descriptive language techniques
Mitchell, D. (1996). Writing to learn across the curriculum and the English teacher. English Journal, 85, 93-97.
In social studies, descriptive writing can help students describe an important historical figure or event more clearly. Writing rich in detail will create vivid depictions of people and places and help make history come alive.
Although all language is symbolic, literary symbolism usually refers more specifically to the use of objects to represent ideas and emotions. The Eliot poems set for study in Module B are all heavily symbolic. Consider the following example, from the opening of Eliot’s ‘The Hollow Men’:
’We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar.”
In ‘The Sunne Rising” by John Donne, the speaker refers to,
A metaphor or simile helps you take your description to another level by comparing two unlike things to each other as if they were alike. The only difference between them is that similes use the words “like” or “as” (the wind sounded like a moan) and metaphors do not (the wind moaned).
Blue Apron does that on their homepage by comparing their recipes to creating magic. This imagery makes us think that cooking Blue Apron’s recipes must be easy and the food will taste delicious.
First person past.
Create close-up detail, look down from above, pan across the scene.
Example: One popular method of foreshadowing is through partial reveals — the narrator leaves out key facts to prompt readers’ curiosity. Jeffrey Eugenides does this in The Virgin Suicides: “On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide – it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese, the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.”
A euphemism is an indirect, “polite” way of describing something too inappropriate or awkward to address directly. However, most people will still understand the truth about what’s happening.