These worksheets will define descriptive writing and provide exercises and tips for its effective use.

Descriptive writing is used for the purpose of describing a person, place, or thing. This form of writing has a bold appeal to readers when it is used to activate their human senses. This form of writing will often help set an atmosphere that far exceeds the words on the page and almost force the intended audience to form an emotional connection with the piece. The use of sensory language can transform the details of a story from mundane and vague into a vivid heart-pumping vision by the readers. Teachers will often help students become better descriptive writers through modeling and sharing literature of this form. Experience we find is one of the best exercises towards mastering this skill.

Whether writing to inform, persuade, or entertain, authors use descriptive writing to add more rounded characterization, highlight relevant details, and clarify events or examples for the reader. Your students will be provided sheets that examine three uses of writing-in product advertising, describing people and objects, and in reporting on events-and be given several worksheets to complete a similar task. "Tip" sheets are included in each packet for ease of reference. You will find individual work and group work in this section. Students will be forced to think on an additional level with the focus being on developing an extra sense of self and surroundings.

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Printable Descriptive Writing Worksheets

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Brief Overview of This Form of Writing

While many students enjoy descriptive writing, they can sometimes become lost in the details, forgetting that their main goal is not just to report sensory details but to use them to support a main idea and create a consistent overall tone or mood.

Making a Written Advertisement

Writing a successful advertisement often relies on sensory details and vivid imagery; however, it also adds another component: sales.

Example of Written Advertisement

Dual Crown Technology reduces the size of the clubhead's crown while increasing the size of the base to lower the CG; Promotes a higher launch angle and lower spin rate for greater distance

Tips and Checklist for Making a Written Advertisement

Know your audience. What group is being targeted? Consider their ages, likes/dislikes, interests, values, etc. This analysis will help in choosing words and descriptions that can make the product more appealing to the targeted group.

Writing Prompt #1 for Making a Written Advertisement

Examine printed advertisements. Choose one, and write an advertisement for the same product with a different approach.

Writing Prompt #2 for Making a Written Advertisement

Create a product (it could be a spin on an existing one or an original idea), brainstorm about its benefits and targeted audience, and then sell the product with a written advertisement.

Writing Prompt #3 for Making a Written Advertisement

Inspect two ads for the same type of product. Which one is better and why? Rewrite the first one to improve its effectiveness.

Reporting on an Event

This type of writing typically uses chronological order, is generally more objective and journalistic than writing a narrative, and often requires taking notes and talking to people who are involved with the event, including the people attending.

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Example of Reporting on an Event

The following example is a report on the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Tips and Checklist for Reporting on an Event

When writing, give a clear overview of the event, emphasize important quotes and details, and note the most significant elements of the day.

Practice #1 for Reporting on an Event

Find a report on a well-publicized event. Evaluate it based on the previous criteria. What was good? What would you have changed? Why?

Practice #2 for Reporting on an Event

Look through the local paper for community events. After choosing one to attend but before the event occurs, interview at least two key people involved and two people who are also planning to attend.

Description of Person/Object

People watching is an activity that many people enjoy, and it requires observational skills such as noticing body language, clothes, facial expressions, overall appearance, voice, and many others.

Example of Description of Person/Object

The following example of a description of a person is taken from Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path"

Tips and Checklist for Description of Person/Object

Write from a distinct perspective to clarify the topic as well as establish your relationship with it. For example, think describing a hand from a fortune teller's point of view and a manicurist's point of view.

Descriptive Writing Prompt #1 for Description of Person/Object

Choose a person that has made a significant impact on you and write a descriptive paper focusing on him/her. Although you should use visual aspects, focus more on describing other characteristics.

Prompt #2 for Description of Person/Object

What object is most important to you right now? Why? Write a paper describing the object and its significance.

Prompt #3 for Description of Person/Object

Visit the library or another public place. Sit quietly and observe the room. Record as many sensory details as you can. What did you notice that you have previously overlooked?

Writing Prompt #4 for Description of Person/Object

Sit outside with your eyes closed and observe using only your other senses. When you finish, write about how not using one sense affected your ability to observe.