Out of all the selected readings from Writing and Place, the piece in which I thought used the thickest description effectively was “The Science of Shopping” by Malcolm Gladwell. I enjoyed this piece extremely due to its topic, shopping and fashion. It also seemed like the most descriptive because of the author’s use of massively detailed descriptions. He not only told a story but he made the effort for the reader to feel like they were present. For example, “There is a girl emerging from the changing room wearing her first pair. There she is glancing at her reflection in the mirror, then turning to see herself from the back.” Gladwell’s sentences made me feel as if I was sitting next to Paco watching the security tapes with him. Not only is the author descriptive to help one to visualize the story but he also uses thick description when explaining Paco’s intense way of thinking. “He knows the faster you walk the more your peripheral vision narrows, so you become unable to pick up visual cues as quickly as someone who is just ambling along.” This sentence shows Paco’s deep thoughts about behind the thinking of shoppers. He seems to know all the tricks and reasons on why shoppers shop they way they do.
In “The Church Uptown” by Ian McGuinness there are several different effective techniques used. Although I do not agree with all the author says about St. Mary’s, I do find a refreshing and insight on the local church. Ian talks about the past history of the church. All the information that he provided helped me to better understand the churches past. He made the church seem very interesting. However he also seemed to “down-talk” the church which I believe to be a very ineffective technique. Although it the church may not be in the best location in relation to everything positioned uptown, it is a beautiful landmark that represents a large part of Oxford’s past. Overall, I enjoyed Ian’s story of the church and want to visit it.