The Place Where You Live

Click on hyperlink here to access the assignment “The Place Where You Live.” After you’ve read the assignment, look over some of the samples posted on the right of the screen (on the Orion magazine site). As an introduction to yourself and your “place,” follow the instructions to compose a short essay (about 350 words) and post it to your blog. You may write about a place where you do not currently live, but that you  consider home. You may want to narrow your focus from the city or town as a whole to some smaller part of it (your neighborhood or street), but don’t just describe your own house. As the instructions indicate, you may include photographs or some other form of image. If you have any problems posting to the blog, don’t worry!!! Just email the entry to me (or yourself) and I’ll help in class.

In writing a place description, you want to bring your readers to this place, so that they feel as if they’re looking over your shoulder (or through your eyes). In order to do that, you can’t just say that a place is beautiful or dull or breath-taking (or any other such “telling” adjectives). Instead you need to use the “showing” details that will paint a picture of the place, so that your reader sees the same thing that you do. In order to do that, you will need to see the place yourself. If you can, it’s always helpful to visit a place you’re trying to describe, to look for those details that will best convey the look and feel of the place. If you can’t visit the place (because it’s too far geographically or you’re written of some place long ago), try to picture it in your mind. Use your memory and imagination to collect up some mental snapshots that convey the essence of the place from your perspective: not just the the houses were well- (or not-so-well-) kept up, but a typical house that you could describe; not that the people were friendly, but a representative action from a particular person.

Here are several student samples for inspiration:

  • Rachael
  • Nicole (She submitted her piece to Orion magazine and had it published on their website and her photos were published in the magazine!)

And here are a few professional samples as well.

Warning: Note that this is not a research assignment but rather should be written from your own observation. Please do not consult wikipedia; some students in the past who have done this have used information from online without properly citing it and have received zero for the assignment.