Sample Online Course Module

Module 3 from CWWR 952 Distance Education Online Course



  • respond to some of the homework assignments in Module Two
  • do the application exercise and post your answer
  • do the homework assignment and Post


Descriptive Passages

How many of you skim descriptive passages? Not always, perhaps, but a long paragraph of description can seem daunting. It may be boring if it isn’t done well.  Unimaginative description feels like a list of features, perhaps recreating something beautiful for the writer who has the “real thing” to recall, but less enticing for the reader. We need to feel inside the scene, not dryly looking on. Easy to say what’s wrong with a piece of writing, less easy to fix it. Let’s try an application exercise and see what we discover.

Below you will see two postcard scenes.



Choose one of the postcards and write a brief description of what you see. Just the facts, please, no artful writing. Don’t try and write well, just accurately. 

  • Post your response.
  • Read at least three others.
  • What do you notice about these descriptions? What are they like to read?
  • Post your thoughts.



Homework assignment

Now for some fun. Click on one of the faces and select one “trigger” phrase. The phrase you have selected will be your point of view when you rewrite the description.

With this trigger phrase I want you to go back and rewrite the postcard description (300 words max). This time you are viewing the scene, or perhaps even entering the scene as if you were the person in the frame of mind indicated by the trigger phrase. Let your imagination run on this exercise. Don’t worry too much about “doing it right.” Post. When you have had a chance to read several of these, answer the following questions and post.

  1. What is different in the two versions?
  2. Which version is more fun to read? Why?
  3. What has been created, quite naturally, in the second versions?


Inspirational Quote:
“One reason the writer can give for including himself, his state of mind, incidentals of his life, in a piece of travel writing is that places tend to look the way you feel when you look at them.” Ian Frazier