What is the purpose of this Think Sheet?
What steps of the writing process will be covered by this Think Sheet?
How can I use this Think Sheet to help me write my essay?
Using the Planning Think Sheet
Planning Step 1: Your Purpose
The first question on the Planning Think Sheet is "What is my purpose for writing this essay?" It will be much easier for you to write your essay if you have an idea of why you are writing it and what you want to accomplish. Your purpose may change as you go through the writing process, but you should write down what you think your purpose is now to get started.
Planning Step 2: Choosing Pre-Writing Techniques
The next step is to think about which pre-writing techniques will best help you to generate ideas for your topic. Mark the techniques you plan to use on your Think Sheet by underlining, circling, highlighting, or marking in some other way. (If you need to review some or all of the pre-writing techniques, go to the Pre-Writing Techniques Tutorial.)
Here is what I wrote as the purpose for my essay and the pre-writing techniques that I chose:
Planning Step 3: Pre-Writing
Now that you have decided on a pre-writing technique (or more than one), it is time to actually do your pre-writing. This is your opportunity to put your ideas on paper to see what you know about your topic. Remember the most important rule of pre-writing--don't worry about grammar, spelling, correctness, or the difference between good and bad ideas!
The first thing I wanted to do with my pre-writing was to choose a specific place to describe in my essay. I did this by brainstorming several possible places:
After doing this brainstorming exercise, I decided that I wanted to write about one of the apartments where I lived on my mission. I chose the apartment at Ploschad' Muzhestvo, because I had been thinking a lot about the things that happened while I was living there. I wanted to think more about that time in my life, and I decided that writing an essay about the apartment could help me do that.
Now that I had decided on a specific place to describe, I made a list of all the things that I could remember about that place:
Now take some time to use the pre-writing techniques you chose above to generate ideas for your essay.
Planning Step 4: Adding Sensory Detail
Once you have generated some ideas for your descriptive essay, it is a good idea to think of sensory details that you can add to your description. When I looked at the list of things I created in Step 3, I realized that I mostly wrote down things that I could see and situations I could remember happening in the apartment I was describing. I was very surprised to notice that I didn't write anything about sounds, smells, tastes, or feelings associated with the apartment! I think that most people, when asked to describe something, would focus mostly on things they can see. That's why Step 4: Adding Sensory Detail is an important part of planning a descriptive essay.
Here are the sensory details that I wrote down for Step 4:
Now it's your turn! Fill out the chart on your Planning Think Sheet for sensory details about the person, place, object, or animal that you are describing in your essay.
When you are finished, continue the writing process with
Writing Exercise 2: Organizing
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