this is required for this paper. 1. Pleasant/Unpleasant Description of the Place: Choose a place you can observe for an extended period of time (at least 20-30 minutes). Use all of your senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, even taste if possible) to experience the place, and record all of the sensations that you experience. As you record your data, you may wish to note which details naturally seem more positive, negative, or neutral, in terms of tone. (For instance, a stinky and overflowing trash barrel swarming with flies in a nearby alley might seem more inherently negative than a little white bunny rabbit hopping playfully across the lawn.) Then, you will use this information to help your write descriptions of the place: one positive, one negative. Both descriptions should be factually true (same real time and real place), but you will want one description to be positive in terms of tone and the other to be negative. In addition to including the information and sensory details you’ve collected as the basis for these descriptions, you will also use the Writer’s Toolbox to create your two contrasting impressions for this assignment. (The Writer’s Toolbox is explained in the Lecture Notes section of this unit.) As you revise and refine your descriptions, please be sure you are “showing” your readers your place (really putting the readers “there” in the moment and in this scene), rather than simply “telling” them about it. You will also want to try to eliminate unnecessary linking verbs as much as you can, incorporating verbs that show “action” whenever possible.2. Rhetorical Analysis: Looking back at your descriptions, analyze how you created these two very different impressions of the place (one positive, one negative) without changing any of the facts. How did you make your place seem so positive in one paragraph and yet so negative in the other paragraph, without changing the facts? Discuss how you incorporated each of the tools from the Writer’s Toolbox, and cite examples of this from each of your descriptions. (This analysis should be at least 400-500 words in length.)3. Reflection: In one to two paragraphs, consider at least one of the following questions: What have you learned about writing through this assignment? How might you apply this knowledge? Has this process of using the Writer’s Toolbox affected your vision of various information media–for instance, television and print news sources, magazines, etc.? If so, how so?The following is a student example of the first portion of this assignment:“Nature’s Call at Pillsbury Crossing” Nature’s beauty surrounds me. On a calm, mostly sunny day, the bristles the leaves as if they were applauding the breath of the land. Green, yellow, and brown hues sparkle in the warm sunlight, offering a mosaic reflection on the water. A short waterfall branches like a limb from the pond, whisking the water down into a misty creek. The clear water rushes through the mossy rocks and falls, creating a soothing melody. Different bugs whistle and chant around me, voicing their opinions and contributing to the symphony of nature. The tall sunflowers rise by the water, trying best to place their roots so they are not washed away when nature’s cool drink falls again. Two young people sit in inflatable chairs, drifting above the crystal clear water. Their shoes are off, and they dip their toes in the pond’s relieving temperature. They bathe in the sun like flowers in the springtime, soaking all of the sun’s warm, crisp rays. Short blasts of relieving wind soothe the skin and the backs of their necks. They sit and enjoy the day as the sun passes through the clouds, absorbing all the comforting rays before the sun is whisked away.“Grim Times at Pillsbury Crossing” Death has had her way here. On a partly cloudy day at the end of the tropical summer, the withering leaves fall from a dried tree that has been suffocated by days of countless painful sun rays. The gust swishes again and brings more brown leaves to their final resting place on the cracked ground. A waterfall sits not far from the leaf cemetery, filled with rotting garbage decaying to the roots of the hungry plants. As bugs swarm, a bright flash of lightning sparks the distant sky, serving as a warning for nature to take cover. Thunder bangs through the clouds like a cannon, echoing off the hills of the horizon. The old, moldy stench stealthily slithers in before the rain droplets hit the floodplain. All of nature will get their drink, but most will drown in the water to cover the fractured land.Here’s a student example of the second portion of this assignment. (This is the same student who focused on Pillsbury Crossing in his positive and negative descriptions.) Rhetorical Analysis I chose Pillsbury Crossing for my descriptions in this paper. I enjoyed writing about Pillsbury Crossing because it seemed to offer many positive and negatives, and I had never been there before. This allowed me to record my own first impressions, both pleasant and unpleasant. The floodplain is very peaceful, yet it is scarred by humankind’s misuse of the nature park. I wrote my first sentence as an overt statement which explained the mood of the rest of the paragraph. For my pleasant impression, I stated “Nature’s beauty surrounds me,” emphasizing the beauty on can find in a place such as this. In contrast, for my negative impression, I wrote “Death has had her way here.” The notion of death immediately makes the tone grim and unpleasant, even though death is also a fundamental aspect of the natural world. With my tone clearly established, I next had to consider my word choice very carefully. In order to show the reader what I experienced, I had to choose words that fit the mood of the description as set by my overt statements of meaning. In my pleasant description, I discuss the sun’s rays and how they are “crisp” and “relieving.” These words make the sun’s rays seem pleasant and positive; however, in the negative description, the sun’s rays were “hazardous.” This description emphasizes the fact that the sun’s rays can be harmful and dangerous. I also describe the leaves in both paragraphs. While the leaves were colorful, reflecting “green, yellow, and brown hues” in my positive description, they were “withering” and falling to the ground to create a leaf “cemetery” in my negative description. This helps maintain the mood of each of my respective paragraphs. I also left out details from certain paragraphs to keep the mood and tone consistent. In my pleasant description, I omitted the observation of garbage “decaying to the roots of hungry plants.” I did not include the garbage in my pleasant paragraph because it did not fit into my description of the gorgeous scenery. If I had included the garbage and trash in the positive paragraph, the reader would picture a nice place filled with a bunch of filthy waste. This is not what I wanted. In the unpleasant impression, I left out how the bugs whistled and chanted. By simple describing them as “swarming” and omitting the beauty of their sounds, the bugs seem to be only an annoyance in the negative paragraph. Similes and metaphors were helpful as well, allowing me to create an impression that nature was either alive and comforting or dead and disturbing. In the pleasant description, I wanted the impression to be welcoming and lively, so I wrote “the wind bristles the leaves as if they were applauding the breath of the land.” I wanted to make Mother Nature have a personality. By using similes like “symphony of nature,” it gives Mother Nature a graceful, caring attitude, which makes the description seem more pleasant. In the negative paragraph, I compare thunder to a cannon, “echoing off the hills of the horizon.” This portrays thunder as a menacing force, roaring through the landscape, making Mother Nature seem mean, stingy, and threatening. Throughout my descriptions, I also paid attention to sentence structure. I start each paragraph with a short, tell sentence, to make sure the reader knows exactly what impression I have of this place. “Nature’s beauty surrounds me” contrasts sharply with “Death has had her way here.” In the rest of the paragraph, I used longer sentences, which allowed me to truly show the reader my place. For instance, in the sentence “Different bugs whistle and chant around me, voicing their opinions and contributing to the symphony of nature,” I state the object being described, describe it, and try to elaborate as much as possible.14 hours agoTWO TALES OF A ROUNDABOUT
The air felt like a soothing squeeze to the nostrils, which opened wide to inhale more
gallops. The mid-afternoon breeze reminded me of the cool winds that blow across the
Amazon. My skin could even feel the winds blowing, making the body hair to rise in
obedience. My oval-shaped ears, which most rightly referred to as oval, could hear the
breeze wheeze past them, in rhythmic succession that could form a lyrical poem. My legs
were trying to flow with the speed at which the cars were moving, at times fast and at times
so slow that a snail would envy them. The giant traffic lights erected at the centre of the
little island created by the roundabout. They seemed to exert such an immeasurable
influence, more than an invading force may have on harmless, unarmed and unsuspecting
civilians. The way their colors changed from red to orange then finally to green, back and
forth, reminded me of the school routine while in boarding school. The cars would, as if
having an innate connection with the colors obeyed without any objection, whether as a
sign of helplessness or simply despair, the difference could not be told. The vehicles formed
an undiscovered rainbow. They varied in size and in color, some large others small with a
wide ray of colors in display. The tarmac seemed to have resigned to its fate of helplessness
as it bore the burden of the countless vehicles that were in transit and a handful of
passengers who for one reason or the other, seemed to have an attitude that suggested that
they had mastered the art of meandering between the lines of vehicles formed yet quietly
knew the finality of the traffic lights. The sky seemed clear, with pockets of sky blue clouds
and countable birds that seemed to enjoy the spectacle that was below them. The blaring
sounds from the vehicles, the helpless tarmac road, the countable chirping birds and the
occasional music blazing from some vehicles all combined to form a soothing feeling of a
roundabout in a cosmopolitan city.
Yet amidst all this, there was the occasional scream of a pedestrian who has escaped a
near death experience. This was mostly followed by the screeching of tires and then
exchange of bitter and regrettable words ensuing in some instances. In the short period I
had been staring at a distance, I had labeled them nasty situations. The moving coffins,
represented by the vehicles, carried untold tales of people who will never tell tales again.
Well, dead men tell no tales. I wondered how many more would suffer from the wrath or
the ruthlessness of the roundabout and its cohorts. As my mind started fathoming this, a
distance siren could be heard with its spotlights indicating danger. Then as I looked past
the roundabout, I saw a crowd milling towards a helpless soul that seemed still, unknown
of the conscious. As I rose, I knew that the roundabout had claimed another one, an
innocent being robbed a chance to savor the roundabout and its bemusing misery one more
I chose the roundabout to tell about its two tales. I am amazed at how all the vehicles
that pass through the roundabout are able to do all that. The opening sentence shows how
air, coming from the passing vehicles and the mid-morning breeze, which made my nostrils
rise to inhale the air. I preferred to use the roundabout because it shows how people often
take some things for granted. The opening sentence set the pace for the rest of the paragraph.
It showed how the roundabout has influence even in its silence. The traffic lights, which
only show color, illustrate this and the motorists have to interpret what the color means and
follow its guidance. I discuss my observation of the roundabout in a manner that I point
out the various common stuff that people see but do not feel their effect. This includes the
role played by the tarmac road, which is personified to show the burden it bears of carrying
all the road users. The tone, which I use to tell my observations in a pleasant manner, is
that of discovery, detail and bemusement. I introduce pedestrians in the first paragraph and
showing how they have known to use the roads with the vehicles too. This helps to maintain
the mood of the paragraph as pleasant and how the motorists obey traffic rules thus this
makes the roundabout appear harmless and a safer refuge to everyone. The use of other
phrases such as blazing music and rhythmic succession shows a situation whereby all the
activities are in control and maintain the mood of the pleasant paragraph.
However, the subsequent paragraph that dwells with the negative starts with
introducing the other tale of the roundabout. It shows how beneath the spectacle of the
roundabout the hand of death is concealed. This is revealed by the reference of the vehicles
as moving coffins to show the immense danger they pose to all other road users. It is a
metaphor that illustrates the careless nature with which the vehicles are driven thus causing
danger to all road users. It shows that no one is safe on the roads with such careless drivers.
The siren is used to show the ambulance which comes to help those in need of help due to
accidents caused by disregard of traffic rules. The use of metaphors and personification
helps to hide the severity of the road accidents while still bringing out the message that
there must be accountability in the use of roads. The phrase, dead men tell no tales show
how lives have been lost due to the use of roads inappropriately. The people whose dreams
have been snatched and their hopes dashed are given a voice in the negative paragraph.
The two tales of a roundabout illustrate how contradiction exists under the same layer. It
shows how the good can be surpassed by the bad if proper caution is not taken care of. It
subtly urges for proper use of roads so as to avert the current challenges and save many
lives currently lost on roads.
While writing this assignment, I noticed how easy we ignore the beauty that exists
amongst us. I chose to focus on the positives that I saw on our roads such as the power of
traffic lights. They do not talk or give directions but their display of color is a sign that is
interpreted to offer specific instructions to road users. This really intrigues me. I wondered
how such power can be harnessed and applied in other sectors of our life. I also noticed
just how ignorant some people can be. This can be rightly seen in people who choose to
disregard traffic rules and as a result, make vehicles ‘moving coffins’. Then my heart
reached out to all the shattered dreams due to this carelessness. Then I realized that there
are people who see the roundabout and are mesmerized by its beauty while there are those
who view it with disdain and bitterness. I also concluded that the mainstream media, both
printed and televisions do not truly report the true value of obeying traffic rules. I also felt
that they do not do enough to play their role as means of passing sensitive information to
people on road use. I decided to horn my skills and maybe come to address this issue in a
more comprehensive manner.
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