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Descriptive essay writing!! Hi, I have an assignment to write a descriptive/narrative or an expository essay about a city. I chose to write about Rome. I think that falls under descriptive essay category. Am I right? The topic is "Discovering Rome" How do I describe a city in a descriptive essay? What would be the orgazation? How to describe it in spatial order? plz help

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lmetcalf eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Another idea to keep in mine that might help unify your essay is think about what "dominant impression" you are trying to create about the city of Rome.  As you do your research about the city what common ideas keeping reoccurring?  To me, Rome suggests majesty, grandeur, artistry, tradition, Catholicism, beauty, etc.  What is the "thesis" of your essay?  What do you want your readers to really know about Rome by the time they finish reading your essay?  What is the most important "feeling" do you want them to have about Rome?  Knowing that, and working towards that in your essay should help with your focus.

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Just to clarify a couple of things for you--

Descriptive writing is sensory writing: capturing how something looks, sounds, tastes, smells or feels to the touch. Don't confuse describing with informing. Many times people say "describe" when they really mean inform or explain.

You can write a descriptive essay about Rome, as you plan to do, but an expository essay could also be written about Rome. In an expository essay, you would inform the reader by presenting factual information about the city, Rome today and/or Rome as it existed in ancient times, perhaps. Expository writing is developed through research if the writer needs to gather information to use in addition to what he or she already knows about a subject. Good luck with your paper!

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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If you have personally visited Rome, this could be a good choice.  Describe your visit to the city, and what stood out to you.  Which places did you go to and what effect did they have on you and why?  You could do this without having been there, but it's better if you have.

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clairewait eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think it would be most interesting, not to mention simple, to write the essay as though you are writing a tour-guide.  Brainstorm a list of 5 or 10 "must see" places to visit in Rome.  Using a map, line them up in order of where they are located, as in, the best order to see them so that you could walk, or ride to each one in succession, rather than driving back and forth across the entire city multiple times.

Then, describe the places.  Some descriptive mode ideas might be to provide historical significance of the place, visitor appeal, must-see, must-do, must-eat, etc. while there, and any little tips or pieces of advice you run across in researching each place.

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stolperia eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Since you have the possibility of writing a descriptive narrative, let your imagination take charge! Get that tourist map of Rome, as suggested by #5, and start dreaming. If you were taking a walking tour of Rome, where would you start? What would you see, hear, do while you were there? Where would you go after finishing at that place? What would you experience at that second location? You could fill your essay with descriptions of the ancient buildings you would visit, the marvelous food you would eat in open cafes, the funny incidents as you try to communicate with the Italians in their language... Sounds like a fun assignment!

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Well, the good news is that how you organise your essay is up to you. What I suggest you do is that you look at a tourist map of the city of Rome and choose a series of sections to describe, so you can pick your own spatial order. Do you start at a well-known part of the city like the Coliseum? The choice is yours!

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Asher Wismer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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To start off, here's a link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome#Late_modern_and_contemporary

This should get you started. If you have personal experience -- vacation stories, personal photos -- they can be helpful as well. If you've been there, try to evoke the feelings you felt in your essay. If not, try to estimate what it might feel like to visit Rome.

For essay structure, see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_paragraph_essay

You can easily adapt this format to be descriptive instead of argumentative. Remember, you are speaking about a place to evoke a feeling.

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suv1987 | Student

To start off, here's a link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome#Late_modern_and_contemporary

This should get you started. If you have personal experience -- vacation stories, personal photos -- they can be helpful as well. If you've been there, try to evoke the feelings you felt in your essay. If not, try to estimate what it might feel like to visit Rome.

For essay structure, see here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_paragraph_essay

You can easily adapt this format to be descriptive instead of argumentative. Remember, you are speaking about a place to evoke a feeling.

Hi, thanks a lot. But I still do not understand how to describe the city in spatial order. I have never visited rome. In what order should I describe the city?

suv1987 | Student

Hi, thanks a lot. But I still do not understand how to describe the city in spatial order. I have never visited rome. In what order should I describe the city?