- Exercise in Writing With Specific Details
- Concrete Noun
- Exercise in Using Specific Descriptive Details in Sentences
- General-to-Specific Order
- Practice in Supporting a Topic Sentence with Specific Details
- Supporting Detail
- Word Choice
From the Latin, "kind, species"
Examples and Observations:
- "You are more likely to make a definite impression on your reader if you use specific, rather than abstract, words. Rather than 'We were affected by the news,' write 'We were relieved by the news' or 'We were devastated by the news.' Use words that convey precisely and vividly what you are thinking or feeling.
"Compare 'Cutting down all those beautiful old trees really changed the appearance of the landscape' with 'In two weeks, the loggers transformed a ten thousand-acre forest of old growth red and white pine into a field of ruts and stubble.'"
(Stephen Wilbers, Keys to Great Writing. Writer's Digest Books, 2000)
- "Replace abstract and general words with concrete and specific words. Abstract and general words allow multiple interpretations. Concrete words engage the five senses: see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. Specific words include real names, times, places, and numbers. Consequently, concrete and specific words are more precise and, therefore, more interesting. Abstract and general words are ambiguous and, therefore, dull:
The food (general) was appealing (abstract).Your authority as a writer comes from your concrete and specific words, not your education or job title."
The warm bread with nut-brown crust and yeasty aroma made my mouth water (concrete and specific).
(Daniel Graham and Judith Graham, Can Do Writing: The Proven Ten-Step System for Fast and Effective Business Writing. John Wiley, 2009)
- "Specific, concrete nouns express meaning more vividly than general or abstract ones. Although general and abstract language is sometimes necessary to convey your meaning, ordinarily prefer specific, concrete alternatives. . .
"Nouns such as thing, area, aspect, factor, and individual are especially dull and imprecise."
(Diana Hacker, The Bedford Handbook, 6th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's , 2002)