You will be writing two separate, distinct paragraphs. You will write one paragraph in the informative mode and one paragraph in the descriptive mode.
The informative paragraph must be written in a non-biased tone and explain, teach, or inform. The descriptive paragraph must use sensory details to describe a person, place or object.
In order to foster learning and growth, all essays you submit must be newly written specifically for this course. Any recycled work will be sent back with a 0, and you will be given one attempt to redo the touchstone.
Choosing a Topic
For the informative paragraph, be creative and choose a topic that you already know something about. (You do not need to conduct any research for this paragraph.) Be sure to write in an objective and non-biased manner with your intended audience and purpose in mind. You may write about any topic you wish that you know something about, however; below are some sample topics that may help you get started.
The background, history, or rules of a particular game or sport
The materials, tools, background or approach for a hobby you enjoy
The action/process for an activity such as driving, planting a garden, grilling a steak, etc.
The history of a place that you know a lot about (a city, state, natural attraction, etc.)
A scientific process or concept that you are very familiar with
For the descriptive paragraph, use sensory language and vivid details
For the descriptive paragraph, use sensory language and vivid details to describe a person, a place or a thing. Sensory details describe how something looks, sounds, feels, smells or tastes. You should use precise language to show rather than tell about what you are describing. Be sure to write with your intended audience and purpose in mind. What you write about is entirely up to you as long as you use vivid details and sensory language to bring the description to life. However, below are some sample topics that may help you get started.
Describe a room in your house
Describe your favorite spot to spend time
Describe a person who is special to you
Describe a meal that you enjoy eating or cooking
Describe a unique family tradition
Refer to the checklist below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until your paragraphs meet all guidelines.
Does each paragraph include a topic sentence that depicts the controlling idea of the paragraph?
Does each paragraph include supporting sentences that effectively support your topic sentence?
Are all sentences or details in the paragraph relevant to the topic sentence?
Does each paragraph include a concluding sentence that gives closure to the paragraph?
Is the sequence of all sentences within each paragraph logical (topic sentence first, logical sequence of supporting sentences, concluding sentence last)?
Are transitions used effectively to connect ideas within the paragraph?
Is the paragraph easy to read?
Are all sentences complete and correct?
Are there any run-on sentences? Have you used conjunctions and correct punctuation between independent clauses?
Are there any sentence fragments? Does each sentence have a subject and verb and express a complete thought?
Does the writing “show” the reader details rather than “telling” about them?
Does the paragraph describe a person, place or object?
Have you touched on at least three of the senses in your use of sensory language?
1. What do you think your strengths and weaknesses are in terms of sentence construction and paragraph development? (1-2 sentences)
2. Explain how writing for a particular purpose and audience shaped each of your paragraphs. (3-5 sentences)
3. Discuss your feelings about writing in different modes. Is there a particular mode you enjoy writing in more than another? (3-5 sentences)
4. Explain how different writing modes that you have learned about might be applied to scenarios in your real life. (3-5 sentences)