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Humanities LibreTexts

15.9: Sensory Details Examples

  • Page ID
    22715
  • Personal Narrative Essay

    Sensory details appeal to the five senses: sight, sound, smell , touch, taste. When writing a personal narrative, your objective is to get the reader to feel like they are there with you. Adding sensory details will help you achieve this goal.

    Sight (this is used most often, but trying using all of them!)

    • Dark green of rolling pastures
    • the streets glistened like shiny ornaments after the rain
    • the slivered moon sat in the sky like an old fingernail clipping
    • the flashing blue lights from the police cruiser lit up our dark house

    Sound

    • The walls shook and vibrated like the tail of a rattle snake
    • Ice crackled and pinged against the family room window like a baseball striking a bat
    • Wind swirled around our beach house whistling loudly to a terrible tune
    • The television buzzed as it shut off, and the furnace sighed one last time before the house fell silent.
    • The cracking of wood splitting punctuated each burst of fire like an exclamation point.
    • the sounds of emergency sirens awakened the still roads wailing like a newborn baby

    Smell

     

    • the baking cake filled the kitchen with aroma of vanilla
    • cinnamon-scented candle reminded of the Big Red gum my father chewed
    • the beach air smelled of seaweed and salt
    • the warm summer air smelled of freshly cut grass

     

    Touch

    • The heavy quilt felt like an x-ray vest draped across our legs
    • The prickly feathers of the boa stuck my neck
    • The puppy’s nose was dry like sandpaper
    • The sand was hot and grainy like my morning grits.

    Taste

    • Sweet, juicy strawberries
    • Sour lemonade
    • salty chips
    • juicy tartness of orange
    • rancid butter

     

    A handout of this resource is available here.

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