How do you describe a long, complex process or complicated product in one sentence? Use a simile or metaphor.
Writing Task: Describe how a computer operating system works to someone who is computer illiterate.
One of Many Possible Solutions: A computer operating system is like the electrical wiring system in your house—a power system that doesn’t do much of anything until you “plug in and turn on” a microwave/browser, lamp/word processing application, toaster/spreadsheet—you get the idea.
Some people would write paragraph after paragraph trying to explain a computer operating system, confusing their readers more and more with every sentence they wrote. But once you nail your topic in a short simile or metaphor, and your reader understands what you’re talking about right away, you can then add more detailed, explanatory information without confusing your reader.