Description Activities


Exercise 1

On a separate sheet of paper, describe the following five items in a short paragraph. Use at least three of the five senses for each description.

  • Night
  • Beach
  • City
  • Dinner
  • Stranger

Exercise 2

On a separate sheet of paper, choose an organizing strategy and then execute it in a short paragraph for three of the following six items:

  • Train station
  • Your office
  • Your car
  • A coffee shop
  • Lobby of a movie theater
  • Mystery Option*

*Mystery Option: Choose an object to describe but do not indicate it. Describe it, but preserve the mystery. Share with a classmate and compare your thoughts on your mystery descriptions. Did your classmate correctly guess your mystery topic? If not, how could your provide more detail to describe it and lead them to the correct conclusion?

Exercise 3

On a separate sheet of paper, choose one of the topics that you started in Exercise 2 and expand it into a five-paragraph essay. Expanding on ideas in greater detail can be difficult. Sometimes it is helpful to look closely at each of the sentences in a summary paragraph. Those sentences can often serve as topic sentences to larger paragraphs.


Adapted from “3.2 Description” of Successful College Composition (3rd Edition), 2019, used according to  CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.



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UNM Core Writing OER Collection Copyright © 2023 by University of New Mexico is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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