Watson and the Shark
Watson and the Shark is a painting by John Singleton Copely. In the foreground of the painting, one naked man is being attacked by a huge gray shark in the cold and choppy seawater. One small overloaded rowboat is near the naked man and the frightening shark. There are nine horrified men in this rowboat. They are trying to rescue the naked man. One young man takes a long spear and wants to kill the shark. Some people are reaching for his hand, and some are throwing a rope for him to catch. In the background of the painting, under the dark and cloudy sky, there are many ships stopping in the stormy harbor. The whole painting makes people feel tension and fear.
Teacherís notes: This paragraph is well written in a number of ways. Firstly, the sentence structure is correct and shows compound sentence combining. Secondly, the student used a number of adjectives to add life to the description. Thirdly, the description is organized from the focal point in the front of the painting to the background, just as our eyes would follow the painting. The ideas flow smoothly from one to the other because of cohesive devices such as sentence combining, pronouns, correct use of definite and indefinite articles, repetition of key words, and prepositions that direct the readerís attention around the image. Finally, it is easy to read because it is well edited. I only made four minor corrections for this copy. The student wrote clearly and correctly (and probably edited it at home) so that I didnít have to guess what she meant or be distracted by mistakes. This paragraph is an excellent example of a descriptive paragraph.