English Composition Rasmussen College MOD1 Descriptive Paragraph Assignment

Compose a single body descriptive paragraph in formal written English. Be sure to include the following:

  • Topic sentence that provides the main idea for the descriptive paragraph.
  • Body sentences that discuss the main idea for the descriptive paragraph using explanation, examples, details, and of course, descriptive elements.
  • Transition sentence: Your descriptive paragraph must include the use of at least one or more transitions that move the paragraph along.
  • Conclusion sentence: Your descriptive paragraph must end with a concluding sentence that wraps up and refers to the main idea of the topic sentence and signals to the reader that the paragraph is over.
  • Your descriptive paragraph needs to contain a minimum total of five complete sentences.

Reminder: Descriptive refers to a style of writing. Choose your sentences for your descriptive paragraph from the following sentences, and use them together to construct your descriptive paragraph. They will not all be appropriate for this paragraph, so choose only the sentences that result in a complete descriptive paragraph as listed above. Use a topic sentence that provides the main idea for a single well-organized paragraph using the steps of the writing process.

Choose the best sentences to construct your descriptive paragraph, and put them together to make ONE well-organized descriptive paragraph. Remember that not all sentences need to be used.

  1. It’s a soft, blue-sky break before the gray skies of winter begin to reflect the steely cold waters the lake becomes with the first freeze.
  2. Dogs are sometimes fierce protectors that can attack anyone they feel is threatening a family.
  3. In the old days, dogs were not considered companions, but seen more as working animals.
  4. That’s what we can all call a red-letter day!
  5. My dog, Bosco, is a Harlequin Great Dane that outweighs our 10 year old brother, and to the other dogs in our neighborhood he must look like a tall spotted monster because they avoid him at all cost.
  6. Do you think dogs are smarter than people?
  7. Sometimes our dog seems to know when we are laughing at him because he tucks his head down and appears to shrink into a small ball resembling a lumpy soccer ball.
  8. On a beautiful fall day, my family enjoys picnicking at a quiet beach we know that has a blue lagoon surrounded by rustic picnic tables and tall, green pines.
  9. I really like dogs.
  10. The whole family grabs sweaters and corduroys, Mom packs a cheese sandwich picnic basket with all the junk food we never get to taste otherwise, and we jump into Dad’s old blue jalopy and head out for one last day of fun before all the hub-bub of school gets into swing.
  11. My brother is a great Jayvee football quarterback, my older red-headed sister is a cheerleader complete with red pom-poms, and I play cymbals and drums in the school pep band, so we are usually very tied up in school activities soon after school starts.
  12. That dog can open the refrigerator and grab a can of soda!
  13. I really enjoy the pep band; it’s fun to get all dressed up in my red band uniform and beat those shiny drums during a game.
  14. Our big dog needs to stay at home with the cat because he attracts sand and fleas.
  15. On one hand, it is hard to get everything ready for the day trip; on the other hand, nobody in our family wants to miss such a day of fun.
  16. My brother thinks he is smarter and more well-dressed than the rest of us because he is the oldest.
  17. For example, cats can be really pretty, but they don’t seem to love everyone in the family.
  18. At the end of a great day of flying kites, chasing each other around the lagoon, and eating great junk food, we all go home extremely tired and extremely happy.
  19. A day with my dog.
  20. My family comes in all shapes, ages, sizes, and hair colors, but no matter what we look like, we ALL love to eat.
  21. As night falls and my father drives the old beat-up car towards home, most of us finish up the cheese sandwiches and chips and doze off after a day of fun.

Grading Rubric







Not Submitted

No Pass




Paragraph Construction: Topic Sentence

Not Submitted

No topic sentence included in the paragraph, or the sentence selected is not appropriate.

Topic sentence is evident and used to relate to most sentences, but not all.

Topic sentence is used as the main idea of the paragraph, and directly relates to most of the body sentences, but some sentences may not relate.

Topic sentence clearly illustrates the purpose of the paper and is used to command the rest of the body sentences.

Paragraph Construction: Body Sentences

Not Submitted

Either no body sentences provided, incomplete sentences, or sentences do not relate to the main idea for the paragraph.

Most body sentences relate correctly back to topic sentence, but not all fit into the descriptive paragraph coherently.

Body sentences tie main idea to the paragraph assignment, but do not include enough detail and examples for a descriptive paragraph.

Body sentences discuss main idea of the paragraph. Illustrate good use of details and examples to achieve the descriptive purpose of the assignment.

Paragraph Construction:

Concluding Sentence

Not Submitted

No concluding sentence in paragraph or concluding sentence does not offer any sense of closure or seem appropriate.

Conclusion seems to be apparent to the reader; however, a sentence does not tie into the main idea as expressed.

Concluding sentence is carefully tied into the main idea stated as the topic sentence, but does not make clear this is the conclusion of the paragraph.

Concluding sentence is relevant to show review of the main idea as expressed and signals completion of the paragraph.

Sentence Construction

Not Submitted

Incomplete sentences or sentence errors evident throughout the paragraph.

Most sentences are complete and show correct constructions; however, no variety of sentence structures is evident.

Some evidence of varied sentence structures used correctly, but some parts of the paragraph body sentences fail to show complex/simple sentence variety.

Varied sentence structure and simple/complex sentences handled correctly. Demonstrates use of the steps of the writing process. Effective use of transitions noted.

Grammar and Mechanical

Not Submitted

Many grammatical and mechanical errors throughout paragraph. No transitional sentences used or ones used are ineffective.

Some grammatical errors interrupt flow and meaning of the paragraph; however, most are complete. Some attempt at use of transitions in paragraph.

A few grammatical and mechanical errors evident in paragraph, but do not seem to drastically change the reader’s perception of the answers. Transitions used.

No grammatical or mechanical errors evident in complete variety of simple and complex sentences that illuminate the idea of the assignment.

Good use of transitions evident.

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