For this assignment, pretend you are entering a contest sponsored by a travel magazine. The rules are that readers must read a description of a place and decide whether they would like to visit it or avoid it. The only prohibition for the writer is that he or she must not directly tell the reader whether the place is pleasant or unpleasant. Readers must be able to decide, based solely on the writer’s description.
You must visit the place of your choice (see #1 below) and then, based on your observations only, you must write two descriptions of the same place. Each description must convey a different dominant impression. One description must make the reader want to visit this place, and one description must make the reader want to avoid this place.
To get full credit for this assignment, you must do three things.
- Go to a place of your choice and observe this place for 15-20 minutes, making notes of what you observe. Be sure to use all five senses. Please note: you may not use your home or your yard for this assignment. Some good places are the zoo, a park, a movie theater, a café, a shopping mall. Do not rely on memories of a place you have been to before; this will not fulfill the assignment properly.
- Write two descriptions of this place, each conveying a different dominant impression and each consisting of 125-175 words. Describe only what you observed during your 15-20 minute period.
- Write an analysis of 200-250 words. In your analysis, do the following:
- Explain how you created the differing impressions (what strategies you used). See strategies #2-5 on pages 47-48 for help with this. (Remember, you may not use strategy #1.) Cite specific examples of each strategy you used.
- Identify the most important thing you have learned as a writer from this exercise.
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