Descriptive language

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  • Created by: Elca
  • Created on: 20-04-15 20:43

Descriptive language makes text interesting

1) Writers use descriptive techniques so that the reader gets a really clear image in their head of what the writer's describing. It makes the text more interesting, dramatic and real. 

2) Descriptive language includes imagery such as metaphors, similes and personification. 

3) Writers often give descriptions based on their five senses. 

4) Another sign of descriptive language is when the writer uses lots of adjectives - describing words like 'huge' or 'fiery' that give a specific impression of something. This technique is known as story-telling style. Example - After the dreary, grey sheet of rain had swept over the land, the parched, sun-baked fields transformed into a fertile, emerald-green valley. 

5) Writers can also build up the description of something throughout their work. For example, they might do this by writing sentences with contrasting descriptions or descriptions that agree with each other. That way, more detail is added to the description as you read each sentence. 

6) The way a piece of writing is structured can also help to develop description. Lots of simple, short sentences create a fast-paced, exciting description. Longer, more complicated sentences mean descriptions are built up slowly, more gently and with lots of detail. 

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Write about descriptive language like this

The writer uses descriptive language to show the effect of the rain on the African landscape. In the first part of the sentence he uses adjectives such as 'dreary' and 'grey' to describe the rain. This creates a downbeat, unhappy image. He reinforces this impression by going on to describe the land as being 'parched' and the fields 'sun-baked'. The writer then contrasts these images with the 'fertile, emerald-green valley' that has been created. This allows the reader to picture in his or her own mind just how dramatic the changes that the rains bring are. Perhaps the writer is trying to show, through the contrast of negative images with positive images, that the time after the rains are a time of great joy. 

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Metaphors and similes are comparisons

Metaphors and similes describe one thing by comparing it to something else. Writers use them to create a picture in the reader's mind. 

Metaphors describe something by saying that it is something else. 

Example - Suddenly we were in the middle of the war zone. I tried to run but my feet were blocks of concrete. 

Similes describe something by saying that it's like something else. They usually use the words as or like. 

Example - Sitting on my balcony, the humid Italian air clings to my skin like a warm, wet blanket. 

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Write about metaphors like this

The journalist uses a metaphor when reporting from the war zone. "I tried to run but my feet were blocks of concrete". This shows that he was paralysed with fear and was unable to flee, which gives the reader a sense of the reporter's panic at being in such a frightening situation. I think the use of this metaphor makes the description really effective because it helps the readers to empathise with the journalist. 

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Write about similes like this

The writer uses a simile when describing the humid weather in Italy. By comparing the air to a 'warm, wet blanket', the reader can really feel just how unpleasantly damp and sticky the air is. 

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Quickthinker 100


Try the ' Creative Writing companion' APP on IPAD - Excellent! - puts the sensory adjectives in context !

Also helps with sentence starters and settings , verbs etc

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