Almost everyone has a special place, either in the
present or past, that represents any number of emotions, pleasure being first
among them. For Jason Holland, that place was a bridge and the time was when he
was in high school. He is now a student at
What to Look For: If you are having a difficult time giving your reader a vivid picture of your scene, you might try writing down as many adjectives and adverbs about various objects or people that you associate with the place. After you have done this, then you can choose the most appropriate ones. That is what Jason Holland did when he was coming up with his descriptive essay about his adventures with his friends on a condemned bridge. As you read the essay look specifically at the detail be uses to enhance his essay.
1 I can see it
now. The four of us sitting out on the wood bridge puffing on our cheap,
Swisher cigars. The smoke rising above the rusty, cast iron sides and filtering
up to the full moon above. As the moon reflects off the
2 The bridge looks like it's something from a surreal movie with a atmosphere. Located two miles out of town, it's hidden on a winding, gravel road that sometimes gets washed out if it rains heavily. Because of the lack of maintenance the bridge has old oak and maple trees leaning against it. The wood tiling on the bottom is spaced far apart almost to the point where our feet could fall through.
3 When we were at the bridge we felt as though nothing could go wrong. We thought that all our problems and fears would go away if we stayed out there long enough. We felt as though our parents, teachers, and coaches had no control over us. We could talk about anything and anyone without even thinking about the consequences. No one could touch us. We were like 1920 bootleg gangsters that the law couldn't catch up with. We were almost invincible as we smoked our cigars and talked about our dreams and aspirations.
4 As we sat and smoked it felt as though we were the only people on earth. The world revolved around us. It was like we could control the world while we were out at the bridge. It was a rickety, old bridge, but it seemed to empower us to the point where we felt as though we could control our own destiny. My friend who didn't do well in school was a smarter and more insightful person when he was at the bridge. My friend who wasn't good at athletics felt like he was as good an athlete as any professional. My friend who didn't have a girlfriend seemed like he was a savvy, babe magnet. The bridge had the power to give us confidence.
5 The bridge was county property but my friends and I felt like we were the owners. It was a mutual relationship. We owned the bridge, and the bridge owned us. On the long, cool summer nights we knew that the bridge needed company so we would get our cigars and take a ride down the long, windy road and leave our problems behind.; We sat out at the bridge for hours basking in the sounds of an occasional swat of a mosquito, the cooing of an owl in the distance, the splashing of a fish in the river, with the cool yet comfortable, windless night.
6 I haven't yet found a place where I could be so much in my own world and in my own element as I could when I was at the bridge. Having my best friends and cheap cigars made me enjoy it even more.
Guide to notes on the descriptive essay
Thesis and Organization
Technique and Style