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Chemistry LibreTexts

Figurative Language in Descriptive Writing

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  • Writers use figurative language such as imagery, similes, and metaphors to help the reader visualize and experience events and emotions. This is critical for descriptive writing. 


    Imagery: a word or phrase that refers to sensory experience (sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste)—helps create a physical experience for the reader and adds immediacy to literary language. When you are being descriptive, try to appeal to those 5 senses to help your reader have a "sensory experience."

    Some figurative language asks us to stretch our imaginations, finding the likeness in seemingly unrelated things. Simile is a comparison of two things that initially seem quite different but are shown to have significant resemblance. Similes employ connective words, usually “like”or “as." A metaphor is a statement that one thing is something else that, in a literal sense, it is not. By asserting that a thing is something else, a metaphor creates a close association that underscores an important similarity between these two things. We've talked about these in previous quarters, so they should be familiar.

    The comparison made when using figurative can truly help your reader picture what you are talking about in their mind because they have that comparison to "see" it. That imagery allows them to experience the writing. It comes off the page for the reader.

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