[Note: Double-hit list is in effect.]
Compose an original essay of approximately 200 words describing a
person. The person may be almost anyone: a relative, teacher, friend, or
maybe an enemy who came to be a friend.
Write an original essay describing a work of art. You could choose
a painting, a piece of sculpture, a building, or even a song. You might include
such elements as color, texture, size, shape, (sense of) movement, details,
organization or division into parts and how the parts come together to form
a (harmonious) whole, mood created or evoked, your reaction or feeling toward
the object, etc.
Suggested structure for a description of a person (much of it can be adapted
for a description of a work of art):
Title. Include one, and remember that in Spanish, normally only the first
letter of a title and proper names are capitalized.
Introductory paragraph. It might be an opening statement as to why this person
is/has been important in your life or why he/she merits being written about.
Or, you might present a more dynamic opening, a brief situation in which
the reader gets a glimpse of the person in action, followed perhaps
by a statement regarding the purpose of the essay.
The body of the essay: the description/story of the person involved. It is
recommended that you do two things:
Describe the person, giving details regarding his/her physical appearance,
personality, and/or accomplishments. This can be in the present tense (if
for example, the individual is still alive or exerting an influence on you),
or in the imperfect/preterit (if he/she is dead, or you are looking at the
person/situation as something in the past). Note: Try to avoid overusing
the same monotonous verbs, especially ser, estar, and
Bring the person to life by portraying him/her in a life situation,
series of events, or favorite recollections. If you used the present tense
in the above description, you will probably need to switch to the
preterit/imperfect here. However, while you are actually narrating what happened
in past time, avoid switching back and forth between the resent and past
A conclusion of some type. This might be a summation; if so, avoid the mere
repetition of what you wrote elsewhere in the essay. Or, it might look to
the future: what this person or you, because of his/her influence
might do or become. It is even possible to switch and direct the end of the
essay to the person described, for example, an expression of appreciation.
Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499, USA