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Homework answers / question archive / Descriptive Writing and Grammar Review Directions 1

Descriptive Writing and Grammar Review Directions 1


Descriptive Writing and Grammar Review
1. Read the "The Secret Power of Things We Hold Dear" (2007) by Sherry Turkle (search
for this online or in the EBSCO database).
2. Read Writing Elements: A Quick Guide to Grammar and Usage (2012) by Goss and
Goss (find this in this week’s readings or in the Course Resources folder located under
the Lessons tab).
3. Read and respond to each of the following writing prompts. Submit them as a single
Part 1: Descriptive Writing
In her 2007 article, “The Secret Power of Things We Hold Dear,” Sherry Turkle discusses the
importance of objects on a personal level. She describes her weekends spent at her grandparents’
apartment in Brooklyn, looking through the items that her grandparents saved, and using the
information she gleaned from these items, gains a deeper understanding of her mother and her
aunt. In her article, Turkle explains that the items that she looked at again and again “had a high
emotional intensity” because they made her think about the father she never met (Turkle, 2007,
para. 6). In this sense, Turkle uses the art of bricolage (“do-it-yourself”) to piece together who
her father was.
For this writing assignment, use bricolage to describe a person close to you or someone you
know very well: What objects surround this person? What does his or her physical space (living
space, work space, or other) look like? How does he or she dress? Describe this person’s
physical appearance as well as any mannerisms, gestures, or expressions he or she uses. Show
this person doing something that he or she would do on a regular basis. The idea is to create a
dominant impression of this person by selecting key details, as you did in your discussion this
Write a one-paragraph (five to seven sentences) physical description of this person and his or her
surroundings using specific sensory details so the reader can visualize this person. Write a
second paragraph discussing what you think these objects, environment, appearance, and so forth
say about this person. Practice ways of showing your reader the significance rather than telling
the reader of its importance.
Turkle, S. (2007). The secret power of things we hold dear. New scientist, 194(2607), 50-52.
Part 2: Grammar Review
In Writing Elements (2012), Goss and Goss briefly explore the most common grammar and
usage issues found in student writing. Read through the guide and find three areas where you
struggle or have struggled in your own writing. Write an example of each of these issues and
demonstrate a way each issue can be corrected.
For example:
Verb Tense
“I asked her what is her problem.”  Incorrect because it uses both past and present tense verbs in
the same sentence. This is also an awkward sounding sentence. 
“I asked her what her problem was.” Correct (past tense). 

Or, “I ask her what her problem is.” Correct (present tense).

Goss, T. P., & Goss, S. M. (2012). Writing elements: A quick guide to grammar andusage.
Kansas City, MO: Grantham University.
Turkle, S. (2007). The secret power of things we hold dear. New scientist, 194(2607), 50-52.

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