the other hand

* Criticize: Author wanted to give a negative opinion of an idea Clue Words: Look for words that show the author’s negative opinion. Judgment words like “bad”, wasteful and “poor” all demonstrate negative opinions. * Describe/Illustrate: Author wanted to paint a picture of an idea Clue Words: Look for words that provide descriptive detail. Adjectives like “red”, “lusty”, “morose”, “striped”, “sparkling”, and “crestfallen” are all illustrative. * Explain: Author wanted to break down an idea into simpler terms Clue Words: Look for words that turn a complicated process into simple language. A “descriptive” text will use more adjectives. An “explanatory” text will usually be used with a complicated idea. * Identify/List: Author wanted to tell the reader about an idea or series of ideas Clue Words: Text that identifies or lists, will name an idea or series of ideas without providing much description or opinion. * Intensify: Author wanted to make an idea greater

Clue Words: Text that intensifies will add more specific details to the idea. Look for superlative adjectives and “bigger” concepts. A baby sadly crying is descriptive, but a baby mournfully howling red-cheeked for 30 minutes is more intense. * Suggest: Author wanted to propose an idea

Clue Words: “Suggest” answers are usually positive opinions, and try to sway the reader to believe. The author will provide a point, then use details to prove it. Underline The Clue Words
It helps to use that pencil in your hand when you’re reading if you’re unsure what the author’s purpose is. As you read, underline the clue words in the text to help you get a better idea. Then, either compose a sentence using the key words (compare, explain, illustrate) to show why the author wrote the piece or select the best answer from the choices given.

“Paraphrasing Lines/Passages”
Paraphrasing is the act of using your own words to describe something you’ve read. You can practice paraphrasing by reading a few paragraphs from any book, and then summarizing a section at a time in your own words. You may find it difficult to paraphrase at first. If so, you should start by crafting an outline of the major points. You can then fill in the supporting information “between the lines” of the outline. Why Should You Paraphrase?

You must be able to paraphrase effectively when writing a research paper, to avoid plagiarism. When you conduct research for a term paper, you collect information from several different sources, and synthesize the information into a single essay. You can use quotation marks and a citation to quote certain passages word for word–but you have to quote others sparingly. It is much better to synthesize the information into a passage that contains your own words. You paraphrase when you restate the ideas you pick up from a source. It is a good idea to read a source with a note card and a pen handy. Read over your source in small segments and take notes as you read. This way you can take care to avoid repeating the information word for word. As you write your own essay, use the notes you’ve written to synthesize the source material. But remember that you still need to cite the source–even though you have paraphrased! What is Paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is a restatement of the quotation using your own words. When you paraphrase, you don’t rely on the words of the author of the quotation to create an impact on your readers’ minds. You use your own words. Should one Always Paraphrase?

The answer is no. Your objective as a writer or speaker of a quotation is to make an impact. Evaluate both choices – paraphrase and direct quote. Usually, paraphrasing makes more sense if: * the quotation is long and wordy

* the words in the quotation are not powerful
* the source of the quotation is unknown or dubious
* you are capable of making a good paraphrase without making it seem like plagiarism. Here is an Effective Method of Paraphrasing a Quotation:

* Carefully read the original quotation and make sure to understand its central theme. * Note down anything that grabs your attention. If you feel that some element (word, phrase, thought) contributes to the central theme of the quotation, make a note of it. * Write a paraphrase in your own words. Meticulously avoid using the original words, phrases, and expression. At the same time, make sure that your words convey the same central theme. * If you need to use an interesting word or phrase from the original text, use quotation marks to indicate that it is not your own. * Cite the author, the source, and the date given in the text to credit the owner of the quotation. Remember: Though the words of the paraphrase are your own, the thought behind it isn’t. To not mention the author’s name is plagiarism.

What is a Bad Paraphrase?
A bad paraphrase is one in which you simply substitute certain words with their synonyms, while maintaining the structure of the original quotation. To write a good paraphrase, borrow only the idea conveyed by the author. Express the sentiment in your own words, in your own way. How does a Paraphrase Differ from a Summary?

To the untrained eye, a paraphrase and a summary may look alike. However, * A summary is an abridged version of the original text.
* A paraphrase can be shorter or longer than the original text. * A summary eliminates details, examples, and supporting points. * A paraphrase describes the original text in different words. It does not omit details.

Paraphrasing Sentences
Here are some sentences that have been paraphrased:
* Original: Her life spanned years of incredible change for women. * Paraphrase: Mary lived through an era of liberating reform for women.
* Original: Giraffes like Acacia leaves and hay and they can consume 75 pounds of food a day. * Paraphrase: A giraffe can eat up to 75 pounds of Acacia leaves and hay every day.  * Original: Any trip to Italy should include a visit to Tuscany to sample their exquisite wines. * Paraphrase: Be sure to include a Tuscan wine-tasting experience when visiting Italy.

“Deducing the meaning of idiomatic expression”
An idiomatic expression is an expression whose meaning cannot be translated literally from one language into another. Native speakers of English are able to deduce the figurative meaning of the expression “It’s raining cats and dogs.” For non-native speakers of English, this expression can be puzzling, if not downright scary! In order to understand the expression and others like it, a person must develop an understanding of the culture in which it is used. Idioms exist in every language. An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally, like “bought the farm” has nothing to do with purchasing real estate, but refers to dying. Idiom also refers to a dialect or jargon of a group of people, either in a certain region or a group with common interests, like in science, music, art, or business. Common Idioms

Some idioms are used by most people that speak English; others are used by a more select group. Common idioms that refer to people include:
* A chip on your shoulder – means you think you know a lot * High as a kite – means you are drunk or on drugs
* Sick as a dog – means you are very ill
Idioms that refer to your actions would be:
* Rub someone the wrong way – meaning to annoy or bother
* Jump the gun – would mean to be doing something early
* Pay the piper – means you need to face the consequences of your actions Some idioms use color words to convey other meanings. For example, there are several that use the word “blue:” * “The blues” can refer to both a style of music and feeling sad. * If something occurs rarely, it is said to happen “once in a blue moon”, because a blue moon is two full moons in one month, which doesn’t happen often. * “Out of the blue” means something happens that was unexpected. Learning a Language with Idioms

Because of idioms, learning a language can be complicated. After you can conjugate verbs, and know a lot of words, you may still have difficulty speaking the language with native users. This is partly due to the use of idioms and would also depend of which region of a country you were in. Idiom usage is not just regional, but also varies according to people’s interests and social groups. The best way to pick up on the meaning of certain idioms would be to converse with people and ask them for a clarification of the idiom if you are not clear about the idiom they used. There are also sites on the Internet which will help explain the meaning of idioms. Idioms Around the Globe

There are certain things that happen in every culture and there are idioms to deal with them. * In Norwegian and Czech, “walking around hot porridge” refers to beating around the bush, which is also an idiom meaning not getting to the point. * If you are in Italy or Turkey and you say you are “as hungry as a wolf” then you are starving. If it is raining in large amounts, most cultures have an interesting way of saying that: * In English, it would be “raining cats and dogs”

* In Africa, they might say “it’s raining old women with clubs” * Many languages refer to heavy rain as coming in buckets or as rain coming out of a bucket. * In Norway they say “it’s raining female trolls”

* The Irish say “it’s throwing cobblers knives”
Comparing idioms between countries can also be interesting:
* In Finnish, “with long teeth” means you are doing something that you really don’t want to do * In French, “to have long teeth” means you are ambitious. The key to understanding the local idioms is to listen carefully and to ask questions of local speakers. Idioms In the Arts

There are many idioms in the field of music.
* If you “fine tune” something, you make small improvements to it. * “Changing your tune” means changing your mind.
* If you are “whistling Dixie” or “whistling in the dark” you are overly positive about something. * If you try and make a decision too early without knowing all the facts, people may tell you that “it’s not over ‘till the fat lady sings.” Drama and dance have idioms, too, like:

* “Break a leg” means good luck.
* If you are a “ham” you overact.
* If you say, “it takes two to tango” you mean that more than one person is at fault or involved. * If you “tap dance” your way out of a sticky situation, then that implies that you get out of it in a clever way. * Being “in the spotlight” means you are the center of attention. Remember, a group of people with shared interests such as the arts or business will have their own idioms. As with all idioms it will be easier to understand the idioms if you concentrate on what are being said and ask questions about the meanings of the idioms.

leave out in the cold — exclude by omission
put all my eggs in one basket — over-specialize, place too much reliance on one source have other fish to fry — other things to do, other interests to pursue sell like hotcakes — really “go over” in a big way

blow one’s own horn — brag, boast
be in the limelight — get lots of attention
rob Peter to pay Paul — use your rent money to make a car payment a broken reed — someone you cannot lean on (depend upon)
leave no stone unturned — search everywhere
rode hard and put away wet — exhausted and disheveled
so hungry I could eat a horse — very hungry
rich as Croesus — very wealthy
as old as dirt — very old
wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve — show one’s emotions plainly look at the world through rose colored glasses — be overly-optimistic and trusting close the door on it; put paid to it — finish with something (or someone) she’s a basket case — she’s totally devastated

put the bite on me — asked me for money
flogging a dead horse — pursuing a lost cause
when all is said and done — at the end
in the final analysis — at the end, after all

“Identifying Cohesive Devices”

A key quality of an effective paragraph is unity. A unified paragraph sticks to one topic from start to finish, with every sentence contributing to the central purpose and main idea of that paragraph. But a strong paragraph is more than just a collection of loose sentences. Those sentences need to be clearly connected so that readers can follow along, recognizing how one detail leads to the next. A paragraph with clearly connected sentences is said to be cohesive. The following paragraph is unified and cohesive. Notice how the italicized words and phrases (called transitions) guide us along, helping us see how one detail leads to the next. Why I Don’t Make My Bed

Ever since I moved into my own apartment last fall, I have gotten out of the habit of making my bed–except on Fridays, of course, when I change the sheets. Although some people may think that I am a slob, I have some sound reasons for breaking the bed-making habit. In the first place, I am not concerned about maintaining a tidy bedroom because no one except me ever ventures in there. If there is ever a fire inspection or a surprise date, I suppose I can dash in there to fluff up the pillow and slap on a spread. Otherwise, I am not bothered. In addition, I find nothing uncomfortable about crawling into a rumpled mass of sheets and blankets.

On the contrary, I enjoy poking out a cozy space for myself before drifting off to sleep. Also, I think that a tightly made bed is downright uncomfortable: entering one makes me feel like a loaf of bread being wrapped and sealed. Finally, and most importantly, I think bed-making is an awful way to waste time in the morning. I would rather spend those precious minutes checking my email or feeding the cat than tucking in corners or snapping the spread. Transitional words and phrases guide readers from one sentence to the next. Although they most often appear at the beginning of a sentence, they may also show up after the subject. Here are the common transitional expressions, grouped according to the type of relationship shown by each. 1. Addition Transitions

first, second, third
in addition
in the first place, in the second place, in the third place
to begin with, next, finally

In the first place, no “burning” in the sense of combustion, as in the burning of wood, occurs in a volcano; moreover, volcanoes are not necessarily mountains; furthermore, the activity takes place not always at the summit but more commonly on the sides or flanks; and finally, the “smoke” is not smoke but condensed steam. (Fred Bullard, Volcanoes in History)

2. Cause-Effect Transitions
and so
as a result
for this reason

The ideologue is often brilliant. Consequently some of us distrust brilliance when we should distrust the ideologue. (Clifton Fadiman)
3. Comparison Transitions
by the same token
in like manner
in the same way
in similar fashion

When you start with a portrait and search for a pure form, a clear volume, through successive eliminations, you arrive inevitably at the egg. Likewise, starting with the egg and following the same process in reverse, one finishes with the portrait. (Pablo Picasso)

4. Contrast Transitions
in contrast
on the contrary
on the other hand

Every American, to the last man, lays claim to a “sense” of humor and guards it as his most significant spiritual trait, yet rejects humor as a contaminating element wherever found. America is a nation of comics and comedians; nevertheless, humor has no stature and is accepted only after the death of the perpetrator. (E. B. White)

5. Conclusion and Summary Transitions
and so
after all
at last
in brief
in closing
in conclusion
on the whole
to conclude
to summarize

Reporters are not paid to operate in retrospect. Because when news begins to solidify into current events and finally harden into history, it is the stories we didn’t write, the questions we didn’t ask that prove far, far more damaging than the ones we did. (Anna Quindlen)

6. Example Transitions
as an example
for example
for instance
to illustrate

With all the ingenuity involved in hiding delicacies on the body, this process automatically excludes certain foods. For example, a turkey sandwich is welcome, but the cumbersome cantaloupe is not. (Steve Martin, “How to Fold Soup”)

7. Insistence Transitions
in fact

The joy of giving is indeed a pleasure, especially when you get rid of something you don’t want. (Frank Butler, Going My Way)
8. Place Transitions
farther along
in back
in front
on top of
to the left
to the right

What did it matter where you lay once you were dead? In a dirty sump or in a marble tower on top of a high hill? You were dead, you were sleeping the big sleep, and you were not bothered by things like that. (Raymond Chandler, The
Big Sleep)

9. Restatement Transitions
in other words
in short
in simpler terms
that is
to put it differently
to repeat

Anthropologist Geoffrey Gorer studied the few peaceful human tribes and discovered one common characteristic: sex roles were not polarized. Differences of dress and occupation were at a minimum. Society in other words, was not using sexual blackmail as a way of getting women to do cheap labor, or men to be aggressive. (Gloria Steinem, “What It Would Be Like If Women Win”)

10. Time Transitions
at the same time
in the future
in the meantime
in the past
until now

At first a toy, then a mode of transportation for the rich, the automobile was designed as man’s mechanical servant. Later it became part of the pattern of living. “Predicting Outcome”
The Importance of Making Predictions
Making predictions is more than just guessing what is going to happen next. Predicting helps students become actively involved in reading and helps to keep their interest level high. Some of the other benefits of teaching students to make predictions are: * Helps students to ask questions while they are reading

* Encourages students to skim or re-read portions of the story to better understand it or to recall facts about the characters or events * Provides a way for students to monitor their understanding of the material As students learn predictions skills, they will more fully comprehend what they have read and will retain the information for longer periods of time. Strategies for Teaching Making Predictions

For younger children, look at the pictures before reading the book, including the front and back covers of the book. Have students make predictions on what they think the book is about. For older students, have them read the chapter titles or the first paragraph of a chapter and then guess what will happen in the chapter. Once students have made predictions, read the story or the chapter and after finishing, review the predictions to see if they were correct. Create a prediction diagram. A prediction diagram has blank spaces to write down the clues, or evidence, used to make a prediction and a space to write their prediction. Clues can be found in pictures, chapter titles or in the text itself. A prediction diagram helps students organize the information they read in order to make a prediction. Prediction diagrams can be creative, such as a diagram of a rocky path leading to a castle (each rock has a place for a clue) and the prediction is written in the castle or they can be simple, with clues written on one side of a paper and the prediction written on the other.

Use magazine ads or pictures in a book and make predictions about people. Students write down what they think the person is going to do, what the person is feeling or what the person is like. They can use clues such as facial expression, clothes, body language and surroundings. This exercise helps students understand how much information you can obtain from being observant and looking at everything in the picture. Watch a film and stop it part way through. Ask students to make predictions on what will happen next. Students should be able to explain why they made the prediction. For example, “I think John is going to fall off his bike because he is carrying a box while he is riding and his bike is wobbling.” This exercise helps students to follow the logic of the story to make their predictions rather than just make guesses. Use “What would I do?” techniques. After reading a portion of a story, stop and ask the students to make predictions not about the character but about themselves. What would they do in this situation? How would they react? This exercise helps students to use previous knowledge to make predictions.

“Identifying Sensory Image”
Sensory images are those details in writing that reveal how a situation is physically perceived by the narrator or other character. Details that address the senses — including seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching — help readers to identify with the writing by showing, not telling. They make it easier to visualize the scene being described. Although sensory images are valuable in any writing, they are imperative in descriptive paragraphs.


Create a two-column chart with five rows. Label each block of the left column with a sense — sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.
Choose the topic of the descriptive paragraph. Sensory details are usually better when used to describe something you have personally experienced. Consider how much you desire or are required to write and select a topic based on the idea about which you have the most to say.

Imagine yourself in the scene. What are you seeing? List those details in the right column of the sense chart, beside “sight.” What are you hearing, smelling, tasting and touching? Write that information on the chart, as well, beside its corresponding sense.

Write a draft of your paragraph, incorporating as many of the sensory images as possible. Do not force them into the writing, but add the details as they best fit.
Read the paragraph to check for flow in the writing. If the sensory images are simply plugged into the paragraph form in the same order as they were written on the chart, chances are the sentences will not smoothly transition. Revise as necessary to improve the paragraph’s organization.

Ask friends or family members to read your paragraph and tell you whether or not they can visualize the scene better through your descriptions. If not, ask them specifically what they thought you were lacking, and revise your writing. Since you know what you are trying to describe, sometimes you don’t see what is missing from your own writing.

Edit the paragraph for mistakes in spelling, grammar and punctuation. Tips & Warnings

Although it can be difficult, always try to include some details for each of the five senses. Taste is usually the most difficult, unless you are describing a meal, so you might have to be creative. For example, if you are describing a beach vacation, you might taste the salty air.

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