The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
Contributors: Jack Baker, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2013-03-10 01:34:44
What is a descriptive essay?
The descriptive essay is a genre of essay that asks the student to describe something—object, person, place, experience, emotion, situation, etc. This genre encourages the student’s ability to create a written account of a particular experience. What is more, this genre allows for a great deal of artistic freedom (the goal of which is to paint an image that is vivid and moving in the mind of the reader).
One might benefit from keeping in mind this simple maxim: If the reader is unable to clearly form an impression of the thing that you are describing, try, try again!
Here are some guidelines for writing a descriptive essay.
If your instructor asks you to describe your favorite food, make sure that you jot down some ideas before you begin describing it. For instance, if you choose pizza, you might start by writing down a few words: sauce, cheese, crust, pepperoni, sausage, spices, hot, melted, etc. Once you have written down some words, you can begin by compiling descriptive lists for each one.
- Use clear and concise language.
This means that words are chosen carefully, particularly for their relevancy in relation to that which you are intending to describe.
Why use horse when you can choose stallion? Why not use tempestuous instead of violent? Or why not miserly in place of cheap? Such choices form a firmer image in the mind of the reader and often times offer nuanced meanings that serve better one’s purpose.
Remember, if you are describing something, you need to be appealing to the senses of the reader. Explain how the thing smelled, felt, sounded, tasted, or looked. Embellish the moment with senses.
If you can describe emotions or feelings related to your topic, you will connect with the reader on a deeper level. Many have felt crushing loss in their lives, or ecstatic joy, or mild complacency. Tap into this emotional reservoir in order to achieve your full descriptive potential.
- Leave the reader with a clear impression.
One of your goals is to evoke a strong sense of familiarity and appreciation in the reader. If your reader can walk away from the essay craving the very pizza you just described, you are on your way to writing effective descriptive essays.
It is easy to fall into an incoherent rambling of emotions and senses when writing a descriptive essay. However, you must strive to present an organized and logical description if the reader is to come away from the essay with a cogent sense of what it is you are attempting to describe.
Question: If Oracle can read indexes in both directions, what is the purpose of the Oracle descending index? How to I implement an Oracle descending index? Are there special execution plans which use descending indexes?
Answer: The Oracle database supports descending indexes and they have special min/max execution plans associated with their usage. With a descending index you will see the execution plan reference the index:
INDEX RANGE SCAN DESCENDING
It is interesting to note that when you create an index with the "desc" option, it creates a index as a composite function based index. The choice of ascending or descending index when defining an index would depend on the kind of SQL queries that you want to answer using that index.
For example, a query that asks for the key values in descending order would benefit from a descending index. Any query with an ORDER BY DESC would use a descending index to remove the need for a back-end sort operation.
Note that in some releases the descending index is buggy and causes sub-optimal execution plans. See MOSC bug 11072246 (Oracle 11gr2) and MOSC Note titled ""non optimal index is used when index column is in desc order".
Also, remember that an ascending index can be read in descending order, so there are VERY few benefits to creating a index with the DESC clause. In most cases a "vanilla" ascending index will be able to handle requests for data in descending order, using the index and sorting the result set, much faster and more efficiently than the descending index.