- (1) Pleasant/Unpleasant Description of the Place: (350-450 words in length)
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. 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: (This analysis should be at least 400-500 words in length)
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.
- (3) Reflection: (one to two paragraphs)
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?