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I think everyone can improve their writing by being specific and detailed and using examples instead of vague generalizations.  Please read the information below and then complete the Dropbox assignment below in RED text.

“Replace abstract and general words with concrete and specific words. Abstract and general words allow multiple interpretations. Concrete words engage the five senses: see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Specific words include real names, times, places, and numbers. Consequently, concrete and specific words are more precise and, therefore, more interesting. Abstract and general words are ambiguous and, therefore, dull:

The food (general) was appealing (abstract).
The warm bread with nut-brown crust and yeasty aroma made my mouth water (concrete and specific).

student’s report on his first impressions of a new apartment:
A “New” Apartment in Nottingham Woods

Footprints marched across the ceiling.
the living room ceiling
stiff wedges of pizza
pizza ground into the carpet

Footprints marched across the ceiling in the living room, and stiff wedges of pizza were ground into the carpet.

Light bulbs were smashed in their sockets.
Several sets of initials were carved into the coffee table.
torn sofa cushions
cushions dusted with crushed saltines

stale odor
dozens of Bud Lite cans lined up on the windowsills
Bud Lite cans stacked up in a pyramid in one corner

puddles of milk and orange juice in the kitchen
half-empty dog food cans on the counter
mound of eggshells in the sink

The refrigerator door was wide open.
old tennis shoe inside the refrigerator

The bathroom was just as bad.
shaving cream on the walls
sock jammed into the drain of the bathtub
name “Fred” written in toothpaste on the mirror. 

Read the page above this dropbox and pay attention to the vivd, lively, specific details used to describe the student’s apartment.


2. Choose either A or B below and write a paragraph (a few sentences) using specific words instead of vague generalizations.

A.  Last night I had a huge fight with my (friend/parent/child/loved one).  We said and did awful things, but we finally stopped and made up.


B.  I hope my partner (spouse) (significant other) plans a romantic evening for us on Valentine’s Day. 



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