Example Descriptive Writing #1

Here is an example of descriptive writing created by a student at the ELC in a past semester. This is an example of a final draft, but it does not always mean that the writing is perfect. Some errors may be included for your teacher to talk about with the class.

The Ideal Roommate (essay)

     Sharing a room, an apartment, or a home with another person is a big change for many people. Sharing a room with a roommate means that you are affected by their decisions and habits. If your roommate is messy, then you have to deal with a dirty apartment. If your roommate is noisy, it may be difficult for you to sleep. These things can cause problems for many roommates. Many people have thought of some things they would love to find in a roommate. Some people may think that having everything in common would make someone an ideal roommate, but that isn't necessarily true. The ideal roommate is someone that is respectful, communicates honestly, and will do their part to help.

     The ideal roommate is someone who is respectful. A respectful roommate does not leave the main areas of the apartment messy after they use them. For example, they wash their dishes instead of leaving dirty pots and pans on the stove. They also don't borrow things from other roommates without asking to use them first. In addition to respecting everyone's need for space and their possessions, the ideal roommate is respectful of his roommate's schedule. For example, if one roommate is asleep and the other roommate needs to study, the ideal roommate goes to the kitchen or living room instead of waking up the sleeping roommate. These simple gestures of respect make a roommate an excellent person to share an apartment with.

     In addition to being respectful, the ideal roommate is willing to communicate openly. The perfect roommate is willing to let the other roommates know beforehand if they are going to invite a large group of people over to the apartment for a party or if they need help with something. The perfect roommate is willing to talk about their schedule and how to divide up the work. It can be difficult to find time to talk to roommates, but the ideal roommate finds a way. He sends a text or leaves a written note with important information for his roommate. This open communication makes someone an ideal roommate because open communication can prevent serious misunderstandings and problems.

     Finally, someone who is willing to do their share of the work is an ideal roommate. It takes a lot of work to keep an apartment clean, and everyone needs to help with that work. The ideal roommate recognizes this work and is willing to do small things to help with it every day. The ideal roommate cleans what they use, takes their turn to take out the trash, and doesn't leave their belongings on the floor. The ideal roommate does't leave all of the work for one or two people to do when it is time for cleaning checks because they are willing to help do the work in the apartment regularly. The perfect roommate takes a job for cleaning checks and does it thoroughly. Participating in the work of the apartment is an important quality of an ideal roommate.

     It is easy to see that being willing to work, communicating honestly, and being respectful are three qualities of the perfect roommate. This doesn't mean that the perfect roommate is exactly like you and does all of the same things. Instead, it means that they are willing to talk about differences and respect them. A roommate with these qualities understands that his actions have an influence on other people, and he makes it a little easier to adjust to living with another person. Every student who lives with a roommate should focus on developing these qualities so that they can become the perfect roommate. You may not always have the perfect roommate, but you can always try to be one!


Exercise 1: Identify the parts of an essay

Read the example essay to complete this exercise. You have analyzed pieces of this essay throughout the chapter. Now look at the essay as a whole. Answer the following questions about the example essay.

  1. Label the introduction (I), the body paragraphs (BP), and the conclusion (C).
  2. Circle the hook.
  3. What is the general topic of the essay?
  4. Highlight the thesis.
  5. Underline each of the topic sentences.
  6. Do each of the topic sentences support the thesis?
  7. How does the conclusion paragraph begin? How does it end?

This content is provided to you freely by BYU-I Books.

Access it online or download it at https://books.byui.edu/foundations_c_writing/example_essay_1d.