Humanities › English Exercise in Revising Descriptive Sentences Practice Writing With Specific Details Share Flipboard Email Print rawpixel.com/Pexels English Writing Writing Essays Writing Research Papers Journalism English Grammar By Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. our editorial process Richard Nordquist Updated March 05, 2019 This revision exercise will give you practice in writing with specific descriptive details. Instructions Here's the opening sentence from a student's report on what she saw one afternoon on a city street: One brisk afternoon in late September, I took a walk down Prospect Street. What follows are six sentences from the student's first draft. Revise each of these sentences according to the suggestions. If you think one of your new sentences is too long, break it up into two or three shorter sentences. Of course, there's no single set of "correct answers" to this exercise. Rely on your imagination to create details that are precise and vivid. Prospect Street Music thudded out of the shop and mingled with some of the other noises of the city. Identify the kind of music that "thudded out of the shop," name the shop, and give specific examples of "the other noises of the city." Garbage danced along the sidewalk and lay crushed against the curb. For the word "garbage," substitute specific examples of litter. A woman reading a book was sitting there. Briefly describe the woman, identify the book she was reading, and specify where she was sitting. Steam blew out of the air vents of a restaurant, carrying with it various smells. Name the restaurant, and identify some of the smells coming out of it. An old man was talking to "Annie," even though he was walking by himself. Describe the old man in more detail. A red-faced man was pleading with a traffic cop as the cop was doing something. What was "the cop" doing? The answers to this exercise are limited only by your imagination. Example Rewritten Descriptive Sentences Electro-pop thudded out of Shiki's Fashions and mingled with the noise of growling engines, pneumatic drills, and people gossiping, arguing, and bargaining on the busy street.Garbage danced along the sidewalk and lay crushed against the curb: cellophane chip bags, crumpled cigarette packs, wine bottles, empty soda cans, and yellow foam boxes from a burger joint.A shrunken woman, with ragged hair bobby-pinned to her skull, was sitting on the curb, moving her lips as she read a romance novel.Steam blew out of the air vents at Dwight's Diner, carrying with it smells of coffee, chili, and chicken noodle soup.An old man with a scraggly beard was arguing loudly with a woman he called "Annie," even though he was walking by himself.A red-faced man was pleading with a traffic cop, who was calmly filling out a jaywalking ticket.