Description


Description

Description is one of four rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse), along with exposition, argumentation, and narration. Each of the rhetorical modes is present in a variety of forms and each has its own purpose and conventions.

Description is also the fiction-writing mode for transmitting a mental image of the particulars of a story.

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Contents

Description as a fiction-writing mode

Fiction is a form of narrative, one of the four rhetorical modes of discourse. Fiction-writing also has distinct forms of expression, or modes, each with its own purposes and conventions. Agent and author Evan Marshall (agent) identifies five fiction-writing modes: action, summary, dialogue, feelings/thoughts, and background (Marshall 1988, pp. 143–165). Author and writing-instructor Jessica Page Morrell lists six delivery modes for fiction-writing: action, exposition, description, dialogue, summary, and transition (Morrell 2006, p. 127). Author Peter Selgin refers to methods, including action, dialogue, thoughts, summary, scene, and description (Selgin 2007, p. 38). Currently, there is no consensus within the writing community regarding the number and composition of fiction-writing modes and their uses.

Description is the fiction-writing mode for transmitting a mental image of the particulars of a story. Together with dialogue, narration, exposition, and summarization, description is one of the most widely recognized of the fiction-writing modes. As stated in Writing from A to Z, edited by Kirk Polking, description is more than the amassing of details; it is bringing something to life by carefully choosing and arranging words and phrases to produce the desired effect. (Polking, p. 106) The most appropriate and effective techniques for presenting description are a matter of ongoing discussion among writers and writing coaches.

Purple prose

Purple prose is a term of literary criticism used to describe passages, or sometimes entire literary works, written in prose so overly extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw attention to itself. Purple prose is sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context. It also refers to writing that employs certain rhetorical effects such as exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader's response.

Philosophy

In philosophy has the nature of description been an important question since Bertrand Russels classical texts (cf. Ludlow, 2007).[1]

Physics

The word description can be used interchangeably with the word theory

References

  • Rozakis, Laurie (2003). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style, 2nd Edition. Alpha. ISBN 978-1-59257-115-4
  • Marshall, Evan (1998). The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. pp. 143–165. ISBN 1582970629. 
  • Morrell, Jessica Page (2006). Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. p. 127. ISBN 9781582973937. 
  • Polking, Kirk (1990). Writing A to Z. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books. ISBN 0898794358. 
  • Selgin, Peter (2007). By Cunning & Craft: Sound Advice and Practical Wisdom for fiction writers. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books. p. 38. ISBN 9781582974910. 

See also

References

  1. ^ Ludlow, Peter (2007). Descriptions. In: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/descriptions/

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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • description — [ dɛskripsjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1160; lat. descriptio 1 ♦ Action de décrire, énumération des caractères (de qqch.). Description orale, écrite. Faire, donner une, la description de qqch., de qqn. Description exacte, fidèle, précise. Description d une… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • description — de·scrip·tion n: a representation in words of the nature and characteristics of a thing: as a: a specification of the boundaries of a piece of land (as for a deed) b: an explanation of an invention in a patent application or printed publication… …   Law dictionary

  • description — DESCRIPTION. s. f. Discours par lequel on décrit, on dépeint. Il y a de belles descriptions dans cet Historien, dans ce Poëte. La description d un Palais, d une maison, d un jardin, d une tempête, des effets d une passion. Faire une… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • description — Description. s. f. v. L s se prononce. Discours par lequel on descrit, on depeint. Il y a de belles descriptions dans cet historien, dans ce poëte. la description d une belle maison, d un jardin, d une tempeste, d une passion. faire une… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Description — De*scrip tion, n. [F. description, L. descriptio. See {Describe}.] 1. The act of describing; a delineation by marks or signs. [1913 Webster] 2. A sketch or account of anything in words; a portraiture or representation in language; an enumeration… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • description — Fowler (1926) discouraged the use of description as an alternative to kind and sort in expressions such as crimes of this description, but the use has become well established and often seems appropriate if sometimes a little old fashioned: • If… …   Modern English usage

  • description — [di skrip′shən] n. [ME descripcioun < OFr description < L descriptio, a marking out, delineation < pp. of describere] 1. the act, process, art, or technique of describing or picturing in words 2. a statement or passage that describes 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • description — late 14c., from O.Fr. description (12c.) and directly from L. descriptionem (nom. descriptio) representation, description, copy, noun of action from pp. stem of describere write down, transcribe, copy, sketch, from de down (see DE (Cf. de )) +… …   Etymology dictionary

  • description — [n1] account in speech, writing ABCs*, blow by blow, brief, characterization, chronicle, confession, declaration, definition, delineation, depiction, detail, explanation, explication, fingerprint, information, make, monograph, narration,… …   New thesaurus

  • description — Description, Descriptio. La description du monde, Cosmographia …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • description — ► NOUN 1) a spoken or written account. 2) the process of describing. 3) a sort, kind, or class: people of any description …   English terms dictionary


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