Completers and Modifiers: Writing
Take a few minutes to observe the room around you. Notice specific objects, the light, the space, and the atmosphere of the place. Look closely for details, including those that seem unimportant at first, like a shadow on the wall or the rumble of the air conditioner. On scrap paper, jot down all your observations, organizing them into related clusters. (Click here for an introduction to clustering.)
If your teacher or study group would like you to develop this exercise into a longer descriptive paragraph, please revise it double-spaced on a fresh piece of paper, a word processor, or a class bulletin board.
- Use the clusters of observations to help you write a paragraph that conveys a picture of the room. Start your first sentence with these words: "When I walk into ____________ , the first thing I notice is . . . ." Go on from there.
- Looking at your first sentence, put [square brackets] around the word or phrase that you've written after "the first thing I notice is . . . " This is probably a completer. In the next few sentences, look for words that describe other words. Underline these words. These are probably modifiers. Try to decide which other word in the sentence each modifier describes. When you finish Chapter 4, you'll be able to find the rest of the completers and modifiers in your paragraph.