The outline allows you to give structure around your ideas. Your essay needs to be organized with a logical flow-- in chronological order or to build-up the excitement in presenting your conclusion. Each point is like connecting-the-dots, so that your outline does not get off-topic. Less is more. The points in your outline will be further elaborated upon with your essay writing, in adding description, personality and tone around these main points.
Notice the following:new houseIs it a new house or an old house?A "new house" has recently been built and has never been lived in by another person or family. Notice the following:old for AmericaThat's old for America.Because America a young country a building or house that was built 150 years ago is very "old for America," even though it is not old for a lot of countries in Europe where the buildings are 400 years old. Notice the following:roundA big round table.A "round" table is a table in the shape of a circle. Notice the following:seriesI like watching TV series.A "series" is where each episode is related to the other episodes and together they tell a story. Notice the following:
The house in front of him had just started to smolder in the fire. The first thing that crossed his mind was what if there were people inside. He thought of going inside the house and looking for some people, but the extreme heat that was coming out the house thwarted him instantly. He could not go further than being a good hundred feet away from the house. It was excruciatingly hot and he almost felt his eyebrows burn. He was still very worried. Alex lived in that house and he had known him since they were kids. Not knowing what to do, James ran back in the house and called Alex on his cell phone. He watched through the kitchen window as a crash brought down the ceiling of the house, bringing the whole roof down with a loud crash. Alex picked up the phone as James saw a bellow of ash and smoke rise out of the house. It was mildly relieving to James to find out that Alex and his whole family had decided to go out for dinner and none of them were inside the house.
Let nouns and verbs do the work of description for you. With nouns, your readers will see; with verbs, they will feel. In the following paragraph, taken from George Orwell's famous anti-imperialist essay, "Shooting an Elephant," see how the act of shooting the elephant delivers immense emotional impact. What adjectives would you expect to find in a paragraph about an elephant? big? grey? loud? enormous? Do you find them here? Watch the verbs, instead. Notice, too, another truth about description: when time is fleeting, slow down the prose. See how long the few seconds of the shooting can take in this paragraph. You can read the entire text of George Orwell's story by clicking , and you can read additional essays by this famous author of and at
If one looks in a dictionary the answer would come out to be, “The place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” However, for anyone who has had an actual home, they would know that such a term goes much beyond its concrete description.
It’s bad timing given my last example, but try to cut down on your adjectives and adverbs. Modifiers don’t specify words as much as you might think. More often than not, they actually abstract a thought, so sentences that rely on modifiers for descriptive strength are building on faulty foundations. You’ll be more successful if you instead find the verb that perfectly portrays the image you’re envisioning. When you edit your work, spend considerable time scrutinizing your sentences to make sure the action maximizes full descriptive potential.
Avoid summary in your descriptions. Offer concrete information, engage us with moment-to-moment details, tell us about each detail, and how they affect the senses.
One of the most practical — and indeed, easiest — ways of laying out a descriptive foundation is to envision each scene before you write it. Literally close your eyes, see the scene and then write it down. For the time being, just let the image do its work; look closely at the objects in the scene, and describe them in a manner that’s as painfully specific as possible. Now — to establish storytelling authority — make sure the description is told from the proper subjective viewpoint: tell us how the character or narrator would see things from the POV you've established.
In order to maximize that empathic response, try to appeal to all the senses as often as you can. Don’t just tell us what something looks like, tell us how it sounds, how it tastes. show words containing sensory descriptions are so powerful they even stimulate areas of the brain that aren't used to process language. When we read a detailed account of how something smells, for example, our sensory cortex gets a signal. In other words, the brain often treats real experiences and reading about them as the same thing. If you really want to place your reader in the story, your writing should take advantage of our collective faulty wiring whenever you can.
Writing is an account of how people think. As a medium it's intrinsically empathic; it communicates patently human sensibilities. In order for a story to work, it needs to feel like real life, even when it’s actually something quite different. The more detailed and rich your descriptions, the better your writing will approximate the human experience, thereby establishing a connection with fellow minds.
In the first sentence of the fourth paragraph (third paragraph in the body), "one blind eye" is used that hooks into the previous paragraph. This first sentence also lets the reader know that this paragraph will deal with descriptions of people: ". . . what the old man looks like . . .." Once again Poe is quoted and discussed. The last sentence uses the word "image" which hooks into the last paragraph. (It is less important that this paragraph has a hook since the last paragraph is going to include a summary of the body of the paper.)
Notice how this version places an emphasis on the verbs. Moreover, there’s another advantage gained here. In the first version, the sentence ends with a description of the colors of the blaze, hardly essential information. Now emphasis is placed on the most important information in the sentence (and in this case, the entire story): the burning house. If you want to draw extra emphasis to anything, put it at the end of the sentence. Placing it at the beginning is a close second. Never bury important information in the middle.
Soon, the firefighters arrived and looked at the full-blown inferno in front of them. The fire had gotten quite out of control now as the whole house was on fire. The firefighters evacuated the street and told everyone to go inside their houses. James had no choice but to retreat to his room where he could see, feel, and hear Alex's house burn down. In a few minutes, the house had been reduced to a pile of rubble, ashes, and smoldering wood and items. There was a very putrid smell that took over the whole neighborhood, like a bad barbeque party gone horribly wrong. The smell was so overpowering that it took James almost two weeks to get it out of his nose. The house had burnt down to nothing within a few hours, making James realize the futility of the human life and ventures. It takes man many years to build his dream house and it takes nature only a few minutes to completely destroy his dreams.