Purpose: To write a descriptive essay about a place you know well, either from memory or observation.
To practice writing creative nonfiction. “The aim is to write descriptively, and to help readers see this place in their mind’s eye and understand some of the significance of the place” (Course Syllabus).
● Professional Value: Attention to detail matters in many professions, whether the profession requires much writing or not. Design work, such as urban planning, seems to require much attention to layout and visual detail; and, presumably, written proposals prior to completing the work. This assignment relates to the professional value of “attention to detail,” by requiring careful attention to language. Use active verbs rather than passive ones or versions of “to be.” Prompt: Choose a place you have lived, currently live, or are able to directly observe. This place may be a state, city, town, suburb, or even a specific location. For example, consider the following three topics: ● An essay about “Alabama” as a place from someone who has lived in two or three different parts of Alabama or visited many places in it. ● An essay about a pizza restaurant in Huntsville by someone whose parents owned the restaurant as they were growing up. ● An essay about the ‘character’ of a major city, like Detroit, based on the experience of someone who lives or has lived there. The goal is to write a descriptive piece, helping readers to get a sense of what it’s like to live in this place or spend time there. You are allowed to write in the first person. You are allowed to do research, but make sure the piece is not “mere information” about the place. It should not be about a place you have never seen, visited, or spent time in. Length: Each rough draft should exceed 4 pages double-spaced in Times New Roman with 12 point font and regular margins for MLA style papers. The final draft should be between 4 and 6 pages.
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