Writing techniques

Describing places / buildings

Structures and plans of compositions

          A composition describing a place/building should consist of:

Introduction giving brief information about the name and location of the place / building and stating the reason for choosing to write about it (e.g. What it is famous for, what makes it so special, etc.);
Main body giving both general and specific details about the place / building usually moving from the general features to specific ones. i) when you describe a place you should give the overall impression by referring to landscape, buildings, landmarks, etc, and particular details (sights to see, places to go, things to do). ii)when you describe a building you should write about its surroundings (e.g. situated in Oxford street ...), then give a detailed description of its exterior and interior;
Conclusion in which you express your feelings or opinion concerning the subject or give a recommendation.
 

          Example of a plan to write a composition describing a place (or a building):

Introduction Paragraph 1
  • name/location/population of the place, reason for choosing the place
Main body Paragraphs 2-3*
  • general features and particular details:

              place - surroundings, sights, facilities, free-time activities, ...

              building - surroundings, detailed description of exterior/interior, ...

Paragraphs 4-5*

  • explanation and example/justification

* the number of main body paragraphs may vary depending on the rubric

Conclusion Final paragraph
  • comments/feelings and/or a recommendation

Note: Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence which summarises the paragraph. The content of the paragraph depends on the topic itself.

 

          Example of an article describing a place:

Source: Successful Writing Intermediate by Virginia Evans, Express Publishing

 

Describing events / festivals / ceremonies

          A composition describing a festival/an event/a ceremony should consist of:

Introduction in which you give the name, time, place and reason(s) for celebrating;
Main body in which you describe the preparations and the actual event in separate paragraphs, using present tenses to describe annual festivals, or past tenses to describe a festival you attended at some time in the past;
Conclusion which includes people's feelings, comments or final thoughts about the event.

 

          Example of a plan to write a composition describing an event:

Introduction Paragraph 1
  • name, time/place of event, reason(s) for celebrating
Main body Paragraphs 2*
  • preparations (e.g. - food, decorations, etc)

Paragraphs 3*

  • description of the actual event (e.g. - costumes, music, dancing, other activities, etc)

Paragraphs 4-5*

  • explanations and reasons

* the number of main body paragraphs may vary depending on the rubric

Conclusion Final paragraph
  • feelings, comments, final thoughts

 

          Example of an article describing a celebration:

Source: Successful Writing Proficiency by Virginia Evans, Express Publishing