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Chapter 2. The Write Way > Four Play - Pg. 20

The Write Way 20 Writing That Describes: Description Hells Canyon Hells Canyon is one of America's most dramatically beautiful places, a 130,000-acre scenic area extending for 22 miles along the Snake River. The Snake River writhes its way north, majestically separating the states of Oregon and Idaho. For some distance, this river flows through the deepest gorge on the North American continent, Hells Canyon. To the east, the Seven Devils Range in Idaho, volcanic in origin, towers 8,000 feet above the river. The western side of the canyon formed by the flat-topped ridge between the Imnaha and Snake Rivers rises a stunning 5,500 feet. Jutting out into the canyon are circular rock benches that give a spectacular obser- vation point. From the crest of the ridges, a person can look for miles into Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, across a soft grassy plateau country and tumbling masses of mountains. On a clear day, a person can see into nine national forests. Higher up, the grass gives way to magnificent clear lakes and roaring waterfalls. How does this writer help you visualize Hells Canyon? The writer uses description, which is details drawn from the five senses: sight, taste, touch, sound, and smell. The second sentence--"The Snake River writhes its way north, majestically separating the states of Oregon and Idaho"--appeals to sight. The phrase "a soft grassy plateau" appeals to touch; the phrase "roaring waterfalls" sparks the sense of hearing. See how many more descriptive details you can find in this passage. Description often forms the basis for these two types of writing: 1. 2. Journals Poems