You could write an essay about nothing
The description is a type of text that we come across especially in German lessons. The portrayal is a type of description, whereby personal sensations, i.e. feelings and thoughts, are connected with the description of a process or a situation. The essay is therefore subjective and is in the present tense (Presence) as well as written in the first person (see first-person narrator).
As a result, the description is related to numerous types of essays and is similar to the image description, the description of the process and the description of people. In contrast to these forms, it is not about an objective description of a situation or a comprehensive accuracy, but about allowing the future reader to participate in the perception of a situation.
That means, that the description of a situation never has to be complete, but limited to individual sensations. These can be smells, colors or noises, for example. As a result, the description is, so to speak, a snapshot of the situation. This can be compared to a picture taken by a camera that only captures a very specific moment.
Such descriptions are important on the one hand in the German department and on the other hand in connection with a statement about certain events, such as is necessary after an accident or in the case of an eye report. It becomes clear that the signing always has an extraordinary situation as its content and is a mixture of facts and personal feelings.
Note: In this article we would like to explain what preparations should be made, what the structure of the text could look like, what should be considered when writing the description and also give a final example. We will begin with the preparations for writing.
Prepare the description
Regardless of which experience or which specific situation is to be described in the later essay, it makes sense to make some preparations. These can help us not to forget unnecessary details while writing and to avoid unnecessary errors.
- Recall As closely as possible to the relevant situation. Ideally, you should take notes during the experience. You assign these to general terms such as thoughts, feelings, sensory perceptions as well as actual processes or objects and people.
- Note: In German lessons it can happen that you have not actually experienced the corresponding situation, but only received a picture and are then asked to write a fictitious description of an experience on the basis of this picture. Then they write down all the essential features of the picture and sort them according to self-selected categories.
- In order to then go into the key points and generic terms a order to bring it is helpful to sort the whole thing. Here you can either assign the various key points to an object (if there are several objects, for example, you can assign the sensations to them) or they describe the image section from one direction to the other; then arrange the stitch points from left to right or from top to bottom.
- Since a description is always subjective and often works with comparisons and metaphors to make the experience clear to the reader, you can also take initial notes for this. How do you remember individual aspects, what comparisons can be made (Example: The refrigerated shelf was as cold as the Arctic; the colors were screeching) → Stylistic devices.
- Tip: The point is to note down the impressions of a situation. At the fair in front of an amusement park, it could look something like this: lots of people, loud shouting, bright colors, a lot of movement in the crowd, frightened and excited people, scared toddlers, acrid smell, unpleasant touch, crowds, anticipation.
Structure of the description
Once you have made all the preparations, you can actually start writing. First of all, however, we would like to introduce you to a possible structure. This is kept short, as there are hardly any clear guidelines for the structure of the essay form and it depends enormously on your own design.
- Possible structure of a descriptive text
- introduction (short introduction - introductory sentence: what is it about?)
- Description of all feelings on the subject (Feelings, thoughts, observations)
- Lively language is important, it is about decorating the text
- The presented situation should be able to be felt by the reader
- Enough (end the situation, find a fitting conclusion)
- Tip: Describing means that something is clearly told. As a result, it should always be important to describe it vividly and in as much detail as possible. This means that different and appropriate adjectives should be used to make the experience tangible → Character traits (list)
Write a description
It is helpful if you think carefully in advance which aspects you would like to include in the structure presented. If you have a rough idea of how you would like to describe the respective situation, you can now actually start writing the description.
The introduction usually only consists of a single sentence, but can also consist of several concise formulations. This is about embedding the following and letting the reader know where and when the whole thing happened. For example, the introduction could be:"When I was standing in front of the city festival's ghost train, suddenly a man came up to us."
In the main part, the extraordinary situation is now described clearly and tangibly. However, there is no clear order that we can follow. For example, it would be possible to follow the direction of our gaze or the movement. A time sequence is also conceivable.
In the main part you have to decide for yourself which order you use and which is ideally suited for the experience. Depending on which procedure you choose, you can sort the notes you have made beforehand in order to present the individual observations in a meaningful way.
It is important that the first-person form is usually used in a description, since personal experiences are presented and also written in the present tense. Of course, deviations are possible, but in principle this is how it is. In addition, the individual observations do not have to be told in chronological order, which is why you can determine the sequence entirely yourself.
The final part is about to get the reader out of the situation and not to end abruptly, but to end with a final sentence. Here you can briefly outline the possible consequences of the experience. Furthermore, pay attention to a lively way of presentation in the end and decorate the whole thing with lively and strongly descriptive adjectives.
- Does the text have a suitable heading? (short, succinct, interesting)?
- Is the introduction brief and introduces the situation?
- Is the text characterized by numerous sensory impressions so that what is happening can be perceived and understood by the reader? The figure of synesthesia is suitable here.
- Are the selected verbs and adjectives clear and match what is being described?
- The text was written in the present tense and is written from the first person?
- The text is detailed and what is described can be imagined?
In order to clarify what has been described at this point using an example, we would like to describe a visit to the dentist. Using the example, all the elements presented can be understood and identified. The emphasis is on comparisons and metaphors.
I'm sitting in the bright dentist's waiting room. My gaze wanders over the people waiting. The woman on my left is leafing through the magazine with a crackle, breathing heavily and staring at the text through thick glasses. Next to her sits an elderly gentleman who looks toothless in the middle of the bright room and gives off an acrid smell. It smells like my grandmother's brown sofa, only a little more pungent. Another man sits across from him, he is thin as grass in the wind and his slim body moves up and down anxiously. He dreads the upcoming examination.
The waiting room is decorated with numerous pictures; on one, a woman smiles at the waiting patients and is framed by two landscape photographs. The rest is art - abstract lines, screeching colors, wild dots that stand in stark contrast to the rest of the cold atmosphere.
A voice immediately sounds tinny and calls out my name. That's what I've been waiting for, but I'm scared too. The shrill sound of the drill in the last few minutes hasn't changed that either. I get up and step into glistening white. My dentist and his young assistant greet me. I can't understand the exact wording because the blood rushes loudly through my head and all voices sound muffled through the mouthguard.
It seems to me as if the room has been whitewashed in disinfectant, the disgusting smell climbs up my nose, spreads there and reminds me of all the visits to the dentist in my life. I let myself slide gently onto the upholstered chair, lay my legs on the gray elevation and close my eyes, trembling. Very warm hands frantically put a bib on me. My dentist tries to calm me down and I reluctantly open my mouth.
After the initial examination and a few mumbled noises, I ask for an anesthetic in order to survive the following examination alive. The doctor squints his water-blue eyes, which lie calmly over the green face mask. They flash like a crack in broken earth and he nods. When the cannula penetrates my soft gums, I immediately pass out.
When I open my eyes, I look into a laughing doctor's face that says nice words. I can no longer feel my own. It's a shame that not every visit to the dentist goes like this, because if you don't remember that there was an examination, the whole thing is only half as bad.
Incidentally, there is a form of essay that is very similar to a narrative: a narrative of experiences. The point here, however, is that what has been described becomes more and more exciting as it progresses and is geared towards a climax. However, the description does not need a voltage curve. Furthermore, the story of the experience is not necessarily written in the present tense, but this should be the case with the description.
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