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Pertinent Pointers for the AP Language Writer - Henry County … - another word for feeling bad for someone

Ola High School
English AP/Honors Program

Student Handbook

This handbook belongs to

This is to be kept by you throughout high school. If you lose it, it can be reprinted from the OHS English Department website at http://schoolwires.henry.k12.ga.us/domain/1219.
Table of Contents
1. Writing Tips
General Tips to Better Writing … … … … … … … … 3
Never Again Writing Sins … … … … … … … … 3
The Gospel According to Strunk & White … … … … … … 4
Using Strong Verbs … … …. … … … … … … 5
Action Verbs By Skill Type … … … … … … … … 5
Ways to Say “Says” … … … … … … … … … 6
Transitions … … … … ... … … … … … 7
Pointers for an Argument … … … … … … … … 8
Preparing For the Synthesis Question … … … … … … … 10

2. Elements of Style
What is Style, Anyway? … … … … … … … … 11
Types of Writing Styles … … … … … … … … 12
DIDLS (Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, Syntax)
Diction … … … … … … … … … 14
Tone Words … … … … … … … … 16
Images … … … … … … … … … 17
Details … … … … … … … … … … 17
Language … … … … … … … … … 17 Syntax … … … … … … … … … … 18

3. Close Reading
Annotation … … … … … … … … … … 20
Pointers for Critical Reading and Rhetorical Analysis … … … … 23
Methods of Organizing Responses to a Reading … … … … … 24
Key Words in Essay Questions … … … … … … … 25

4. Terminology

Rhetorical Strategies/Devices … … … … … … … 26
Comparison … … … … … … … … … 26
Repetition … … … … … … … … … 31
Contradiction … … … … … … … … … 33
Humor … … … … … … … … … 34
Tone … … … … … … … … … 34
Miscellaneous … … … … … … … … 35
Functions of Rhetoric … … … … … … … … … 40
Figures of Speech … … … … … … … … … 41
Other Literary Terms … … … … … … … … … 43
Some Fundamentals of Poetry … … … … … … … … 43

5. All About MLA
Terms Related to MLA … … … … … … … … … 48
Quick Check for MLA Formatting … … … … … … … 49 Guidelines for Weaving Quotations into Your Writing … … … … … 50
Avoiding Plagiarism … … … … … … … … … 51

6. Miscellaneous
Tips for Multiple Choice Questions … … … … … … … … 53
Sample Rubric for Essay … … … … … … … … 54
Helpful Websites … … … … … … … … … 55

General Tips to Better Writing

Style: While students are encouraged to develop their own personal styles of writing that reflect their individual voices, certain conventions must be followed.
• Diction (word choice) matters!
• Vocabulary above high school level matters.
• Never drop in quotations—never begin a sentence with a quotation—always embed the evidence. Weave the quotations into your own words/writing.
• Know your rhetorical devices, purposes, and functions so you can recognize them and use them effectively.
Syntax: grammatical sentence structure
• No abbreviations or contractions.
• No 2nd person pronouns!
• When analyzing a piece, always use the author’s full name (especially the first time you mention him/her) or use the last name only (AFTER stating the writer’s full name one time). NEVER use the author’s first name only! You don’t know him/her that well!
• Treat titles correctly: Underline (when handwriting) or italicize (when typing) the titles of large works: books, plays, artwork, movies, television series, newspapers, magazine, anthologies. Quote (when handwriting and typing) the smaller works or parts of the larger works: essays, short stories, poetry, chapters, etc.
• Avoid beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
• Vary the sentence structure: simple, compound, complex, compound-complex.
• Vary sentence beginnings: phrases, clauses, inverted order, etc.
• Use transition words and phrases effectively.
• Eliminate dead and dying words from your writing:
o to be verbs—use action verbs!
o there at the beginning of sentences
o vague words: it, this, that, these, those, they

All papers should follow Modern Language Association’s MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition’s formatting and style guidelines. Online sources of these updates are available. Refer to the class page on the school website for links to online sources. MLA is “used in English, foreign languages, and some other humanities” (Kennedy et al. 56).

Never Again Writing Sins

NEVER AGAIN will I include WRITING SINS in my writing for school—that is in any class [The elimination of these NEVER AGAIN WRITING SINS will improve your scores in all your classes!]:

1. Vague, meaningless words like it, this, that, these, those.
2. Second person pronouns: you, your, yours, yourself, yourselves
3. A sentence beginning with the word there.
4. The wrong there: there, their, they’re. There refers to a place, like here. Their shows ownership. They’re is a contraction for they are.
5. Possessive nouns and contractions that have no apostrophes.
6. Apostrophes in plural nouns!
7. Sentences that begin with coordinating conjunctions--FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
8. Their used with everyone, no one, anyone etc., when I should use his/her. Everyone, etc. is singular; their is plural.
9. Alot used as one word. You wouldn’t say alittle, afew, acoconut, apenguin. Avoid using a lot at all!!! The word is trite and meaningless!
10. Paragraphs that are not indented properly.
11. Subject/verb disagreement. People’s opinions is……….People’s opinions are…….
12. Words divided at the ends of lines.
13. Run-on sentences, comma splices, and fragments passed off as good, complete sentences.
14. Missing commas after introductory dependent clauses!

Using Strong Verbs

Get rid of the “to be” verbs! This takes work, but it is the quickest way to improve your writing! Some ways to eliminate the “to be” verbs:

Combine two sentence or clauses into one using the action verb of one of the sentences.
Change: Joan loves to sing. Her other passion is writing.
To: Joan loves both singing and writing.

Using an appositive phrase:
Change: Jonson was the most popular poet of his time. He wrote several plays as well and was an avid
To: Jonson, an avid linguist and the most popular poet of his time, also wrote several plays.

Using an infinitive phrase (to + verb):
Change: The lifeguard was swimming rapidly, and he reached the victim.
To: To reach the victim, the lifeguard swam rapidly.

Using a participle phrase:
Change: The lifeguard was swimming rapidly, and he reached the victim.
To: Swimming rapidly, the lifeguard reached the victim.

Making the object the subject:
Change: Many people say Colorado is a beautiful place. That is why it is preferred vacation spot.
To: Colorado’s famed beauty makes it a preferred vacation spot.

Making a participle or gerund: (add –ing to a word)
Change: I want to be a guitar player someday. I know that to do that I must practice every day.
To: I know I must practice everyday to realize my dream of playing guitar.

Making an adjective phrase:
Change: In the attic, Richard discovered a crate. It was full of diaries.
To: In the attic, Richard discovered a crate full of diaries.

Action verbs make your writing sound more sophisticated and mature.

Examples of Strong Verbs:
Literary Analysis Word Bank:
conveys underscores emphasizes highlights
hints at intimates paints a picture portrays
explores shows develops demonstrates
illumines illuminates depicts displays
proves suggests implies symbolizes
represents introduces sets forth expands
furthers hearkens back to recalls echoes
reiterates repeats reveals explicates
suggests clarifies points to reveals
manifests illustrates expounds satirizes
exposes provokes evokes invokes

Action Verbs by Skill Type

Action Verbs-- This list is handy since you need to get rid of “to be” verbs; these verbs can be used in specific instances as shown by the
groupings below.

Management skills:
administered analyzed assigned attained chaired
consolidated contracted coordinated delegated developed
directed evaluated executed improved increased
organized oversaw planned prioritized produced
recommended reviewed scheduled strengthened supervised

Communication skills:
addressed arbitrated arranged authored collaborated
convinced corresponded developed directed drafted
edited enlisted formulated influenced interpreted
lectured mediated moderated negotiated persuaded
promoted publicized reconciled recruited spoke
translated wrote

Technical skills:
assembled built calculated computed designed
engineered fabricated maintained operated overhauled
programmed remodeled repaired solved upgraded

Financial skills:
administered allocated analyzed appraised audited
balanced budgeted calculated computed developed
forecasted managed marketed planned projected

Creative skills:
acted conceptualized created customized designed
developed directed established fashioned founded
illustrated initiated instituted integrated introduced
invented originated performed planned revitalized

Helping skills:
assessed assisted clarified coached counseled
demonstrated diagnosed educated expedited facilitated
familiarized guided motivated referred rehabilitated

Clerical or Detail skills:
approved arranged catalogued classified collected
compiled dispatched executed generated implemented
inspected monitored operated organized prepared
processed purchased recorded retrieved screened
specified systemize tabulated validated

Verbs denoting accomplishments:
achieved expanded improved pioneered reduced
resolved restored spearheaded transformed expedited
overhauled upgraded attained improved increased

Verbs of Attrition: A Plethora of Ways to Say “Says”

hastens to say
points out
puts in
runs on
spells out

Transitional Words and Phrases to help create flow and smoothness in your writing:
Transition words and phrases help the reader understand how your text is organized and help to connect ideas and make connections clear. While action verbs make your writing stronger and more sophisticated, transitional words and phrases make your writing flow more smoothly and coherently.

Sequential: (don’t over use these!)
first next then finally after now
at last during again earlier before later

Emphasis or importance:
most important least important a major development a key feature most of all
a significant factor a primary concern above all a distinctive quality remember that a major event a central issue most noteworthy the main value especially important
the chief outcome a vital force the principal item

Add more information:
and another also in addition too again and finally other
first of all furthermore with likewise more secondly a final reason
next moreover one reason similarly last of all

in the same manner however the opposite rather different from conversely equally
on the other hand while resemble instead of on the contrary like in spite of
in contrast to this yet even though alike the same as either although
nevertheless whereas similarly still not withstanding but

Introduce illustrations or examples:
much like to illustrate for example for instance similar to to begin with specifically same as

Show inexact ideas:
almost could sort of seems like maybe purported to probably if
except some looks like was reported nearly alleged might should

Signal a conclusion:
therefore finally so hence as a result consequently last of all
seen from this in conclusion in summary as one can see overall

More transitions that have been collected over time:

until then
all in all
in contrast
beyond that
after all
in any case
after that
thus far
in truth
until now
to begin
above all
in any event
looking deeper
in essence
in reality
on the whole
prior to that
beyond that
as a result
on the whole
less obvious
in spite of
in the end
worse still
greater still
more important
more importantly
simply stated
strangely enough
for this reason
as a matter of fact
in the same way
balancing this
worth discussing
strangely enough
underscoring it all
in the final analysis
although less notable
despite the fact
yet more proof
by way of contrast
in comparison
it also follows
generally speaking
in a similar manner
defying comprehension
in connection with
it remains to be seen
following that logic
in other words
at the beginning
also important to note
prior to that
while recognizing that
without a doubt
in the meantime
with this in mind
impossible to ignore
without further delay
upon further analysis
interestingly enough
until that point
in a like manner
oddly enough
one factor leading to
with that in mind
parallels also appear
on another note
yet another example
in retrospect
as a consequence
even more impressive
Pointers for an Argument

Argumentative Structure and Definition
The argument we are talking about her is not like the fuss you have with your sibling or your friend. The argument we are referencing here is more like a presentation of evidence to support a position you have taken. Composing an argument is a little like preparing for a debate. You should approach the subject carefully defining it from the opposition’s perspective. Sometimes it’s at this level (definition) that the real controversy is revealed. The next step is to offer reasoning and evidence which support your “side” of the issue. Good evidence can take a variety of forms, but fallacious reasoning is equally abundant. (Analogy, authority, and example are all good evidence. Begging the question, either-or reasoning, and non sequitur are common fallacies in argument.) In this stage of the argument, your job is to make clear how and why you arrived at your position. The reader should be able to follow your logic readily and should be able to trust your evidence.
The next step involves covering your opponent’s objections. In any argument, two or more positions may exist. Rather than discount your opposition’s point of view (since this merely alienates—it does not win arguments), you should make a reasonable effort to deal with the major points of conflict and demonstrate where his argument fails.
Lastly, your argument should offer a solution to the issue’s problem(s). No reader likes to read an argument that complains but does not offer alternatives.

Argument Outline
1. State premise or thesis: define issue
a. Provide details about the nature of the issue
b. Articulate how your definition differs from the opposition; analyze their argument carefully.
c. Define by denotation, connotation, example, and/or cause and effect
2. Offer reasoning and evidence
a. Provide readers with logic that led you to your conclusion
b. Offer supporting evidence (comparison, analogy, authority, quotation, statistics, etc.)
c. Check your reasoning and evidence for fallacies
3. Cover the opposition’s objectives to your position
4. Offer a solution or alternative

The Parts of an Argument
1. Assertion/Claim-what the writer is claiming, the main point
2. Evidence-the data, information, and knowledge which a historian, social scientist, or any communicator uses to support an argument. It is only when we know the sources of the evidence that we can judge how valid the evidence actually is.
Four ways to evaluate evidence: (PROP)
P: Is it the primary or secondary source? Primary sources are better.
R: No reason to distort. Does the writer have reason to distort, cover up, give false impressions, lie, etc.?
O: Are there other sources of evidence?
P: Is it a public or private statement? Private is usually better because it is usually said in confidence.
3. Words-Word choice cues the reader to the author’s beliefs.
a. Jargon-needless use of big words
b. Equivocation-use of key word in two or more senses in the same argument
c. Weasel Words-suggest without giving proof
4. Reasoning-takes one from evidence to conclusion
a. Comparison and analogy-This type of reasoning compares two cases. The cue word “like” identifies comparison reasoning.
b. Sample or generalization-Argues what is true for some part or sample of a group will be true for the rest of the group.
c. Cause and effect-Reasoning that argues that something has or will cause something else.
5. Assumptions-An assumption is something that is not stated but is taken for granted in an argument. Some assumptions are not warranted and should not be accepted.
6. Values-Values are conditions that a communicator of an argument believes are intrinsically good, or thinks are important and worthwhile.

Evaluation Questions for Argument
Ask the following questions of any selection with argumentative elements.
1. What is the assertion made by the author? State this in your own words.
2. What is your initial position on the issue? Do you have any prejudicial attitudes, sentiments, or stereotypes?
3. What arguments (logical reasonings) are made? Are they unified, specific, adequate, accurate, and representative?
a. Does the author represent the important opposing arguments fairly?
b. Does the author use specific examples, detailed description, quotations from authorities, facts, statistics, etc?
c. Are there any omissions?
4. What emotional appeals are made? Be aware of illogical fallacies which are based on appeals to traditions, desires, prejudices, etc.

5. What attempts are made to establish the writer’s credentials?
a. Does the writer use a reasonable tone, treating the opponent with respect by avoiding such things as illogical statements or inflammatory language?
b. Does the writer reveal any prejudicial attitudes?
c. Does the writer attempt to embody some evidence of personal knowledge of the subject?
d. Note the writer’s style, e.g. sentences or vocabulary which were effective, too simples or too difficult. Was the writing clear? Was the language and tone effective and appropriate for the intended audience?
e. Did the article change or modify your initial position on the subject?

Common Fallacies of Logic often used in Arguments:
Arguments should follow a logical pattern. In efforts to win convince the audience that his/her argument or position is the one to be chosen, the author will use faulty logic—logic that is not logical—to present his/her point of view. Faulty logic is called a fallacy. The fallacies function to weaken an argument, not strengthen an argument. Be aware of authors who use these sorts of fallacies in their writing and avoid them in your writing as well. Some of the more common fallacies are presented below.

Definitions of the Most Common Fallacies of Logic (and associated terms)
1. authority-support that draws on recognized experts or persons with highly relevant experience.
2. example-arguing by example is considered experts or persons with highly relevant experience.
3. cause and effect-one event results from another
4. logic-to be logically acceptable, support must be appropriate to the claim, believable and consistent
5. backing-support or evidence for a claim in an argument
6. emotional appeal-appeals to an audience’s emotions to excite and involve them in argument; describing with emotionally charged terminology-vocabulary carrying strong connotative meaning, either positive or negative
7. ad hominem-Latin for “against the man;” a personal attack rather than attacking the arguments
8. creating a false dilemma-presenting a choice that does not include all possibilities
9. generalization-asserts that a claim applies to all instances instead of some instances
10. post hoc, ergo prompter hoc-Latin for “after this, therefore because of this;” implies that because one thing follows another, the first caused the second, but sequence is not the cause
11. red herring-when a writer raises an irrelevant issue to draw attention away from the real issue
12. straw man-when a writer argues against a claim that nobody actually holds or is universally considered weak; setting up a straw man diverts attention from the real issues
13. non sequitur-Latin for “it does not follow;” when one statement isn’t logically connected to another
14. either-or reasoning-an argument or issue of two polar opposites, ignoring any alternatives. e.g., “Either we abolish cars or the environment is doomed.”
15. begging the question-often called circular reasoning, begging the question occurs when the believability of the evidence depends on the believability of the claim.
Preparing for the Synthesis Question

In most college courses that require substantial writing, students are called upon to write researched arguments in which they take a stand on a topic or an issue and then enter into conversation with what has already been written on it.

The synthesis question provides students with a number of relatively brief sources on a topic or an issue -- texts of no longer than one page, plus at least one source that is a graphic, a visual, a picture, or a cartoon. The prompt calls upon students to write a composition that develops a position on the issue and that synthesizes and incorporates perspectives from at least three of the provided sources. Students may, of course, draw upon whatever they know about the issue as well, but they must make use of at least three of the provided sources to earn an upper-half score.

What moves should a writer make to accomplish this task? Essentially, there are six: read, analyze, generalize, converse, finesse, and argue.

Read Closely, Then Analyze

First, the writer must read the sources carefully. There will be an extra 15 minutes of time allotted to the free-response section to do so. The student will be permitted to read and write on the cover sheet to the synthesis question, which will contain some introductory material, the prompt itself, and a list of the sources. The students will also be permitted to read and annotate the sources themselves. The student will not be permitted to open his or her test booklet and actually begin writing the composition until after the 15 minutes has elapsed.

Second, the writer must analyze the argument each source is making: What claim is the source making about the issue? What data or evidence does the source offer in support of that claim? What are the assumptions or beliefs (explicit or unspoken) that warrant using this evidence or data to support the claim? Note that students will need to learn how to perform such analyses of nontextual sources: graphs, charts, pictures, cartoons, and so on.
After Analysis: Finding and Establishing a Position

Third, the writer needs to generalize about his or her own potential stands on the issue. The writer should ask, "What are two or three (or more) possible positions on this issue that I could take? Which of those positions do I really want to take? Why?" It's vital at this point, I think, for the writer to keep an open mind. A stronger, more mature, more persuasive essay will result if the writer resists the temptation to oversimplify the issue, to hone in immediately on an obvious thesis. All of the synthesis essay prompts will be based on issues that invite careful, critical thinking. The best student responses, I predict, will be those in which the thesis and development suggest clearly that the writer has given some thought to the nuances, the complexities of the assigned topic.

Fourth, and this is the most challenging move -- the writer needs to imagine presenting each of his or her best positions on the issue to each of the authors of the provided sources. Role-playing the author or creator of each source, the student needs to create an imaginary conversation between himself or herself and the author/creator of the source. Would the author/creator agree with the writer's position? Why? Disagree? Why? Want to qualify it in some way? Why and how?

Fifth, on the basis of this imagined conversation, the student needs to finesse, to refine, the point that he or she would like to make about the issue so that it can serve as a central proposition, a thesis -- as complicated and robust as the topic demands -- for his or her composition. This proposition or thesis should probably appear relatively quickly in the composition, after a sentence or two that contextualizes the topic or issue for the reader.

Sixth, the student needs to argue his or her position. The writer must develop the case for the position by incorporating within his or her own thinking the conversations he or she has had with the authors/creators of the primary sources. The student should feel free to say things like, "Source A takes a position similar to mine," or "Source C would oppose my position, but here's why I still maintain its validity," or "Source E offers a slightly different perspective, one that I would alter a bit."

A Skill for College
In short, on the synthesis question the successful writer is going to be able to show readers how he or she has thought through the topic at hand by considering the sources critically and creating a composition that draws conversations with the sources into his or her own thinking. It is a task that the college-bound student should willingly take up. (Taken from David Jolliffe University of Arkansas, Copyright © [pic]collegeboard.com, Inc.)

What is Style, Anyway?

Style, is the habitual, repeated patterns that differentiate one writer from another. Style is also about the deviation from the expected pattern. This deviation is called Expectation (the pattern) and Surprise (deviation from the pattern). A discussion of style also is a discussion of the well-chosen word or phrase.
The most important thing about discussing style is to show its relationship to the theme or main idea of the passage. You must interpret the link between theme and language. For example, if the theme is about fertility and success, does the author use images of spring, blossoming, growth, or fruition? Does the word choice have connotations of positive, safe, or loving feelings?
1. Colloquial word choice (diction) is not standard grammatical usage and employs slang expressions; this word usage develops a casual tone.
2. Scientific, Latinate (words with Latin roots or origins), or scholarly language would be formal and employ standard rules of usage.
3. Concrete words form vivid images in the reader’s mind, while abstract language is more appropriate for discussion of philosophy.
4. Allusive style uses many references to history, literature, or other shared cultural knowledge to provoke or enlighten the reader.
5. Appeals to the senses make the writing more concrete and vivid. Since prose does not have a natural rhythm, an obvious metrical pattern in a passage signals an important idea.
6. Any time an author uses similes or metaphors, or any other poetic devices, it is because the author wants to draw attention to that particular characteristic and perhaps suggest a more complex relationship to the implied or stated theme.
7. If the author suddenly or obviously varies sentence structure or length of a sentence, this signals important ideas. Most certainly, a detail or action will appear in these sentences that the author considers crucial. Most sentences in English are loose sentences (subject, predicate, modifiers—He went to the store.). Any time an author wishes to call attention to an important idea a different sentence structure can be used. These different structures are called emphatic because they emphasize the ideas contained in them.

In analyzing an author’s style, then, seek out patterns, and spot variations from the norm. Suppose an author employs many lengthy, balanced sentences with the frequent use of parallelism and anaphora, and the word choice is formal and Latinate. You can say that his style is formal and balanced. If this same author then includes one or two short sentences, a metaphor, and an inverted word order, you can point out these constructions and discuss the importance of the ideas contained in and signaled by these constructions. In addition, you should be on the lookout for well-chosen word, and/or the compelling turn of phrase. Don’t forget, all discussion of style should show the relation to the tone or theme of the selection.

Types of Writing Styles

In analyzing an author’s style, one can use some of the more commonly recognized descriptions of styles in writing:

The Segregating Style
Grammatically simple, expressing a single idea.  Consist of relatively short, uncomplicated sentences.
Textual Examples:              
He writes, at most, 750 words a day.  He writes and rewrites.  He polishes and repolishes.  He works in solitude.  He works with agony.  He works with sweat.  And that is the only way to work at all.
Useful in descriptive and narrative writing.  Analyzes a complicated perception or action into its parts and arranges these in significant order.  Simple yet effective, emphatic and offer variety.
Less useful in exposition, where you must combine ideas in subtle graduations of logic and importance. Can become too simplistic and lose its character.
Narratives, descriptive passages.  Used for emphasis in longer sentences.
The Freight-Train Style
Couples short, independent clauses to make longer sequential statements.
Multiple Coordination (MC) – using ‘and’ to link coordinating clauses
Parataxis – independent clauses linked by semicolons
Triadic Sentence – 3 clauses using MC or Parataxis
Textual Examples:
And the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the house; and it fell:  and great was the fall of it.

• MC – It was a hot day and the sky was bright and the road was white and dusty.
• Parataxis – The habits of the natives are disgusting; the women hawk on the floor, the forks are dirty; the trees are poor; the Pont Neuf is not a patch on the London Bridge; the cows are too skinny.
Can link a series of events, ideas, impressions, feelings, or perceptions as immediately as possible, without  judging their relative value or imposing a logical structure upon them.
Does not handle ideas subtly, and implies that all linked thoughts are equally significant.  Cannot show  precise logical relationships (cause and effect).  Can continue without stopping places.
Children’s writings or childlike visions; Experience of the mind descriptions; ‘Stream of Conscience’

The Cumulative Sentence
Initial independent clause followed by many subordinate constructions, which accumulate details about the  person, place, event or idea.
Textual Examples:
A creek ran through the meadow, winding and turning, clear water running between steep banks of black  earth, with shallow places where you build a dam.
She was then twenty-one, a year out of Smith College, a dark, shy, quiet girl with a fine mind and a small  but pure gift for her thoughts on paper.
Can handle a series of events; Can act as a frame, enclosing the details; Details may precede or follow the  main clause using these, those, this, that and such as preceding nouns
Open ended (like freight-train)
Description, character sketches; Less often in narration
The Parallel Style
Two or more words or construction stand in an identical grammatical relationship to the same thing.  All subjects must be in the same form.
Textual Examples:
In its energy, its lyrics, its advocacy of frustrated joys, rock is one long symphony of
Impressive and pleasing to hear; Economical – using one element to serve three or four others; Enriches meaning by emphasizing subtle connections between words
Suits only ideas that are logically parallel – three or four conditions of the same effect; is formal for modern taste; Can be too wordy just by being a parallel structure
In all forms of writing for emphasis or description – emotional or intellectual.
The Balanced Sentence
Two parts, roughly equivalent in length.  It may also be spilt on either side.
Textual Examples:
In a few moments, everything grew black, and the rain poured down like a cataract.
Visit either you like; they’re both mad.
Children played about her; and she sang as she worked.
The construction may be balanced and parallel; may be pleasing to eyes and ears, may give shape to the sentence; may use objectivity, may control and proportion.
Unsuitable for conveying the immediacy of raw experience or the intensity of strong emotion; Formality is likely to seem too elaborate for modern readers.
Irony and comedy or just about anything else.
The Subordinating Style
Expresses the main clause and arranges points or lesser importance around it, in the form of phrases and independent clauses
• Loose Structure: main clause comes first
• Periodic Structure: main clause follows subordinate parts
• Convoluted Structure: main clause is split in two, subordinate parts intruding
• Centered Structure: main clause occupies the middle of the sentence
Textual Examples:
• Loose Sentence: We must always be weary of conclusions drawn from the ways of social insects, since their evolutionary track lies so far from ours.
• Periodic Sentence: "The proper place in the sentence for the word or group of words that the writer desires to make most prominent is usually the end."(William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White, The Elements of Style)
• Convoluted Sentence: White men, at the bottom of their hearts, know this.
• Centered Sentence: Having wanted to walk on the sea like St. Peter, he had taken an involuntary bath, losing his mitre and the better part of his reputation.
• Loose sentences: Puts things first – like we talk ;Expresses a complete idea or perception
• Periodic sentences: Emphatic – It delays the principle thought, increasing climax
• Convoluted sentences: Simply offers variety in style and emphasis for the words before and after commas
• Centered Sentence: Good in long sentences – can order events or ideas
• Loose sentences: Lack emphasis and easily becomes formless – no clear ending points
• Periodic sentences: Too long of a delay can be confusing; Less advantageous in informal
• Convoluted sentences: Formal and taxing – interrupting elements grow longer and more complicated
• Centered sentence: Not as emphatic as periodic or as informal as loose
• Loose sentences: Colloquial, informal, and relaxed
• Periodic sentences: Formal and literal
• Convoluted sentences: Formal writing, used sparingly
• Centered sentence: Formal, for long and complicated subjects to include event as well as grammatical order

The Fragment
Single word, phrase or dependent clause standing alone as a sentence
Textual Examples:
I saw her.  Going down the street.

Sweeping criticism of this style throws less light on the subject than on the critic himself.  A light not always impressive.
Unsupported fragments become grammatical errors fixed by rejoining the modifier with the sentence.
Only used occasionally
Formal and informal writing – for emphasis
D-I-D-L-S: Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, Syntax

To help you analyze the author’s tone: D-I-D-L-S

The qualities below are the basic elements of a writer’s style. Each of us has our own fingerprint or writing print…our style…that allows our voice and personality to shine forth from our writing. D-I-D-L-S is an acronym to help us remember what steps to take in analyzing prose.

D-I-D-L-S: Authors use diction to create tone. Authors use imagery, details, language, and syntax to support tone. Your job is to recognize and analyze how they use these elements to make meaning in their writing.

D: Diction- The author’s choice of words and their connotations. What words does the author choose? Consider his/her word choice compared to another. Why did the author choose that particular word? What are the connotations of that word choice? What effect do these words have on your mood as a reader? What do they seem to indicate about the author’s tone?

e.g. (e.g. means for example) Author 1: Bill was unintelligent. (relatively neutral in connotation, as far as lack of intelligence goes)
e.g. Author 2: Bill was a zipperhead. (less about a low IQ, more like someone who acts like an idiot, negative connotation)

Also look at:
monosyllabic-one syllable polysyllabic-more than one syllable
colloquial-slang old-fashioned
informal-conversational formal-literary
connotative-suggestive meaning (emotional) denotative-exact meaning (emotionless)
concrete-specific abstract-general or conceptual
euphonious-pleasant sounding cacophonous-harsh sounding

Describe diction (choice of words) by considering the following:
1. Words can be monosyllabic (one syllable in length) or polysyllabic (more than one syllable in length). The higher the ration of polysyllabic words, the more difficult the content.
2. Words can be mainly colloquial (slang), informal (conversational), formal (literary) or old-fashioned.
3. Words can be mainly denotative (containing an exact meaning, e.g., dress) or connotative (containing suggested-emotional-meaning, e.g., gown).
4. Words can be concrete (specific), e.g., house or abstract (general or conceptual), e.g., confusion.
5. Words can be euphonious (pleasant sounding), e.g. languid, murmur, or cacophonous (harsh sounds), e.g. raucous, croak.

More about diction:
In all forms of literature—non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and drama—authors choose particular words to convey effect and meaning to the reader. Writers employ diction, or word choice, to communicate ideas and impressions, to evoke emotions, and to convey their views of truth to the reader. The following definitions may be useful in helping students understand and appreciate the deliberate word choices that writers make.

Levels of Diction

High or formal diction usually contains language that creates an elevated tone. High or formal diction is free of slang, idioms, colloquialisms, and contractions. If often contains polysyllabic words, sophisticated syntax, and elegant word choice. The following is an example:

Discerning the impracticable of the poor culprit’s mind, the elder clergyman, who had carefully prepared himself for the occasion, addressed to the multitude a discourse on sin, in all its branches, but with continual reference to the ignominious letter. So forcibly did he dwell upon this symbol, for the hour or more during which his periods were rolling over the people’s heads, that it assumed new terrors in their imagination, and seemed to derive its scarlet hue from the flames of the eternal pit. (Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Scarlet Letter. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1850.)

Neutral diction uses standard language and vocabulary without elaborate words and may include contractions. The following is an example:

The shark swung over and the old man saw his eye was not alive and then he swung over once a gain, wrapping himself in two loops of the rope. The old man knew that he was dead but the shark would not accept it. Then, on his back, with his tail lashing and his jaws clicking, the shark plowed over the water as a speedboat does. The water was white where his tail beat if and three-quarters of his body was clear above the water when the rope came taut, shivered, and then snapped. The shark lay quietly for a little while on the surface and the old man watched him. Then he went down very slowly.
(Hemingway, Ernest. The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway, Ernest, Scribner’s, 1995. Copyright Gale Group, 1955. Reprinted with permission of Gale Group.)

Informal or low diction is the language of everyday use. It is relaxed and conversational. It often includes common and simple words, idioms, slang, jargon, and contractions. The following is an example.

Three quarts of milk. That’s what was in the icebox yesterday. Three whole quarts. Now they ain’t none. Not a drop. I don’t mind folks coming in and getting what they want, but three quarts of milk! What the devil does anyone want with three quarts of milk! (Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Reprinted with permission of International Creative Management, Inc. Copyright 1970 by Toni Morrison.)

Types of Diction

1. Slang refers to recently coined words often used in informal situations. Slang words often come and go quickly, pushing in and out of usage within months or years.

2. Colloquial expressions are nonstandard, often regional, ways of using language appropriate to informal or conversational speech and writing. The characteristic “ayah” of Maine or the Southern word “y’all” are examples.

3. Jargon consists of words and expressions characteristic of a particular trade, profession, or pursuit. Some examples of nautical jargon from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad are “cuddy,” “mizzen,” and “binnacle.”

4. Dialect is a nonstandard subgroup of a language with its own vocabulary and grammatical features. Writers often use regional dialects or dialects that reveal a person’s economic or social class. Mark Twain makes use of dialect in the following passage:

“Sho, there’s ticks a plenty. I could have a thousand of ‘em if I wanted to.”
“Well, why don’t you? Becuz you know mighty well you can’t. This is a pretty early tick, I reckon. It’s the first one I’ve seen this year.” (Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 1946.)

5. Concrete diction consists of specific words that describe physical qualities or conditions. The following passage uses concrete dictions to describe an experience:

The tears came fast, and she held her face in her hands. When something soft and furry moved around her ankles, she jumped, and saw it was the cat. He would himself in and about her legs. Momentarily distracted from her fear, she squatted down to touch him, her hands wet from the tears. The cat rubbed up against her knee. He was black all over, deep silky black, and his eyes, pointing down to his nose, were blush green. The light made them shine like blue ice. Pecola rubbed the cat’s head; he whined, his tongue flicking with pleasure. The blue eyes in the black face held her. Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Reprinted by permission of International Creative Management, Inc. Copyright 1970 by Toni Morrison.

6. Abstract diction refers to language that denotes ideas, emotions, conditions, or concepts that are intangible. Some examples of abstract diction from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness are such words as impenetrable, incredible, inscrutable, inconceivable, and unfathomable.

7. Denotation is the exact, literal definition of a word independent of any emotional association or secondary meaning.

8. Connotation is the implicit rather than explicit meaning of a word and consists of the suggestions, associations, and emotional overtones attached to a word. For example, the word “house” has a different emotional effect on the reader than does the word “home,” with its connotation of safety, coziness, and security.

Good writers value both denotation and connotation, but while scientists may use more denotative words, literary artists tend to rely more heavily on connotative words for deepest meaning and strongest effect. Since connotative words have complex layers of associations and implications, writers spend a considerable amount of time searching for just the “right words” to convey experience and truth.

Words describing an entire body of words in a text—not isolated bits of diction*
         *From kisd.org
|Artificial |false |Literal |apparent, word for word |
|Bombastic |pompous, ostentatious |Moralistic |puritanical, righteous |
|Colloquial |vernacular |Obscure |unclear |
|Concrete |actual, specific, particular |Obtuse |dull-witted, undiscerning |
|Connotative |alludes to; suggestive |Ordinary |everyday, common |
|Cultured |cultivated, refined, finished |Pedantic |didactic, scholastic, bookish |
|Detached |cut-off, removed, separated |Plain |clear, obvious |
|Emotional |expressive of emotions |Poetic |lyric, melodious, romantic |
|Esoteric |understood by a chosen few |Precise |exact, accurate, decisive |
|Euphemistic |insincere, affected |Pretentious |pompous, gaudy, inflated |
|Exact |verbatim, precise |Provincial |rural, rustic, unpolished |
|Figurative |serving as illustration |Scholarly |intellectual, academic |
|Formal |academic, conventional |Sensuous |passionate, luscious |
|Grotesque |hideous, deformed |Simple |clear, intelligible |
|Homespun |folksy, homey, native, rustic |Slang |lingo, colloquialism |
|Idiomatic |Peculiar, vernacular |Symbolic |representative, metaphorical |
|Insipid |uninteresting, tame, dull |Trite |common, banal, stereotyped |
|Jargon |vocabulary for a profession |Informal |casual, relaxed, unofficial |
|Learned |educated, experienced |Vulgar |coarse, indecent, tasteless |

Tone & Style Analysis Terms
(This list includes terms to describe tone as well as words to describe and qualify how a work is written.)


More Words to Use When Describing Tone (these are grouped according to connotation)
• admiring, worshipping, approving
• strident, subdued, harsh, acerbic, angry
• disliking, abhorring, contemptuous
• simple, straightforward, direct, unambiguous
• complicated, complex, difficult
• forceful, powerful, confident, self-assured
• ironic, sardonic, sarcastic, mocking, sly
• indirect, understated, evasive
• bitter, grim, cynical
• sympathetic, interested
• indifferent, unconcerned, apathetic, detached
• humorous, playful, flippant
• resigned, calm, tranquil
• resigned, calm, tranquil, placid
• melancholy, despairing
• solemn, serious, somber
• pensive, thoughtful
• revert, respectful
• excited, exhilarated
• happy, contented, ecstatic
• incredulous, questioning, skeptical
• insistent, urgent
• commanding, demanding
• self-deprecating
• bemused, wry
• whimsical
• reassuring, comforting

Adjectives Used to Describe Tone on SAT’s
• dogmatic, authoritative, assertive, arrogant
• didactic, instructive
• elegiac, expressing sorrow, longing
• ironic, showing the unexpected or opposite effect
• condescending, showing superiority
• pedantic, petty, ostentatious, unimaginative
• ambivalent, indecisive, mixed emotion
• patronizing, condescending
• aloof, haughty, distant
• skeptical, questioning, doubting
• sympathetic, favoring, expressing sorrow
• sentimental, maudlin, affected emotionally
• apathetic, uncaring, uninvolved
• hypnotic, intriguing, trance-like
• satirical, ridiculing, ironic
• candid, frank, truthful
• bitter, hating, malicious
• loathing, abhorring, dislike
• reverent, having deep respect
• pompous, arrogant, self-important
• cathartic, purging, cleansing
• lugubrious, dismal, mournful
• having levity, humor
• supercilious, lofty pride, arrogant
• fatalistic, deadly, pessimistic
• incongruous, not coinciding, disharmonious
• somber, dark, gloomy, serious
• dispassionate, unaffected, logical
• threatening, imposing harm
• complimentary, favorable
• contemptuous, scornful
• galling, causing exasperation
• soporific, causing sleep, soothing, dull
• theatrical, dramatic
• pungent, sharp, penetrating appeal to the sense
• desultory, off the main idea, wandering
• ethnic, racial, cultural
• tongue-in-cheek, ironic, facetious, sarcastic

I: Images- The use of descriptions that appeal to sensory experience. What images does the author use? What does he/she focus on in a sensory way? The kinds of images the author puts in or leaves out reflect his/her style? Are they vibrant? Prominent? Plain? What effect do these images have on your mood as a reader? What do they seem to indicate about the author’s tone?

|Alliteration |repetition of consonant sounds at the start of a word |The giggling girl glowed. |
|Assonance |repetition of vowel sounds in the middle of a word |Moths cough and drop wings |
|Consonance |repetition of consonant sounds in the middle of a word |The man has kin in Spain |
|Onomatopoeia |writing sounds as words |The clock went tick tock |
|Simile |a direct comparison of unlike things using like or as |Her hair is like a rat’s nest |
|Metaphor |a direct comparison of unlike things |The man’s suit is a rainbow |
|Hyperbole |a deliberate exaggeration for effect   |I’d die for a piece of candy |
|Understatement |represents something as less than it is |A million dollars is okay |
|Personification |attributing human qualities to inhuman objects |The teapot cried for water |
|Metonymy |word exchanged for another closely associated with it |Uncle Sam wants you! |
|Pun |play on words – Uses words with multiple meanings |Shoes menders mend soles. |
|Symbol |something that represents/stands for something else |the American Flag |
|Analogy |comparing two things that have at least one thing in common |A similar thing happened… |
|Oxymoron |Use or words seemingly in contradiction to each other |bittersweet chocolate |

D: Details-specifics the author includes about facts – his opinion.

NOTE: Images differ from details in the degree to which they appeal to the senses.
e.g. An author describing a battlefield might include details about the stench of rotting bodies or he might not.

L: Language- Characteristics of the body of words used; terms like slang, formal, clinical, scholarly, and jargon denote language.

What is the overall impression of the language the author uses? Does it reflect education? A particular profession? Intelligence? Is it plain? Ornate? Simple? Clear? Figurative? Poetic? What effect does language have on your mood as a reader? What does language seem to indicate about the author’s tone?

• Words that describe the entire body of words in a text – not isolated bits of diction
|Artificial |false |Literal |apparent, word for word |
|Bombastic |pompous, ostentatious |Moralistic |puritanical, righteous |
|Colloquial |vernacular |Obscure |unclear |
|Concrete |actual, specific, particular |Obtuse |dull-witted, undiscerning |
|Connotative |alludes to; suggestive |Ordinary |everyday, common |
|Cultured |cultivated, refined, finished |Pedantic |didactic, scholastic, bookish |
|Detached |cut-off, removed, separated |Plain |clear, obvious |
|Emotional |expressive of emotions |Poetic |lyric, melodious, romantic |
|Esoteric |understood by a chosen few |Precise |exact, accurate, decisive |
|Euphemistic |insincere, affected |Pretentious |pompous, gaudy, inflated |
|Exact |verbatim, precise |Provincial |rural, rustic, unpolished |
|Figurative |serving as illustration |Scholarly |intellectual, academic |
|Formal |academic, conventional |Sensuous |passionate, luscious |
|Grotesque |hideous, deformed |Simple |clear, intelligible |
|Homespun |folksy, homey, native, rustic |Slang |lingo, colloquialism |
|Idiomatic |Peculiar, vernacular |Symbolic |representative, metaphorical |
|Insipid |uninteresting, tame, dull |Trite |common, banal, stereotyped |
|Jargon |vocabulary for a profession |Informal |casual, relaxed, unofficial |
|Learned |educated, experienced |Vulgar |coarse, indecent, tasteless |

•  Rhetorical Devices -- The use of language that creates a literary effect – enhance and support
Rhetorical Question           food for thought; create satire/sarcasm; pose dilemma
Euphemism                         substituting a milder or less offensive sounding word(s)
Aphorism                            universal commends, sayings, proverbs – convey major point
Repetition                           also called refrain; repeated word, sentence or phrase
Restatement                       main point said in another way
Irony                                   Either verbal or situational – good for revealing attitude
Allusion                               refers to something universally known
Paradox                               a statement that can be true and false at the same time

S: Syntax--Sentence Structure- The fashion in which the sentences are constructed. What are the sentences like? Are they simple with one or two clauses? Do they have multiple phrases? Are they choppy? Flowing? Sinuous like a snake? Is there antithesis, chiasmus, parallel construction?

What emotional impression do they leave? If we are talking about poetry, what is the meter? Is there a rhyme scheme? What effect do these structures have on your mood as a reader? What do these structures to indicate the author’s tone? PLEASE NOTE: Short equals emotional or assertive; longer equals reasonable or scholarly.

Consider the following patterns and structures:
                Does the sentence length fit the subject matter?
                Why is the sentence length effective?
                What variety of sentence lengths are present?
                Sentence beginnings – Variety or Pattern?
                Arrangement of ideas in sentences
                Arrangement of ideas in paragraph – Pattern?
                Construction of sentences to convey attitude
                Declarative assertive – A statement
                Imperative             authoritative - Command
                Interrogative            asks a question
                Simple Sentence     one subject and one verb
                Loose Sentence       details after the subject and verb – happening now
                Periodic Sentence details before the subject and verb – reflection on a past event
                Juxtaposition       normally unassociated ideas, words or phrases placed next together
                Parallelism            show equal ideas; for emphasis; for rhythm
                Repetition                words, sounds, and ideas used more than once – rhythm/emphasis
                Rhetorical Question a question that expects no answer
  Punctuation is included in syntax
                            Ellipses                 a trailing off; equally etc.; going off into a dreamlike state
                            Dash                     interruption of a thought; an interjection of a thought into another
                            Semicolon           parallel ideas; equal ideas; a piling up of detail
                            Colon                   a list; a definition or explanation; a result
Italics                       for emphasis
Capitalization            for emphasis
Exclamation Point     for emphasis; for emotion

Words to describe language:

These words describe the force or quality of the diction, images, and details. These words qualify how the work is written, not the attitude or tone.

jargon pedantic poetic vulgar
moralistic scholarly pretentious slang
sensuous idiomatic precise exact
esoteric learned cultured connotative
picturesque plain simple homespun
euphemistic insipid concrete symbolic
literal figurative provincial colloquial
bombastic trite artificial abstruse
obscure detached grotesque ambiguous

Sentence patterns
The way in which words, phrases, and clauses are arranged, one of the most important elements of syntax, is a key element of an author’s style and can have a marked effect on meaning.

1. A declarative sentence makes a statement, e.g. “The king is sick.”
2. An imperative sentence gives a command, e.g. “Cure the king.”
3. An interrogative sentence asks a question, e.g. “Is the king sick?”
4. An exclamatory sentence provides emphasis or expresses strong emotion, e.g. “The king is dead! Long live the king!”
5. A simple sentence contains one independent clause, e.g., “The singer bowed to her adoring audience.”
6. A compound sentence contains two independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction or by a semicolon, e.g., “The singer bowed to her audience, but she sang no encores.”
7. A complex sentence contains an independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses, e.g., “Because the singer was tired, she went straight to bed after the concert.”
8. A compound-complex sentence contains two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clauses, e.g., “The signer bowed while the audience applauded, but she sang no encores.”
9. A loose or cumulative sentence makes complete sense if brought to a close before the actual ending, e.g., “We reached Edmonton that morning after a turbulent flight and someone exciting experiences, tired but exhilarated, full of stories to tell our friends and neighbors.” The sentence could end before the modifying phrases without losing its coherence.
10. A periodic sentence makes sense fully only when the end of the sentence is reached, e.g., “That morning, after a turbulent flight and some exciting experiences, we reached Edmonton.”
11. In a balanced sentence, the phrases or clauses balance each other by virtue of their likeness of structure, meaning, or length, e.g., “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside still waters.”
12. Natural order of a sentence involves constructing a sentence so the subject comes before the predicate, e.g., “Oranges grow in California.”
13. Inverted order of a sentence involves constructing a sentence so the predicate comes before the subject, e.g., “In California grow the oranges.” This pattern can be used to create an emphatic or rhythmic effect.
14. Juxtaposition is a poetic and rhetorical device in which normally unassociated ideas, words, or phrases are placed next to one another, often creating an effect of surprise and wit, e.g., “The apparition of these faces in the crowd:/Petals on a wet, black bough.”
15. Parallel structure (parallelism) refers to a grammatical or structural similarity between sentences or parts of a sentence. It involves an arrangement of words, phrases, sentence, and paragraphs so that elements of equal improtanc3e are equally developed and similarly phrased, e.g., “He loved swimming, running and play tennis;” not “He loved swimming, running, and to play tennis.”
16. Repetition is a device in which words, sounds, and ideas are used more than once to enhance rhythm and to create emphasis, e.g., “…government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” (“Address at Gettysburg” by Abraham Lincoln)
17. A rhetorical question is a question that requires no answer. It is used to draw attention to a point and is generally stronger than a direct statement, e.g., “If Mr. Ferchoff is always fair, as you have said, why did he refuse to listen to Mrs. Baldwin’s arguments?”
18. A rhetorical fragment is a sentence fragment used deliberately for a persuasive purpose or to create a desired effect, e.g., “Something to consider.”

Describe the sentence structure by considering the following:
1. Examine the sentence length.  Are the sentences
a. telegraphic (shorter than 5 words in length),
b. short (approximately 5 words in length),
c. medium (approximately 18 words in length), or
d. long and involved (30 or more words in length)? 
Does the sentence length fit the subject matter?  What variety of lengths is present? Why is the sentence
length effective?
2. Examine sentence beginnings.  Is there a good variety or does a pattern emerge?
3. Examine the arrangement of ideas in a sentence.  Are they set out in a special way for a purpose?
4. Examine the arrangement of ideas in a paragraph.  Is there evidence of any pattern or structure?
5. Examine the sentence patterns. 


Shifts in tone: Attitude change about topic/Attitude about topic is different than the attitude toward subject
  Key Words (but, nevertheless, however, although)
Changes in the line length
Paragraph Divisions
Punctuation (dashes, periods, colons)
Sharp contrasts in diction

Annotation – A Multi-Modal Approach to Close Reading (draft 11/03)

Annotate – v. To furnish (a literary work) with critical commentary or explanatory notes [ = use caret to point to an exact location
∆ = change
PLOT = plot item (and/or use one of the following)
EXP = exposition
TP = turning point
cf = conflict
RA = rising action
Cx = climax
FA = falling action
RES = resolution
Ch = characterization
S = setting
POV = point of view (mention type: 1st person, limited omniscient, etc.)
Th = theme
LT = literary term (identify the term by name: irony, tone, foreshadowing, personification, metaphor, symbol, etc.)

Additional Annotation Strategies:

Tracking nouns -- important people, places, things, and ideas: Put a box around the name (or nominal if the character/setting/object is unnamed) of [1] a character the first time you encounter the character, [2] a place (or other aspect of the setting) whenever it seems important or relevant, and [3] an object when it seems crucial to the story. “Re-box” a character/setting/object whenever he/she/it returns to the text after a long absence. Track important people, places, things, and ideas by supplying page numbers whenever possible that point to previous encounters. Cross reference all of this tracking/tracing by also writing page numbers at the spot of the earlier instances of people, places, things, and ideas. Write brief comments whenever possible to make these connections clear and to note any evolution or development. On the inside cover of the book, keep a list of the characters you encounter, the page on which they first appear, and a very brief description of each. You may need to add to or modify these descriptions as the story unfolds. In this way, you will develop a comprehensive list of characters. Keep track of important aspects of the setting and important objects in a similar manner. Do the same for ideas. Keep track of themes (motifs) by noting them as they are perceived and by tracing their development.

Chapter summaries/titles: At the end of each chapter, write a brief summary of the plot at it occurred in that chapter. This does not have to be long or greatly detailed, but should include all relevant incidents. Use plot-related language (TP, cf, Cx, RA, etc.) whenever possible in your summary. Supply an instructive title for each chapter of the book. This may prove useful for books in which chapters are already titled. This practice will help you solidify your understanding of a chapter in just a few of your own words.

Underlining: Within the text of the book, underline or otherwise note anything that strikes you as important, significant, memorable, etc. If possible and profitable, write brief comments within the side margins that indicate your motivation in underlining. Focus on the essential elements of literature (plot, setting, characterization, point of view and theme) and any other aspects of literature study as instructed by your teacher. You need not underline every word. Often, I underline isolated words and phrases. Occasionally, I connect such underlinings with a line, in essence creating a new sentence, a distillation of ideas or meaning.

Vertical bars: Use vertical bars and double vertical bars together with abbreviations and symbols to indicate passages that contain important themes, wonderfully nuanced descriptions, especially delightful phrasing and/or syntax, provocative assertions, figurative language, etc. And, of course, write comments and analytical snippets to clarify your thinking.

Vocabulary/unusual diction: Within the text of the book, circle words that are unfamiliar to you or whose use strikes you as unusual or inventive. Look up words in a dictionary that seem essential to an understanding of the meaning or the sense of the author. If it helps to do so, jot a brief definition or synonym nearby.

Questioning: Actively engage the text and further/confirm your understanding of each chapter by writing at least two open-ended questions for each. Short essay questions are most useful. If you have time, you may profit, however, from writing multiple choice, fill in the blank, matching, and true/false questions as well.

Shifts: Note all shifts in point of view. Note all shifts in time. Note all shifts in diction and syntax.

Final Thoughts on Annotation:

Your teachers expect you to think critically about what you are reading. While the amount of annotation may vary widely from page to page, any notes you add to a text will help you to read more critically – any attempt to annotate your book will help you to understand the reading as you read – and, as I hope this handout has made clear, will help you return to the reading with confidence later.

Annotation is a discrete skill, and like any skill, it takes significant practice to hone your ability to the point of acquiring expertise. So push the pencil! Push the pencil! Push the pencil!

This Annotation Handout was in part inspired and informed by “How to Mark a Book,” an essay by Mortimer J. Adler, Ph.D

Pointers for Critical Reading and Rhetorical Analysis

As critical readers, students should be able to
• Summarize and outline complex material
• Critically examine a text’s reasoning
• Analyze the ways a text achieves its effects, especially through stylistic choice
• Evaluate a text, deciding whether it is accurate , authoritative, and convincing
• Determine a text’s significance
• Compare and contrast different texts
• Synthesize information from one or more related text
• Apply concepts in one text to another

Mantra for close reading:
• What does it mean?
• How does it make meaning?
• Why did the writer make this choice?

Six strategies for a critical reader to use when analyzing prose passages:
1. Get the facts.
a. Preview
b. Annotate
c. Outline
d. Summarize
2. Analyze the argument.
a. What is the author’s thesis?
b. What kinds of support are used?
c. What is fact and what is fiction?
d. Is support sufficient and appropriate?
e. What is based on emotion and what is based on reason?
f. Is there satisfactory conclusion?
3. Identify basic features of style.
a. Diction (word choice)
b. Tone
c. Sentence structure
d. Sentence types
e. Verb choices
f. Rhetorical devices
4. Explore your personal response.
a. What is your response?
b. What are the sources and causes of your response?
5. Evaluate the text and determine its significance.
a. Era—historical context
b. Social—social context
c. Intellectual—intellectual context
6. Compare and contrast related texts.
Methods of Organizing Your Response to a Reading:
A. Genre
1. Typically the four purposes of academic non-fiction prose are
a. description
b. explanation
c. information
d. persuasion
2. Persuasion stems from three sources
a. ethos (ethics)-an author may rely on his own reputation to move an audience
b. pathos (emotion)-an author may rely on the feelings of the audience
c. logos (logic)-an author may use reason to persuade the audience
3. Is the passage an excerpt from fiction?
A fictional passage tends to be a description of character or a location; it is seldom a philosophical commentary, but it CAN BE (and often is) social commentary.

B. Organization based on Mode/Method of Discourse
1. If the passage is descriptive, is it organized spatially or by order of importance? What is the overall effect?
2. If the passage is narrative, is the chronological order of events interrupted by flashback, foreshadowing, episodic events?
3. If the passage is expository, are any of the following modes or methods used: definition, cause and effect, comparison/contrast, classification, examples, analogy?
4. If persuasion/argument is used, what methods does the author use to bolster the argument? Does the author deal with opposing evidence? Does the author fall into any logical fallacies?

C. Tone and Mood
1. What is the mood (effect on the reader)?
2. What is the tone (author’s attitude)?

D. Language and Style
1. What is the diction, the word choice? Is it colloquial, idiomatic, scientific, Latinate, formal, concrete, abstract, scholarly, allusive? These terms are explained below.
2. To what senses does the author appeal?
3. What literary devices of sense does the author use (personification, metaphor, simile, allusion)?
4. What literary devices of sound does the author use (alliteration, assonance, consonance, repetition)?
5. Does the language have rhythm?
6. Are the sentences long or short? Where does the author use sentences or fragments for special emphasis? Where does the author use long sentences or run-ons for special effect?
7. Are the sentences simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex? Where does the author use sentence variety to emphasize an idea?
8. What specialized sentence structure does the author use? Balanced, freight train, inverted, parallel, periodic? Is there use of anaphora, antithesis, asyndeton, chiasmus, negative-positive, restatement, polysyndeton?
9. Do any sentences begin or end with a significant word or phrase? Do any sentences have the main idea hidden in the middle, in an interrupter, so as to create surprise or suspense?
10. Does the author use colors to enhance moods or characterize someone?
11. What are the best-worded phrases or best chosen words?
Definitions of Rhetorical Devices/Strategies/Terms
*Much of this material came from the website Virtual Salt.

1. Analogy compares two things, which are alike in several respects, for the purpose of explaining or clarifying some unfamiliar or difficult idea or object by showing how the idea or object is similar to some familiar one. While simile and analogy often overlap, the simile is generally a more artistic likening, done briefly for effect and emphasis, while analogy serves the more practical end of explaining a thought process or a line of reasoning or the abstract in terms of the concrete, and may therefore be more extended.
• You may abuse a tragedy, though you cannot write one. You may scold a carpenter who has made you a bad table, though you cannot make a table. It is not your trade to make tables. --Samuel Johnson
• He that voluntarily continues ignorance is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces, as to him that should extinguish the tapers of a lighthouse might justly be imputed the calamities of shipwrecks. --Samuel Johnson
• . . . For answers successfully arrived at are solutions to difficulties previously discussed, and one cannot untie a knot if he is ignorant of it. --Aristotle
Notice in these examples that the analogy is used to establish the pattern of reasoning by using a familiar or less abstract argument which the reader can understand easily and probably agree with.
Some analogies simply offer an explanation for clarification rather than a substitute argument:
• Knowledge always desires increase: it is like fire, which must first be kindled by some external agent, but which will afterwards propagate itself. --Samuel Johnson
• The beginning of all evil temptations is inconstancy of mind, and too little trust in God. For as a ship without a guide is driven hither and thither with every storm, so an unstable man, that anon leaveth his good purpose in God, is diversely tempted. The fire proveth gold, and temptation proveth the righteous man. --Thomas a Kempis
When the matter is complex and the analogy particularly useful for explaining it, the analogy can be extended into a rather long, multiple-point comparison:
• The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. (And so forth, to the end of the chapter.] --l Cor. 12:12 (NIV)
The importance of simile and analogy for teaching and writing cannot be overemphasized. To impress this upon you better, I would like to step aside a moment and offer two persuasive quotations:
• The country parson is full of all knowledge. They say, it is an ill mason that refuseth any stone: and there is no knowledge, but, in a skilful hand, serves either positively as it is, or else to illustrate some other knowledge. He condescends even to the knowledge of tillage, and pastorage, and makes great use of them in teaching, because people by what they understand are best led to what they understand not. --George Herbert
• To illustrate one thing by its resemblance to another has been always the most popular and efficacious art of instruction. There is indeed no other method of teaching that of which anyone is ignorant but by means of something already known; and a mind so enlarged by contemplation and enquiry that it has always many objects within its view will seldom be long without some near and familiar image through which an easy transition may be made to truths more distant and obscure. --Samuel Johnson

2. Metaphor compares two different things by speaking of one in terms of the other. Unlike a simile or analogy, metaphor asserts that one thing is another thing, not just that one is like another. Very frequently a metaphor is invoked by the to be verb:
Affliction then is ours; / We are the trees whom shaking fastens more. --George Herbert
• Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life." --John 6:35 [And compare the use of metaphor in 6:32-63]
• Thus a mind that is free from passion is a very citadel; man has no stronger fortress in which to seek shelter and defy every assault. Failure to perceive this is ignorance; but to perceive it, and still not to seek its refuge, is misfortune indeed. --Marcus Aurelius
• The mind is but a barren soil; a soil which is soon exhausted and will produce no crop, or only one, unless it be continually fertilized and enriched with foreign matter. --Joshua Reynolds
Just as frequently, though, the comparison is clear enough that the a-is-b form is not necessary:
• The fountain of knowledge will dry up unless it is continuously replenished by streams of new learning.
• This first beam of hope that had ever darted into his mind rekindled youth in his cheeks and doubled the lustre of his eyes. --Samuel Johnson
• I wonder when motor mouth is going to run out of gas.
• When it comes to midterms, it's kill or be killed. Let's go in and slay this test.
• What sort of a monster then is man? What a novelty, what a portent, what a chaos, what a mass of contradictions, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, a ridiculous earthworm who is the repository of truth, a sink of uncertainty and error; the glory and the scum of the world. --Blaise Pascal
• The most learned philosopher knew little more. He had partially unveiled the face of Nature, but her immortal lineaments were still a wonder and a mystery. . . . I had gazed upon the fortifications and impediments that seemed to keep human beings from entering the citadel of nature, and rashly and ignorantly I had repined. --Mary Shelley
• The furnace of affliction had softened his heart and purified his soul.

Compare the different degrees of direct identification between tenor and vehicle. There is fully expressed:
• Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness. --Luke 11:34 (RSV)
There is semi-implied:
• And he said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course."' --Luke 13:32 (RSV)
There is implied:
• . . . For thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy. --Psalm 63:7 (RSV)
And there is very implied:
• For if men do these things when the tree is green what will happen when it is dry? --Luke 23:31 (NIV)
Like simile and analogy, metaphor is a profoundly important and useful device. Aristotle says in his Rhetoric, "It is metaphor above all else that gives clearness, charm, and distinction to the style." And Joseph Addison says of it:
• By these allusions a truth in the understanding is as it were reflected by the imagination; we are able to see something like color and shape in a notion, and to discover a scheme of thoughts traced out upon matter. And here the mind receives a great deal of satisfaction, and has two of its faculties gratified at the same time, while the fancy is busy in copying after the understanding, and transcribing ideas out of the intellectual world into the material.
So a metaphor not only explains by making the abstract or unknown concrete and familiar, but it also enlivens by touching the reader's imagination. Further, it affirms one more interconnection in the unity of all things by showing a relationship between things seemingly alien to each other.
And the fact that two very unlike things can be equated or referred to in terms of one another comments upon them both. No metaphor is "just a metaphor." All have significant implications, and they must be chosen carefully, especially in regard to the connotations the vehicle (image) will transfer to the tenor. Consider, for example, the differences in meaning conveyed by these statements:
• That club is spreading like wildfire.
• That club is spreading like cancer.
• That club is really blossoming now.
• That club, in its amoebic motions, is engulfing the campus.
And do you see any reason that one of these metaphors was chosen over the others?
• The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. --Luke 10:2
• The pile of dirt is high, but we do not have many shovels.
• The diamonds cover the ground, but we need more people to pick them up.
So bold and striking is metaphor that it is sometimes taken literally rather than as a comparison. (Jesus' disciples sometimes failed here--see John 4:32ff and John 6:46-60; a few religious groups like the Jehovah's Witnesses interpret such passages as Psalm 75:8 and 118:15 literally and thus see God as anthropomorphic; and even today a lot of controversy surrounds the interpretation of Matthew 26:26.) Always be careful in your own writing, therefore, to avoid possible confusion between metaphor and reality. In practice this is usually not very difficult.

3. Catachresis is an extravagant, implied metaphor using words in an alien or unusual way. While difficult to invent, it can be wonderfully effective:
• I will speak daggers to her. --Hamlet [In a more futuristic metaphor, we might say, "I will laser-tongue her." Or as a more romantic student suggested, "I will speak flowers to her."]
One way to write catachresis is to substitute an associated idea for the intended one (as Hamlet did, using "daggers" instead of "angry words"):
• "It's a dentured lake," he said, pointing at the dam. "Break a tooth out of that grin and she will spit all the way to Duganville."
Sometimes you can substitute a noun for a verb or a verb for a noun, a noun for an adjective, and so on. The key is to be effective rather than abysmal. I am not sure which classification these examples fit into:
• The little old lady turtled along at ten miles per hour.
• She typed the paper machine-gunnedly, without pausing at all.
• They had expected that this news would paint an original grief, but the only result was silk-screamed platitudes.
• Give him a quart or two of self esteem and he will stop knocking himself. [This was intended to suggest motor oil; if it makes you think of cheap gin, the metaphor did not work.]

4. Synecdoche is a type of metaphor in which the part stands for the whole, the whole for a part, the genus for the species, the species for the genus, the material for the thing made, or in short, any portion, section, or main quality for the whole or the thing itself (or vice versa).
• Farmer Jones has two hundred head of cattle and three hired hands.
Here we recognize that Jones also owns the bodies of the cattle, and that the hired hands have bodies attached. This is a simple part-for-whole synecdoche. Here are a few more:
• If I had some wheels, I'd put on my best threads and ask for Jane's hand in marriage.
• The army included two hundred horse and three hundred foot.
• It is sure hard to earn a dollar these days.
• Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. --Genesis 2:7
And notice the other kinds of substitutions that can be made:
• Get in here this instant or I'll spank your body. [Whole for part--i.e. "body" for "rear end"]
• Put Beethoven on the turntable and turn up the volume. [Composer substituted for record]
• A few hundred pounds of twenty dollar bills ought to solve that problem nicely. [Weight for amount]
• He drew his steel from his scabbard and welcomed all comers. [Material for thing made]
• Patty's hobby is exposing film; Harold's is burning up gasoline in his dune buggy. [Part for whole]
• Okay team. Get those blades back on the ice. [Part for whole]
Take care to make your synecdoche clear by choosing an important and obvious part to represent the whole. Compare:
• His pet purr was home alone and asleep.
• His pet paws [whiskers?] was home alone and asleep.
One of the easiest kinds of synecdoche to write is the substitution of genus for species. Here you choose the class to which the idea or thing to be expressed belongs, and use that rather than the idea or thing itself:
• There sits my animal [instead of "dog"] guarding the door to the henhouse.
• He hurled the barbed weapon [instead of "harpoon"] at the whale.
A possible problem can arise with the genus-for-species substitution because the movement is from more specific to more general; this can result in vagueness and loss of information. Note that in the example above some additional contextual information will be needed to clarify that "weapon" means "harpoon" in this case, rather than, say, "dagger" or something else. The same is true for the animal-for-dog substitution.
Perhaps a better substitution is the species for the genus--a single, specific, representative item symbolic of the whole. This form of synecdoche will usually be clearer and more effective than the other:
• A major lesson Americans need to learn is that life consists of more than cars and television sets. [Two specific items substituted for the concept of material wealth]
• Give us this day our daily bread. --Matt. 6:11
• If you still do not feel well, you'd better call up a sawbones and have him examine you.
• This program is for the little old lady in Cleveland who cannot afford to pay her heating bill.

5. Metonymy is another form of metaphor, very similar to synecdoche (and, in fact, some rhetoricians do not distinguish between the two), in which the thing chosen for the metaphorical image is closely associated with (but not an actual part of) the subject with which it is to be compared.
• The orders came directly from the White House.
In this example we know that the writer means the President issued the orders, because "White House" is quite closely associated with "President," even though it is not physically a part of him. Consider these substitutions, and notice that some are more obvious than others, but that in context all are clear:
• You can't fight city hall.
• This land belongs to the crown.
• In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread . . . . --Genesis 3:19
• Boy, I'm dying from the heat. Just look how the mercury is rising.
• His blood be on us and on our children. --Matt. 27:25
• The checkered flag waved and victory crossed the finish line.
• Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. --Psalm 100:1-2 (KJV)
The use of a particular metonymy makes a comment about the idea for which it has been substituted, and thereby helps to define that idea. Note how much more vivid "in the sweat of thy face" is in the third example above than "by labor" would have been. And in the fourth example, "mercury rising" has a more graphic, physical, and pictorial effect than would "temperature increasing." Attune yourself to such subtleties of language, and study the effects of connotation, suggestion, substitution, and metaphor.

6. Personification metaphorically represents an animal or inanimate object as having human attributes--attributes of form, character, feelings, behavior, and so on. Ideas and abstractions can also be personified.
• The ship began to creak and protest as it struggled against the rising sea.
• We bought this house instead of the one on Maple because this one is more friendly.
• This coffee is strong enough to get up and walk away.
• I can't get the fuel pump back on because this bolt is being uncooperative.
• Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. --Genesis 4:10b (NIV)
• That ignorance and perverseness should always obtain what they like was never considered as the end of government; of which it is the great and standing benefit that the wise see for the simple, and the regular act for the capricious. --Samuel Johnson
• Wisdom cries aloud in the streets; in the markets she raises her voice . . . .--Psalm 1:20 (RSV; and cf. 1:21-33)
While personification functions primarily as a device of art, it can often serve to make an abstraction clearer and more real to the reader by defining or explaining the concept in terms of everyday human action (as for example man's rejection of readily available wisdom is presented as a woman crying out to be heard but being ignored). Ideas can be brought to life through personification and objects can be given greater interest. But try always to be fresh: "winking stars" is worn out; "winking dewdrops" may be all right.
Personification of just the natural world has its own name, fictio. And when this natural-world personification is limited to emotion, John Ruskin called it the pathetic fallacy. Ruskin considered this latter to be a vice because it was so often overdone (and let this be a caution to you). We do not receive much pleasure from an overwrought vision like this:
• The angry clouds in the hateful sky cruelly spat down on the poor man who had forgotten his umbrella.
Nevertheless, humanizing a cold abstraction or even some natural phenomenon gives us a way to understand it, one more way to arrange the world in our own terms, so that we can further comprehend it. And even the so-called pathetic fallacy can sometimes be turned to advantage, when the writer sees his own feelings in the inanimate world around him:
• After two hours of political platitudes, everyone grew bored. The delegates were bored; the guests were bored; the speaker himself was bored. Even the chairs were bored.

7. Simile is a comparison between two different things that resemble each other in at least one way. In formal prose the simile is a device both of art and explanation, comparing an unfamiliar thing to some familiar thing (an object, event, process, etc.) known to the reader.
When you compare a noun to a noun, the simile is usually introduced by like:
• I see men, but they look like trees, walking. --Mark 8:24
• After such long exposure to the direct sun, the leaves of the houseplant looked like pieces of overcooked bacon.
• The soul in the body is like a bird in a cage.
When a verb or phrase is compared to a verb or phrase, as is used:
• They remained constantly attentive to their goal, as a sunflower always turns and stays focused on the sun.
• Here is your pencil and paper. I want you to compete as the greatest hero would in the race of his life.
Often the simile--the object or circumstances of imaginative identity (called the vehicle, since it carries or conveys a meaning about the word or thing which is likened to it)-precedes the thing likened to it (the tenor). In such cases, so usually shows the comparison:
• The grass bends with every wind; so does Harvey.
• The seas are quiet when the winds give o're; / So calm are we when passions are no more. --Edmund Waller
But sometimes the so is understood rather than expressed:
• As wax melts before the fire,/ may the wicked perish before God. --Psalm 68:2b
Whenever it is not immediately clear to the reader, the point of similarity between the unlike objects must be specified to avoid confusion and vagueness. Rather than say, then, that "Money is like muck," and "Fortune is like glass," a writer will show clearly how these very different things are like each other:
• And money is like muck, not good except it be spread. --Francis Bacon
• Fortune is like glass--the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken. --Publilius Syrus
• Like a skunk, he suffered from bad publicity for one noticeable flaw, but bore no one any ill will.
• James now felt like an old adding machine: he had been punched and poked so much that he had finally worn out.
• This paper is just like an accountant's report: precise and accurate but absolutely useless.
Many times the point of similarity can be expressed in just a word or two:
• Yes, he is a cute puppy, but when he grows up he will be as big as a house.
• The pitching mound is humped too much like a camel's back.
And occasionally, the simile word can be used as an adjective:
• The argument of this book utilizes pretzel-like logic.
• This gear has a flower-like symmetry to it.
Similes can be negative, too, asserting that two things are unlike in one or more respects:
• My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun. . . . --Shakespeare
• John certainly does not attack the way a Sherman tank does; but if you encourage him, he is bold enough.
Other ways to create similes include the use of comparison:
• Norman was more anxious to leave the area than Herman Milquetoast after seeing ten abominable snowmen charging his way with hunger in their eyes.
• But this truth is more obvious than the sun--here it is; look at it; its brightness blinds you.
Or the use of another comparative word is possible:
• Microcomputer EPROM (Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) resembles a chalk board in that it is used for consultation instead of figuring, and shows at each glance the same information unless erased and rewritten.
• His temper reminds me of a volcano; his heart, of a rock; his personality, of sandpaper.
• His speech was smoother than butter. . . .--Psalm 55:21

So a variety of ways exists for invoking the simile. Here are a few of the possibilities:
|x is like y |x is not like y |x is the same as y |
|x is more than y |x is less than y |x does y; so does z |
|x is similar to y |x resembles y |x is as y as z |
|x is y like z |x is more y than z |x is less y than z |

But a simile can sometimes be implied, or as it is often called, submerged. In such cases no comparative word is needed:
• The author of this poem is almost in the position of a man with boxes and boxes of tree ornaments, but with no tree to decorate. The poet has enough imagery handy to decorate anything he can think of, if only he can fix upon a "trim invention." The "sense" he does locate is obscured; the ivy hides the building completely.
• When I think of the English final exam, I think of dungeons and chains and racks and primal screams.
• Leslie has silky hair and the skin of an angel.

8. To juxtapose is to place side by side, especially for comparison or contrast. Juxtaposition is the placement of two contrasting ideas side by side for emphasis.

9. Understatement deliberately expresses an idea as less important than it actually is, either for ironic emphasis or for politeness and tact. When the writer's audience can be expected to know the true nature of a fact which might be rather difficult to describe adequately in a brief space, the writer may choose to understate the fact as a means of employing the reader's own powers of description. For example, instead of endeavoring to describe in a few words the horrors and destruction of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, a writer might state:
• The 1906 San Francisco earthquake interrupted business somewhat in the downtown area.
The effect is not the same as a description of destruction, since understatement like this necessarily smacks of flippancy to some degree; but occasionally that is a desirable effect. Consider these usages:
• Henry and Catherine were married, the bells rang, and everybody smiled . . . . To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of twenty-six and eighteen is to do pretty well . . . . --Jane Austen
• Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her person for the worse. --Jonathan Swift
• You know I would be a little disappointed if you were to be hit by a drunk driver at two a.m., so I hope you will be home early.
In these cases the reader supplies his own knowledge of the facts and fills out a more vivid and personal description than the writer might have.
In a more important way, understatement should be used as a tool for modesty and tactfulness. Whenever you represent your own accomplishments, and often when you just describe your own position, an understatement of the facts will help you to avoid the charge of egotism on the one hand and of self-interested puffery on the other. We are always more pleased to discover a thing greater than promised rather than less than promised--or as Samuel Johnson put it, "It is more pleasing to see smoke brightening into flame, than flame sinking into smoke." And it goes without saying that a person modest of his own talents wins our admiration more easily than an egotist. Thus an expert geologist might say, "Yes, I know a little about rocks," rather than, "Yes, I'm an expert about rocks." (An even bigger expert might raise his eyebrows if he heard that.)
Understatement is especially useful in dealing with a hostile audience or in disagreeing with someone, because the statement, while carrying the same point, is much less offensive. Compare:
• The second law of thermodynamics pretty much works against the possibility of such an event.
• The second law of thermodynamics proves conclusively that that theory is utterly false and ridiculous.
Remember, the goal of writing is to persuade, not to offend; once you insult or put off your opponent, objector, or disbeliever, you will never persuade him of anything, no matter how "obviously wrong" he is or how clearly right you are. The degree and power of pride in the human heart must never be underestimated. Many people are unwilling to hear objections of any kind, and view disagreement as a sign of contempt for their intellect. The use of understatement allows you to show a kind of respect for your reader's understanding. You have to object to his belief, but you are sympathetic with his position and see how he might have come to believe it; therefore, you humbly offer to steer him right, or at least to offer what you think is a more accurate view. Even those who agree with you already will be more persuaded because the modest thinker is always preferable to the flaming bigot. Compare these statements and consider what effect each would have on you if you read them in a persuasive article:
• Anyone who says this water is safe to drink is either stupid or foolish. The stuff is poisoned with coliform bacteria. Don't those idiots know that?
• My opponents think this water is drinkable, but I'm not sure I would drink it. Perhaps they are not aware of the dangerous bacterial count . . . [and so on, explaining the basis for your opinion].

10. Litotes, a particular form of understatement, is generated by denying the opposite or contrary of the word which otherwise would be used. Depending on the tone and context of the usage, litotes either retains the effect of understatement, or becomes an intensifying expression. Compare the difference between these statements:
• Heat waves are common in the summer.
• Heat waves are not rare in the summer.
Johnson uses litotes to make a modest assertion, saying "not improperly" rather than "correctly" or "best":
• This kind of writing may be termed not improperly the comedy of romance. . . .
Occasionally a litotic construction conveys an ironic sentiment by its understatement:
• We saw him throw the buckets of paint at his canvas in disgust, and the result did not perfectly represent his subject, Mrs. Jittery.
Usually, though, litotes intensifies the sentiment intended by the writer, and creates the effect of strong feelings moderately conveyed.
• Hitting that telephone pole certainly didn't do your car any good.
• If you can tell the fair one's mind, it will be no small proof of your art, for I dare say it is more than she herself can do. --Alexander Pope
• A figure lean or corpulent, tall or short, though deviating from beauty, may still have a certain union of the various parts, which may contribute to make them on the whole not unpleasing. --Sir Joshua Reynolds
• He who examines his own self will not long remain ignorant of his failings.
• Overall the flavors of the mushrooms, herbs, and spices combine to make the dish not at all disagreeable to the palate.
But note that, as George Orwell points out in "Politics and the English Language," the "not un-" construction (e.g., "not unwilling") should not be used indiscriminately. Rather, find an opposite quality which as a word is something other than the quality itself with an "un" attached. For instance, instead of, "We were not unvictorious," you could write, "We were not defeated," or "We did not fail to win," or something similar.

11.  Hyperbole, the counterpart of understatement, deliberately exaggerates conditions for emphasis or effect. In formal writing the hyperbole must be clearly intended as an exaggeration, and should be carefully restricted. That is, do not exaggerate everything, but treat hyperbole like an exclamation point, to be used only once a year. Then it will be quite effective as a table-thumping attention getter, introductory to your essay or some section thereof:
• There are a thousand reasons why more research is needed on solar energy.
Or it can make a single point very enthusiastically:
• I said "rare," not "raw." I've seen cows hurt worse than this get up and get well.
Or you can exaggerate one thing to show how really different it is from something supposedly similar to which it is being compared:
• This stuff is used motor oil compared to the coffee you make, my love.
• If anyone comes to me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. --Luke 14:26 (NASB)
Hyperbole is the most overused and overdone rhetorical figure in the whole world (and that is no hyperbole); we are a society of excess and exaggeration. Nevertheless, hyperbole still has a rightful and useful place in art and letters; just handle it like dynamite, and do not blow up everything you can find.


12. Anaphora is the repetition of the same word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences, commonly in conjunction with climax and with parallelism:
• To think on death it is a misery,/ To think on life it is a vanity;/ To think on the world verily it is,/ To think that here man hath no perfect bliss. --Peacham
• In books I find the dead as if they were alive; in books I foresee things to come; in books warlike affairs are set forth; from books come forth the laws of peace. --Richard de Bury
• Finally, we must consider what pleasantness of teaching there is in books, how easy, how secret! How safely we lay bare the poverty of human ignorance to books without feeling any shame! --Ibid.
• The wish of the genuine painter must be more extensive: instead of endeavoring to amuse mankind with the minute neatness of his imitations, he must endeavor to improve them by the grandeur of his ideas; instead of seeking praise, by deceiving the superficial sense of the spectator, he must strive for fame by captivating the imagination. --Sir Joshua Reynolds
• Slowly and grimly they advanced, not knowing what lay ahead, not knowing what they would find at the top of the hill, not knowing that they were so near to Disneyland.
• They are the entertainment of minds unfurnished with ideas, and therefore easily susceptible of impressions; not fixed by principles, and therefore easily following the current of fancy; not informed by experience, and consequently open to every false suggestion and partial account. --Samuel Johnson
Anaphora can be used with questions, negations, hypotheses, conclusions, and subordinating conjunctions, although care must be taken not to become affected or to sound rhetorical and bombastic. Consider these selections:
• Will he read the book? Will he learn what it has to teach him? Will he live according to what he has learned?
• Not time, not money, not laws, but willing diligence will get this done.
• If we can get the lantern lit, if we can find the main cave, and if we can see the stalagmites, I'll show you the one with the bat skeleton in it. be used for
Adverbs and prepositions can anaphora, too:
• They are masters who instruct us without rod or ferule, without angry words, without clothes or money. --Richard de Bury
• She stroked her kitty cat very softly, very slowly, very smoothly.

13. Epistrophe (also called antistrophe) forms the counterpart to anaphora, because the repetition of the same word or words comes at the end of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences:
• Where affections bear rule, there reason is subdued, honesty is subdued, good will is subdued, and all things else that withstand evil, forever are subdued. --Wilson
• And all the night he did nothing but weep Philoclea, sigh Philoclea, and cry out Philoclea. --Philip Sidney
• You will find washing beakers helpful in passing this course, using the gas chromatograph desirable for passing this course, and studying hours on end essential to passing this course.
Epistrophe is an extremely emphatic device because of the emphasis placed on the last word in a phrase or sentence. If you have a concept you wish to stress heavily, then epistrophe might be a good construction to use. The danger as usual lies in this device's tendency to become too rhetorical. Consider whether these are successful and effective or hollow and bombastic:
• The cars do not sell because the engineering is inferior, the quality of materials is inferior, and the workmanship is inferior.
• The energies of mankind are often exerted in pursuit, consolidation, and enjoyment; which is to say, many men spend their lives pursuing power, consolidating power, and enjoying power.

14. Anadiplosis repeats the last word of one phrase, clause, or sentence at or very near the beginning of the next. It can be generated in series for the sake of beauty or to give a sense of logical progression:
• Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,/ Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain . . . . --Philip Sidney
Most commonly, though, anadiplosis is used for emphasis of the repeated word or idea, since repetition has a reinforcing effect:
• They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water. --Jer. 2:13
• The question next arises, How much confidence can we put in the people, when the people have elected Joe Doax?
• This treatment plant has a record of uncommon reliability, a reliability envied by every other water treatment facility on the coast.
• In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. --John 1:1
Notice how the main point of the sentence becomes immediately clear by repeating the same word twice in close succession. There can be no doubt about the focus of your thought when you use anadiplosis.

15. Conduplicatio resembles anadiplosis in the repetition of a preceding word, but it repeats a key word (not just the last word) from a preceding phrase, clause, or sentence, at the beginning of the next.
• If this is the first time duty has moved him to act against his desires, he is a very weak man indeed. Duty should be cultivated and obeyed in spite of its frequent conflict with selfish wishes.
• The strength of the passions will never be accepted as an excuse for complying with them; the passions were designed for subjection, and if a man suffers them to get the upper hand, he then betrays the liberty of his own soul. --Alexander Pope
• She fed the goldfish every day with the new pellets brought from Japan. Gradually the goldfish began to turn a brighter orange than before.
Like anadiplosis, conduplicatio serves as an effective focusing device because with it you can pull out that important idea from the sentence before and put it clearly at the front of the new sentence, showing the reader just what he should be concentrating on. Since keeping the reader focused on your train of thought is critical to good writing, this device can be especially helpful as a transitional connector when the previous sentence has two or more possible main points, only one of which is to be continued in the discussion. Suppose, for example, you have this sentence:
• Submitting a constitutional amendment to a popular vote through a general referendum always runs the risk of a campaign and a vote based upon the selfishness rather than the sense of justice of the voter.
Now, the next sentence could begin with, "Previous campaigns . . ." or "The strength of the appeal to selfish interests . . . "or "Therefore constitutional amendments are best left . . ." all depending on which concept you wish to develop. If you began the next sentence with, "But there certainly can be no doubt that the general referendum will continue to be exploited by those whose issues are aided by the innate selfishness of human beings," the reader would have to go a considerable distance into the sentence before he would find out exactly which idea is being carried forward and developed.

16.  Epanalepsis repeats the beginning word of a clause or sentence at the end. The beginning and the end are the two positions of strongest emphasis in a sentence, so by having the same word in both places, you call special attention to it:
• Water alone dug this giant canyon; yes, just plain water.
• To report that your committee is still investigating the matter is to tell me that you have nothing to report.
Many writers use epanalepsis in a kind of "yes, but" construction to cite common ground or admit a truth and then to show how that truth relates to a more important context:
• Our eyes saw it, but we could not believe our eyes.
• The theory sounds all wrong; but if the machine works, we cannot worry about theory.
• In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. --John 16:33 (NASB)

17. A refrain a line or lines that are repeated in a song or in poetic verse.

18. Alliteration is the recurrence (the repetition) of initial consonant sounds (consonant sounds at the beginning of words). The repetition can be juxtaposed (and then it is usually limited to two words):
• Ah, what a delicious day!
• Yes, I have read that little bundle of pernicious prose, but I have no comment to make upon it.
• Done well, alliteration is a satisfying sensation.
This two-word alliteration calls attention to the phrase and fixes it in the reader's mind, and so is useful for emphasis as well as art. Often, though, several words not next to each other are alliterated in a sentence. Here the use is more artistic. And note in the second example how wonderfully alliteration combines with antithesis:
• I shall delight to hear the ocean roar, or see the stars twinkle, in the company of men to whom Nature does not spread her volumes or utter her voice in vain. --Samuel Johnson
• Do not let such evils overwhelm you as thousands have suffered, and thousands have surmounted; but turn your thoughts with vigor to some other plan of life, and keep always in your mind, that, with due submission to Providence, a man of genius has been seldom ruined but by himself. --Samuel Johnson


19. Irony is a method of humorous or sarcastic expression in which the intended meaning of the words is the opposite of their usual meaning; e.g. saying that a cold, windy, rainy day is "lovely." The three most common forms of irony are 1) verbal irony (sarcasm), 2) situational irony, 3) dramatic irony.

20. Sarcasm (verbal irony): the use of praise to mock someone or something; the use of mockery or verbal irony.

21. Paradox is a statement which seems self-contradictory, but which may be true in fact.
    "Success is counted sweetest
      By those who ne'er succeed..."  Emily Dickinson

22. An oxymoron is a paradox reduced to two words, usually in an adjective-noun ("eloquent silence") or adverb-adjective ("inertly strong") relationship, and is used for effect, complexity, emphasis, or wit:
• I do here make humbly bold to present them with a short account of themselves and their art.....--Jonathan Swift
• The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read, / With loads of learned lumber in his head . . . .--Alexander Pope
• He was now sufficiently composed to order a funeral of modest magnificence, suitable at once to the rank of a Nouradin's profession, and the reputation of his wealth. --Samuel Johnson
Oxymoron can be useful when things have gone contrary to expectation, belief, desire, or assertion, or when your position is opposite to another's which you are discussing. The figure then produces an ironic contrast which shows, in your view, how something has been misunderstood or mislabeled:
• Senator Rosebud calls this a useless plan; if so, it is the most helpful useless plan we have ever enacted.
• The cost-saving program became an expensive economy.
Other oxymorons, as more or less true paradoxes, show the complexity of a situation where two apparently opposite things are true simultaneously, either literally ("desirable calamity") or imaginatively ("love precipitates delay"). Some examples other writers have used are these: scandalously nice, sublimely bad, darkness visible, cheerful pessimist, sad joy, wise fool, tender cruelty, despairing hope, freezing fire. An oxymoron should preferably be yours uniquely; do not use another's, unless it is a relatively obvious formulation (like "expensive economy") which anyone might think of. Also, the device is most effective when the terms are not common opposites. So, instead of "a low high point," you might try "depressed apex" or something.

23. Paraleipsis Stating and drawing attention to something in the very act of pretending to pass it over. A kind of irony.
It would be unseemly for me to dwell on Senator Kennedy's drinking problem, and too many have already sensationalized his womanizing...
Melville's narrator of Moby Dick, Ishmael, manages to characterize Queequeg in the very act of stating he will pass over such details:
We will not speak of all Queequeg's peculiarities here; how he eschewed coffee and hot rolls, and applied his undivided attention to beefsteaks, done rare. —Moby Dick "Breakfast"


24. Humor is the quality that provokes laughter or amusement.  Writers create humor through exaggeration, sarcasm, amusing descriptions, irony, and witty dialogue.

25. Satire is literary work in which vices, abuses, absurdities, etc. are held up to ridicule and contempt; use of ridicule, sarcasm, irony, etc. to expose vices, abuses, etc.; a literary technique in which ideas or customs are ridiculed for the purpose of improving society.

26. A parody is a literary composition which imitates the characteristic style of a serious work or writer and uses its features to treat trivial, nonsensical material in an attempt at humor or satire.


27. Tone The apparent emotional state, or “attitude,” of the speaker/narrator/narrative voice, as conveyed through the language of the piece. Tone refers only to the narrative voice; not to the author or characters. It must be described or identified in order to be analyzed properly; it would be incorrect to simply state, “The author uses tone.”
The poem has a bitter and sardonic tone, revealing the speaker’s anger and resentment.
The tone of Gulliver’s narration is unusually matter-of-fact, as he seems to regard these bizarre and absurd occurrences as ordinary or commonplace.

28. Undertone is low or subdued speech; an underlying quality or feeling, esp. an emotional undercurrent or tinge; a feeling or quality that is not directly expressed but can still be recognized. Literarily if you speak in an undertone, you speak quietly.
undertone of There was an undertone of sadness in her letter. Opponents claim the policy has racist undertones.
in an undertone ‘Don't be too upset if he doesn't come,' said Drew in an undertone.

29. Connotation is the extra tinge or taint of meaning each word carries beyond the minimal, strict definition found in a dictionary. For instance, the terms civil war, revolution and rebellion have the same denotation; they all refer to an attempt at social or political change. However, civil war carries historical connotations for Americans beyond that of revolution or rebellion. Likewise, revolution is often applied more generally to scientific or theoretical changes, and it does not necessarily connote violence. Rebellion, for many English speakers connotes an improper uprising against a legitimate authority (thus we speak about "rebellious teenagers" rather than "revolutionary teenagers"). In the same way, the words house and home both refer to a domicile, but home connotes certain singular emotional qualities and personal possession in a way that house doesn't. I might own four houses I rent to others, but I might call none of these my home, for example. Much of poetry involves the poet using connotative diction that suggests meanings beyond "what the words simply say."

30. Denotation is the minimal, strict definition of a word as found in a dictionary, disregarding any historical or emotional connotation.


31. Rhetorical questions (also called erotema & erotesis)refers to the author’s asking a rhetorical question to the reader, i.e., "What should honest citizens do?" Often the question is asked in order to get a definite answer from the reader--usually, "no," as J. A. Cuddon suggests. The erotema often implies an answer, but usually does not provide one explicitly. Examples include Laertes' rant about Ophelia's madness, when he asks, "Do you see this, O God?" (Hamlet 4.5). American politicians still make use of this technique in debate, as evidenced by Senator Edward Kennedy's arguments before the senate concerning the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968:
How can the poor feel they have a stake in a system which says that the rich may have due process but the poor may not? How can the uneducated have faith in a system which says that it will take advantage of them in every possible way? How can people have hope when we tell them that they have no recourse if they run afoul of the state justice system?

32. Selection of detail refers to the nature of the details of description that the author uses.

33. Lists/Cataloging consists of long lists for poetic or rhetorical effect. The technique is common in epic literature, where conventionally the poet would devise long lists of famous princes, aristocrats, warriors, and mythic heroes to be lined up in battle and slaughtered. The technique is also common in the practice of giving illustrious genealogies ("and so-and-so begat so-and-so," or "x, son of y, son of z" etc.) for famous individuals. An example in American literature is Whitman's multi-page catalog of American types in section 15 of "Song of Myself." An excerpt appears below:
The pure contralto sings in the organ loft,
The carpenter dresses his plank, the tongue of his foreplane whistles its wild ascending lisp,
The married and unmarried children ride home to their Thanksgiving dinner,
The pilot seizes the king-pin, he heaves down with a strong arm,
The mate stands braced in the whale-boat, lance and harpoon are ready,
The duck-shooter walks by silent and cautious stretches,
The deacons are ordained with crossed hands at the altar,
The spinning-girl retreats and advances to the hum of the big wheel,
The farmer stops by the bars as he walks on a First-day loaf and looks at the oats and rye,
The lunatic is carried at last to the asylum a confirmed case.... [etc.]
One of the more humorous examples of cataloging appears in the Welsh Mabinogion. In one tale, "Culhwch and Olwen," the protagonist invokes in an oath all the names of King Arthur's companion-warriors, giving lists of their unusual attributes or abilities running to six pages.

34. Narrative pacing is an important concept in narrative writing. Basically, pacing means that the writer sometimes slows the pace by putting more detail in, but sometimes she also hurries over details. A good way to know where to put in details and where to leave them out is to think of a narrative as consisting of episodes (smaller scenes that are strung together to make up a longer story). If you divide your story into a few short episodes, then you want suggestive detail within the episodes, but you want to hurry over the transitions between them. Think of episodes as pearls on a string. Make the pearls full orbed; keep the string stringy. The reader dwells in the episodes, but she needs to be oriented to them, and that is the function of the transitions.

35. Appeals: logos, ethos, pathos (including religion, patriotism, etc.)

Whenever you read an argument you must ask yourself, "is this persuasive? And if so, to whom?"  There are several ways to appeal to an audience.  Among them are appealing to logos, ethos and pathos.  These appeals are prevalent in almost all arguments.

Logos: The Greek word logos is the basis for the English word logic.  Logos is a broader idea than formal logic--the highly symbolic and mathematical logic that you might study in a philosophy course.  Logos refers to any attempt to appeal to the intellect, the general meaning of "logical argument."  Everyday arguments rely heavily on ethos and pathos, but academic arguments rely more on logos.  Yes, these arguments will call upon the writers' credibility and try to touch the audience's emotions, but there will more often than not be logical chains of reasoning supporting all claims. For Example:
Let us begin with a simple proposition:  What democracy requires is public debate, not information.  Of course it needs information too, but the kind of information it needs can be generated only by vigorous popular debate.  We do not know what we need to know until we ask the right questions, and we can identify the right questions only by subjecting our ideas about the world to the test of public controversy.  Information, usually seen as the precondition of debate, is beter understood as its by product.  When we get into arguments that focus and fully engage our attention, we become avid seekers of relevant information.  Otherwise, we take in information passively--if we take it in at all.
Christopher Lasch, "The Lost Art of Political Argument

Ethos:  Ethos is related to the English word ethics and refers to the trustworthiness of the speaker/writer.  Ethos is an effective persuasive strategy because when we believe that the speaker does not intend to do us harm, we are more willing to listen to what s/he has to say.  For example, when a trusted doctor gives you advice, you may not understand all of the medical reasoning behind the advice, but you nonetheless follow the directions because you believe that the doctor knows what s/he is talking about.  Likewise, when a judge comments on legal precedent audiences tend to listen because it is the job of a judge to know the nature of past legal cases. For Example:

My Dear Fellow Clergymen:
While confined here in Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely."...Since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable in terms.
    I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in."...I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here.  I am here because I have organizational ties here.
    But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here.  Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town.  Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.
Martin Luther King, Jr. "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
Pathos: Pathos is related to the words pathetic, sympathy and empathy.  Whenever you accept a claim based on how it makes you feel without fully analyzing the rationale behind the claim, you are acting on pathos.  They may be any emotions: love, fear, patriotism, guilt, hate or joy.  A majority of arguments in the popular press are heavily dependent on pathetic appeals.  The more people react without full consideration for the WHY, the more effective an argument can be.  Although the pathetic appeal can be manipulative, it is the cornerstone of moving people to action.  Many arguments are able to persuade people logically, but the apathetic audience may not follow through on the call to action.  Appeals to pathos touch a nerve and compel people to not only listen, but to also take the next step and act in the world. For Example:
For me, commentary on war zones at home and abroad begins and ends with personal reflections.  A few years ago, while watching the news in Chicago, a local news story made a personal connection with me.  The report concerned a teenager who had been shot because he had angered a group of his male peers.  This act of violence caused me to recapture a memory from my own adolescence because of an instructive parallel in my own life with this boy who had been shot.  When I was a teenager some thirty-five years ago in the New York metropolitan area, I wrote a regular column for my high school newspaper.  One week, I wrote a colunm in which I made fun of the fraternities in my high school.  As a result, I elicited the anger of some of the most aggressive teenagers in my high school.  A couple of nights later, a car pulled up in front of my house, and the angry teenagers in the car dumped garbage on the lawn of my house as an act of revenge and intimidation.
James Garbarino "Children in a Violent World: A Metaphysical Perspective"

36. An expletive is a single word or short phrase, usually interrupting normal syntax, used to lend emphasis to the words immediately proximate to the expletive. (We emphasize the words on each side of a pause or interruption in order to maintain continuity of the thought.) Compare:
• But the lake was not drained before April.
• But the lake was not, in fact, drained before April.
Expletives are most frequently placed near the beginning of a sentence, where important material has been placed:
• All truth is not, indeed, of equal importance; but if little violations are allowed, every violation will in time be thought little. --Samuel Johnson
But sometimes they are placed at the very beginning of a sentence, thereby serving as signals that the whole sentence is especially important. In such cases the sentence should be kept as short as possible:
• In short, the cobbler had neglected his soul.
• Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. --John 4:14 (NIV)
Or the author may show that he does not intend to underemphasize an objection or argument he rejects:
• To be sure, no one desires to live in a foul and disgusting environment. But neither do we want to desert our cities.
In a few instances, especially with short sentences, the expletive can be placed last:
• It was a hot day indeed.
• Harold won, of course.
A common practice is setting off the expletive by commas, which increases the emphasis on the surrounding words, though in many cases the commas are necessary for clarity as well and cannot be omitted. Note how the expletive itself is also emphasized:
• He without doubt can be trusted with a cookie.
• He, without doubt, can be trusted with a cookie.
An expletive can emphasize a phrase:
• The Bradys, clearly a happy family, live in an old house with squeaky floors.
Transitional phrases, accostives, some adverbs, and other interrupters can be used for emphasizing portions of sentences, and therefore function as kinds of quasi-expletives in those circumstances.
• We find a few people, however, unwilling to come.
• "Your last remark," he said, "is impertinent."
• There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. --Samuel Johnson
Some useful expletives include the following: in fact, of course, indeed, I think, without doubt, to be sure, naturally, it seems, after all, for all that, in brief, on the whole, in short, to tell the truth, in any event, clearly, I suppose, I hope, at least, assuredly, certainly, remarkably, importantly, definitely. In formal writing, avoid these and similar expletives: you know, you see, huh, get this. And it goes without saying that you should avoid the unprintable ones.

37. Appositive: a noun or noun substitute placed next to (in apposition to) another noun to be described or defined by the appositive. The appositive can be placed before or after the noun:
• Henry Jameson, the boss of the operation, always wore a red baseball cap.
• A notorious annual feast, the picnic was well attended.
• That evening we were all at the concert, a really elaborate and exciting affair.
With very short appositives, the commas setting off the second noun from the first are often omitted:
• That afternoon Kathy Todd the pianist met the poet Thompson.
• Is your friend George going to run for office?

38. Apostrophe interrupts the discussion or discourse and addresses directly a person or personified thing, either present or absent. Its most common purpose in prose is to give vent to or display intense emotion, which can no longer be held back:
• O value of wisdom that fadeth not away with time, virtue ever flourishing, that cleanseth its possessor from all venom! O heavenly gift of the divine bounty, descending from the Father of lights, that thou mayest exalt the rational soul to the very heavens! Thou art the celestial nourishment of the intellect . . . . --Richard de Bury
• O books who alone are liberal and free, who give to all who ask of you and enfranchise all who serve you faithfully! -- Richard de Bury
• O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it! --Luke 13:34 (NASB)
Apostrophe does not appear very often in argumentative writing because formal argument is by its nature fairly restrained and intellectual rather than emotional; but under the right circumstances an apostrophe could be useful:
• But all such reasons notwithstanding, dear reader, does not the cost in lives persuade you by itself that we must do something immediately about the situation?

39. Epithet is an adjective or adjective phrase appropriately qualifying a subject (noun) by naming a key or important characteristic of the subject, as in "laughing happiness," "sneering contempt," "untroubled sleep," "peaceful dawn," and "lifegiving water." Sometimes a metaphorical epithet will be good to use, as in "lazy road," "tired landscape," "smirking billboards," "anxious apple." Aptness and brilliant effectiveness are the key considerations in choosing epithets. Be fresh, seek striking images, pay attention to connotative value.
A transferred epithet is an adjective modifying a noun which it does not normally modify, but which makes figurative sense:
• At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth of thieves and murderers . . . . --George Herbert
• Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold / A sheep hook . . . . --John Milton
• In an age of pressurized happiness, we sometimes grow insensitive to subtle joys.
The striking and unusual quality of the transferred epithet calls attention to it, and it can therefore be used to introduce emphatically an idea you plan to develop. The phrase will stay with the reader, so there is no need to repeat it, for that would make it too obviously rhetorical and even a little annoying. Thus, if you introduce the phrase, "diluted electricity," your subsequent development ought to return to more mundane synonyms, such as "low voltage," "brownouts," and so forth. It may be best to save your transferred epithet for a space near the conclusion of the discussion where it will be not only clearer (as a synonym for previously stated and clearly understandable terms) but more effective, as a kind of final, quintessential, and yet novel conceptualization of the issue. The reader will love it.

40. Aphorism: a tersely phrased statement of a truth or opinion; a brief statement of a principle. Also Known As: saying, maxim, adage, cliché, saw, dictum, precept

Examples and Observations:
"The word aphorism was first employed by Hippocrates to describe a collection of concise principles, primarily medical, beginning with the famous, 'Life is short, art is long, opportunity fleeting, experimentation dangerous, reasoning difficult. . . .' Eventually the term was applied to statements of principles in law and agriculture and extended to other areas." (G. A. Test, Satire: Spirit and Art. Univ. Press of Florida, 1991)

"Sits he on ever so high a throne, a man still sits on his bottom." (Montaigne)
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
(often attributed to Voltaire, the words are in fact Tallentyre's summary of Voltaire's attitude toward Helvetius after the burning of the latter's writings in 1759)

"All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why." (James Thurber)

"If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got." ("Moms" Mabley)

"An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog." (Friedrich Von Schlegel)

41. euphemism The substitution of an inoffensive term (such as "passed away") for one considered offensively explicit ("died"). Contrast with dysphemism. Also Known As: soft language, euphemismus, conciliatio, paradiastole, soother

Examples and Observations:

Mr. Prince: We'll see you when you get back from image enhancement camp.
Martin Prince: Spare me your euphemisms! It's fat camp, for Daddy's chubby little secret!
("Kamp Krusty," The Simpsons, 1992)

Paul Kersey: You've got a prime figure. You really have, you know.
Joanna Kersey: That's a euphemism for fat. (Death Wish, 1974)

"The 'reconstruction' of New Orleans has become a euphemism for the destruction of the city's cultural and historic heritage." (Ghali Hassan, 2006)

Dr. House: Who were you going to kill in Bolivia? My old housekeeper?
Dr. Terzi: We don't kill anyone.
Dr. House: I'm sorry--who were you going to marginalize? ("Whatever It Takes," House, M.D.)

Pre-owned for used or second-hand; enhanced interrogation for torture; industrial action for strike; misspoke for lie; tactical withdrawal for retreat; revenue augmentation for raising taxes; wind for belch or fart; convenience fee for surcharge; courtesy reminder for bill

42. Onomatopoeia is the use of words whose pronunciation imitates the sound the word describes. "Buzz," for example, when spoken is intended to resemble the sound of a flying insect. Other examples include these: slam, pow, screech, whirr, crush, sizzle, crunch, wring, wrench, gouge, grind, mangle, bang, blam, zap, fizz, urp, roar, growl, blip, click, whimper, and, of course, snap, crackle, and pop. Note that the connection between sound and pronunciation is sometimes rather a product of imagination ("slam" and "wring" are not very good imitations). And note also that written language retains an aural quality, so that even unspoken your writing has a sound to it. Compare these sentences, for instance:
• Someone yelled, "Look out!" and I heard the skidding of tires and the horrible noise of bending metal and breaking glass.
• Someone yelled "Look out!" and I heard a loud screech followed by a grinding, wrenching crash.
Onomatopoeia can produce a lively sentence, adding a kind of flavoring by its sound effects:
The flies buzzing and whizzing around their ears kept them from finishing the experiment at the swamp.
• No one talks in these factories. Everyone is too busy. The only sounds are the snip, snip of scissors and the hum of sewing machines.
• But I loved that old car. I never heard the incessant rattle on a rough road, or the squeakitysqueak whenever I hit a bump; and as for the squeal of the tires around every corner--well, that was macho.
If you like the plop, plop, plop of a faucet at three in the morning, you will like this record.

43. Invective is speech or writing that attacks, insults, or denounces a person, topic, or institution, usually involving negative emotional language

44. An anecdote is a brief account of an interesting incident or event that usually is intended to entertain or to make a point.

45. Imagery consists of lively descriptions which impress the images of things upon the mind; imagery appeals to the five senses through the use of figures of speech.

46. Allusion is a brief indirect reference to a person, place, event, or passage in a work of literature or the Bible assumed to be sufficiently well known to be recognized by the reader; e.g. "I am Lazarus, come from the dead."  T. S. Eliot. Allusions may be historical, mythological, classical, biblical. Allusion is used to explain or clarify a complex problem. Note that allusion works best if you keep it short and refer to something the reader / audience is familiar with, e.g.:
• famous people
• history
• (Greek) mythology
• literature
• the bible
If the audience is familiar with the event or person, they will also know background and context. Thus, just a few words are enough to create a certain picture (or scene) in the readers’ minds. The advantages are as follows:
1. We don’t need lengthy explanations to clarify the problem.
2. The reader becomes active by reflecting on the analogy.
3. The message will stick in the reader's mind.
1. the Scrooge Syndrome (allusion to the rich, grieve and mean Ebeneezer Scrooge from Charles Dicken’s “Christmas Carol”)
2. The software included a Trojan Horse. (allusion to the Trojan horse from Greek mythology)
3. Plan ahead. It was not raining when Noah built the Ark. (Richard Cushing) (allusion to the biblical Ark of Noah)
Many allusions on historic events, mythology or the bible have become famous idioms.
4. to meet one’s Waterloo (allusion to Napoleons defeat in the Battle of Waterloo)
5. to wash one’s hands of it. (allusion to Pontius Pilatus, who sentenced Jesus to death, but washed his hands afterwards to demonstrate that he was not to blame for it.)
6. to be as old as Methuselah (allusion to Joseph’s grandfather, who was 969 years old according to the Old Testament)
7. to guardsth with Argus’s eyes (allusion to the giant Argus from Greek mythology, who watched over Zeus’ lover Io.)

47. Parallelism Successive clauses or sentences are similarly structured. This similarity makes it easier for the reader / listener to concentrate on the message.
1. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interest, and teach us what it means to be citizens.
2. The mediocre teacher tells, The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. (William A. Ward)
3. The mistakes of the fool are known to the world, but not to himself. The mistakes of the wise man are known to himself, but not to the world. (Charles Caleb Colton)
4. Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I will learn. (Benjamin Franklin)

Note: When writing, parallelism is a useful device for instructions. Due to the parallel structure, the reader can concentrate on the message and will immediately know what to do (see examples below).
Example 1 (no parallelism):
• Open the book first.
• You must read the text now.
• There are pictures in the book–Look at them.
• The questions must be answered.
Example 2 (parallelism):
• Open the book.
• Read the text.
• Look at the pictures.
• Answer the questions.
You surely agree that the second instruction is easier to follow (and to remember) than the first one. The change of structure in the first example is confusing and distracts the reader from the actual message. It might be okay with simple messages like the ones we used here. But following more complex instructions is really hard if they are not in parallel structure.

Function of Rhetoric

How do rhetorical devices/strategies function in written and spoken language?

Devices Functions
1. alliteration to create a memorable phrase, thus to draw attention to a phrase, etc.
2. allusion to lend authority to an idea, to make an association with something the
reader knows
3. analogy to make a pointed comparison, often a very powerful comparison
4. anaphora to create a memorable, powerful effect, to reinforce an idea
5. anecdote to provide a concrete example or humanize an abstract concept
6. appeals to reason, emotion to provoke the audience to respond in a particular way (religion, ethics,
patriotism) and to tap into a reader’s values
7. humor to disarm the audience, diffuse hostility, warm the reader to the writer’s
8. hyperbole to make a pointed comparison, often a very powerful comparison and to
provoke a response, to cast something in a strong light
9. imagery to illustrate an idea, a feeling, or the particular qualities of something; to
produce a feeling or an idea
10. invective to ridicule, chastise, or convey contempt
11. irony to convey complexity
12. juxtaposition to call attention to extremes
13. lists to create a sense of overwhelming force or magnitude
14. metaphor to make a pointed comparison, often a very powerful comparison
15. narrative pace to convey energy or intense feelings (or lack thereof)
16. paradox to point out an apparent contradiction
17. parallelism to create a memorable, powerful effect, to reinforce an idea
18. paraleipsis to draw attention to something while pretending not to do so
19. refrain to create a memorable phrase, thus to draw attention to a phrase
20. repetition to create a memorable, powerful effect, to reinforce an idea
21. rhetorical question to provoke the reader to respond or to think
22. selection of detail to concretize a particular idea, fact, or feeling (to turn abstractions into
concrete entities)
23. sarcasm, verbal irony to ridicule or criticize
24. satire to ridicule and inspire reform
25. short, staccato sentences to call attention to an idea, to create a sense of urgency
26. simile to make a pointed comparison, often a very powerful comparison
27. tone to communicate an attitude towards the subject
28. understatement to spark the reader’s imagination, or make a pointed observation
29. undertone to communicate an attitude towards the subject that cuts beyond the
attitude that appears on the surface
30. words w/ heavy connotations to cast the subject in a particular light, to imply

Rhetorical Purposes (author’s purpose---reference RAT’s—reading analysis templates):

to describe to narrate to inform
to persuade/convince to instruct/teach to preach
to elaborate to satirize to criticize
to lament to eulogize to espouse one’s views

Figures of Speech

FIGURE OF SPEECH—is an expression in which the words are used in a nonliteral sense to present a figure, picture, or image. The basic figures are:

1. SIMILE—is a direct or explicit comparison between two usually unrelated things indicating a likeness or similarity between some attribute found in both things. A simile uses like or as to introduce the comparison. In the expression “John swims like a fish,” the grace and naturalism with which John swims is compared with the grace and naturalness with which a fish swims. Literally, it would be impossible for John to swim like a fish because of his human nature. However, we can imagine the figure or image of a very skilled and graceful swimmer beneath the surface.

2. METAPHOR—is an implied comparison between two usually unrelated things indicating a likeness or analogy between attributes found in both things. A metaphor, unlike a simile, does not use like or as to indicate the comparison.

3. PERSONIFICATION—the giving of human characteristics to inanimate objects, ideas, or animals. “The wind whistled.” “Her heart cried out.”

4. SYNECDOCHE—is the technique of mentioning a part of something to represent the whole. “All hands on deck!”

5. METONYMY—is the substitution of a word naming an object for another word closely associated with it. “Pay tribute to the crown.” “The White House has decided.”

6. SYMOL—is a word or image that signifies something other than what it literally represents. The cross is a symbol of Christianity. The donkey and the elephant are symbols of the two American political organizations.

7. ALLEGORY—a narrative or description having a second meaning beneath the surface one.

8. OVERSTATEMENT—is an exaggeration for the sake of emphasis and is not to be taken literally. “rivers of blood” “sweat to death”

9. UNDERSTATEMENT—consists of saying less than one means, or of saying what one means with less force than the occasion warrants.

10. ANTITHESIS—is a balancing or contrasting of one term against another. “Man proposes, God disposes.” —Pope

11. APOSTROPHE—is the addressing of someone or something usually not present, as though present. “Captain, My Captain! A fearful trip is done.” —Walt Whitman

12. DRAMATIC IRONY—a device by which the author implies a different meaning from that intended by the speaker (or by a speaker) in a literary work. An incongruity or discrepancy between what a character says or thinks and what the reader knows to be true (or between what a character perceives and what the author intends the reader to perceive.)

13. IRONY OF SITUATION—a situation in which there is an incongruity between actual circumstances and those that would seem appropriate or between what is anticipated and what actually comes to pass.

14. VERBAL IRONY—a figure of speech in which what is meant is the opposite of what is said.

15. PARADOX—a statement or situation containing apparently contradictory or incompatible elements.

16. OXYMORON—a compact paradox—a figure of speech that combines two contradictory words, placed side by side: bitter sweet, wise fool, living death.

Other Literary Terms

1. ALLUSION—a reference in literature or in art to previous literature, history, mythology, current events, or the Bible.

2. ANACHRONISM—an element in a story that is out of its time frame; sometimes used to create a humorous or jarring effect, but sometimes the result of poor research on the author’s part.

3. ANECDOTE—a short and often personal story used to emphasize a point, to develop a character or a theme, or to inject humor.

4. ANTECEDENT—the word or phrase to which a pronoun refers. (sometimes after the pronoun in poetry)

5. APHORISM—a terse statement that expresses a general truth or moral principle; sometimes considered a folk proverb.

6. ARCHETYPE—a character, situation, or symbol that is familiar to people from all cultures because it occurs frequently in literature, myth, religion, or folklore.

7. CONCEIT—a far-fetched comparison between two seemingly unlike things; an extended metaphor that gains appeal from its unusual or extraordinary comparison.

8. CONNOTATION—associations a word calls to mind—what a word suggests beyond its basic definition (DENOTATION).

9. ENJAMBMENT—in poetry, the running over of a sentence form one verse or stanza into the next without stopping at the end of the first. When the sentence or meaning does stop at the end of the line it is called—END STOPPED LINE.

10. IMAGERY—anything that affects or appeals to the reader’s senses: sight (visual), sound (auditory), touch (tactile), taste (gustatory), or smell (olfactory).

11. NARRATIVE POEM—a poem that tells a story

12. PARABLE—a short story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.

13. PARODY—a comical imitation of a serious piece with the intent of ridiculing the author or his work.

14. PASTORAL—a poem, play or story that celebrates and idealizes the simple life of shepherds and shepherdesses. The term has also come to refer to an artistic work that portrays rural life in an idyllic or idealistic way.

15. PATHOS—the quality of a literary work or passage which appeals to the reader’s or viewer’s emotions—especially pity, compassion, and sympathy. Pathos is different from the pity one feels for a tragic hero in that the pathetic figure seems to suffer through no fault of his or her own.

16. PUN—humorous play on words that have several meanings or words that sound the same but have different meanings.

17. SATIRE—the use of humor to ridicule and expose the shortcomings and failings of society, individuals, and institutions, often in the hope that change and reform are possible.
Some Fundamentals of Poetry
METER: Meter is the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables established in a line of poetry. The stressed ( ) syllable is also called the accented syllable. The unstressed ( ) syllable is also called the unaccented syllable. In determining the meter, the importance of the word, the position in the metrical pattern, and other linguistic factors should be considered. In identifying the meter of a line or verse, the type and the number of feet are considered.

FOOT: A foot is a unit of meter. A metrical foot can have two or three syllables. A foot consists generally of one stressed and one or more unstressed syllables. A line may have one foot, two feet, etc. Poetic lines are classified according to the number of feet in a line.

TYPES OF METRICAL FEET: The basic types of metrical feet determined by the arrangement of stressed and unstressed syllables are:

A. iambic
B. trochaic
C. anapestic
D. dactylic
E. spondaic
F. pyrrhic

A. IAMB: The iambic foot is a two-syllable foot with the stress on the second syllable. The iambic foot is the most common foot in English.

A book | of ver | ses un | der neath | the bough.

A jug | of wine, | a loaf | of bread | --and thou.

B. TROCHEE: The trochaic foot consists of a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable.

Dou ble, | dou ble, | toil and | trouble,

Fire | burn and | cauldron | bubble

C. ANAPEST: The anapestic foot consists of three syllables with the stress on the last syllable.

With the sheep | in the fold | and the cows | in their stalls.

D. SPONDEE: The spondaic foot consists of two stressed syllables. Compound words are examples of spondees. They are
used for variation.

Heartbreak, childhood, football

E. DACYTL: The dactylic foot contains three syllables with the stress on the first syllable.

Love again, | song again | nest again, | young again.

F. PYRRHIC: The pyrrhic foot consists of two unstressed syllables. This type of foot is rare and is found interspersed with
other feet.

KINDS OF METRICAL LINES: The basic kinds of metrical lines are:

A. monometer—one-foot line
B. dimeter—two-foot line
C. trimeter—three-foot line
D. tetrameter—four-foot line
E. pentameter—five-foot line
F. hexameter—six-foot line
G. heptameter—seven-foot line
H. octometer—eight-foot line

A. MONOMETER: Following is an example of iambic monometer from a poem by Robert Herrick.


Thus I
Pass by
And die,
As one,
And gone.

B. DIMETER: Below is an example of a poem in trochaic dimeter by Richard Armour.


Workers earn it,
Spendthrifts burn it
Bankers lend it,
Women spend it,
Forgers fake it,
* * *
I could use it.

C. TRIMETER: Following is an example of iambic trimeter from a poem by Robert Bridges.


The idle life I lead
Is like a pleasant sleep,
Wherein I rest and head
The dreams that by me sweep.

D. TETRAMETER: Below is an example of iambic tetrameter by Henry Leigh.


The hills, the meadows, and the lakes,
Enchant not for their own sweet sakes.
They cannot know, they cannot care
To know that they are thought so fair.

E. PENTAMETER: Some quotations from Alexander Pope illustrate iambic pentameter.

What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d.
The bookful blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head.

F. HEXAMETER: (sometimes called an alexandrine)

If hunger, proverbs say, allures the wolf from wood,
Much more the bird must dare a dash at something good.

G. HEPTAMETER: The iambic heptameter example is from a poem by Ernest Thayer.


It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville nine that day,
The score stood four to six with but an inning left to play:

H. OCTOMETER: Below is an example from a poem by E. A. Poe to illustrate trochaic octometer.

THE RAVEN Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

VERSE FORMS: The kinds of verse forms based on meter and rhyme are (A) rhymed verse, (B) blank verse, and (C) free verse.

A. RHYMED VERSE: Rhymed verse consists of verse with end rhyme and usually with a regular meter
B. BLANK VERSE: Blank verse consists of lines of iambic pentameter without end rhyme.
C. FREE VERSE: Free verse consists of lines that do not have a regular meter and do not contain rhyme.


A. RHYME: is the similarity of likeness of sound existing between two words. A true rhyme should consist of identical sounding syllables that are stressed and the letters preceding the vowels sounds should be different. Thus fun and run are TRUE or perfect rhymes because the vowel sounds are identical preceded by different consonants.

Near, off, or slant rhyme: A rhyme based on an imperfect or incomplete correspondence of end syllable sounds. Common in the work of Emily Dickinson, for instance:

It was not death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down.
It was not night, for all the bells
Put out their tongues for noon.

B. POSITION OF RHYME: Rhyme may be end rhyme or internal rhyme.

1. END RHYME: consists of the similarity occurring at the end of two or more lines of verse:

I wish that my room had a FLOOR
I don’t so much care for a DOOR
But this walking AROUND
Without touching the GROUND
Is getting to be quite a BORE!

1. INTERNAL RHYME: consists of the similarity occurring between two or more words in the
same line of verse.

Once upon a midnight DREARY, while I pondered, weak and WEARY,

C. KINDS OF RHYME: The kinds of rhyme based on the number of syllables presenting a similarity of sound are:

1. MASCULINE RHYME—occurs when one syllable of a word rhymes with another word:
bend and send; bright and light

2. FEMININE RHYME—occurs when the last two syllables of a word rhyme with another word:
lawful and awful; lighting and fighting

3. TRIPLE RHYME—occurs when the last three syllables of a word or line rhyme:
victorious and glorious; ascendency and descendency; quivering and shivering;
battering and shattering

D. RHYME SCHEME—is the pattern or sequence in which the rhyme occurs. The first sound is represented or designated as a, the second is designated as b, and so on. When the first sound is repeated, it is designated as a also.

Whose woods these are I think I know. a
His house is in the village though. a
He will not see me stopping here b
To watch his woods fill up with snow. a

My little horse must think it queer b
To stop without a farmhouse near b
Beside the woods and frozen lake c
The coldest evening of the year. b

He gives his harness bells a shake c
To ask if there is some mistake c
The only other sound’s the sweep d
Of easy wind and down flake. c

The woods are lovely, dark and deep d
But I have promises to keep, d
And miles to go before I sleep d
And miles to go before I sleep. d

E. ALLITERATION—is the repetition of the initial letter or sound in two or more words in a line of verse.

A Tutor who tooted the flute
Tried to teach two young tooters to toot;
Said the two to the tutor
“Is it harder to toot, or
To tutor two tooters to toot?” Carolyn Wells

F. ONOMATOPOEIA—is the use of a word to represent or imitate natural sounds (buzz, crunch, tingle, gurgle, sizzle, hiss)

G. ASSONANCE—is the similarity or repetition of a vowel sound in two or more words. Lake and stake are rhymes; lake and fate are assonance. Base and face are rhymes; base and fate are assonance.

H. CONSONANCE—is the repetition of consonant sounds within a line of verse. Consonance is similar to alliteration except that consonance doesn’t limit the repeated sound to the initial letter or a word.

But such a tide as moving seems asleep.

I. REFRAIN—is the repetition of one or more phrases or lines at intervals in a poem, usually at the end of a stanza. The refrain often takes the form of a chorus.

Tobacco is a dirty weed:
I like it.
It satisfies no normal need:
I like it.

It makes you thin, it makes you lean.
It takes the hair right off your bean.
It’s the worst darn stuff I’ve ever seen;
I like it. G. L. Hemminger

I. REPETITION—is the reiterating of a word or phrase within a poem.


A STANZA—a division of a poem based on thought or form. Stanzas based on form are marked by their rhyme scheme.
Stanzas are known by the number of lines they contain. The basic stanza forms are:

a. couplet two-line stanza
b. triplet three-line stanza
c. quatrain four-line stanza
d. sestet six-line stanza
e. septet seven-line stanza
f. octave eight-line stanza

HEROIC COUPLET—(sometimes called a closed couplet) consists of two successive rhyming verses that contain a complete thought within the two lines. It usually consists of iambic pentameter lines.

TERZA RIMA—is a three-line stanza form with an interlaced or interwoven rhyme scheme: a-b-a, b-c-b, c-d-c, d-e-d, etc. Usually iambic pentameter.

LIMERICK—is a five-line nonsense poem with an anapestic meter. The rhyme scheme is usually a-a-b-b-a. The first, second, and fifth lines have three stresses; and the third and fourth have two stresses.

BALLAD STANZA—consists of four lines with a rhyme scheme of a-b-c-b. The first and third lines are tetrameter and the second and fourth are trimeter.

RIME ROYAL—is a stanza consisting of seven lines in iambic pentameter rhyming a-b-a-b-b-c-c. It called so because King James I used it.

OTTAVA RIMA—consists of eight iambic pentameter lines with a rhyme scheme of a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c. It is a form that was borrowed from the Italians.

SPENSERIAN STANZA—is a nine-line stanza consisting of eight iambic pentameter lines followed by an alexandrine, a line of iambic hexameter. The rhyme scheme is a-b-a-b-b-c-b-c-c. The form derives its name from Edmund Spenser, who initiated the form for his Faerie Queene.

SONNET—is a fourteen-line stanza form consisting of iambic pentameter lines. The two major sonnet forms are the Italian (Petrarchan) and the English (Shakespearean) sonnet.

Petrarchan or Italian Sonnet—is divided usually between eight lines called the octave, using two rimes arranged a-b-b-a-a-b-b-a, and six lines called the sestet, using any arrangement of either two or three rimes: c-d-c-d-c-d and c-d-e- c-d-e are common patterns. The division between octave and sestet in the Italian sonnet (indicated by the rhyme scheme and sometimes marked off in printing by a space) usually corresponds to a division of thought. The octave may, for instance, present a situation and the sestet a comment, or the octave an idea and the sestet an example, or the octave a question and the sestet an answer. Thus the structure reflects the meaning.

English or Shakespearean Sonnet—is composed of three quatrains and a concluding couplet, riming a-b-a-b c-d-c-d e-f-e-f g-g. Again the units marked off by the rimes and the development of the thought often correspond. The three quatrains, for instance, may present three examples and the couplet a conclusion or the quatrains three metaphorical statements of one idea and the couplet an application.

VILLANELLE—consists of five tercets and a quatrain in which the first and third lines of the opening tercet recur alternately at the end of the other tercets and together as the last two lines of the quatrain.

ELEGY—usually a poem that mourns the death of an individual, the absence of something deeply loved, or the transience of mankind.

LYRIC—is the most widely used type of poem, so diverse in its format that a rigid definition is impossible. However, several factors run common in all lyrics:
a. limited length
b. intensely subjective
c. personal expression of personal emotion
d. expression of thoughts and feelings of one speaker
e. highly imaginative
f. regular rhyme scheme

ODE—an exalted, complex rapturous lyric poem written about a dignified, lofty subject
Terms Related to MLA

1. documentation, documenting-the act of giving the original author credit for any ideas, materials, data a writer summarizes, paraphrases, or quotes from an outside source.

2. summary-using one’s “own words to condense a paragraph, an entire article, or even a book into a few lines that convey the source’s essential meaning” (Kennedy et al. 53). Parenthetical/internal citations must be used with summaries.

3. paraphrase-the act of restating “a specific passage in word different from those of the original author. Use paraphrase when a source’s idea or data but not its exact words will strengthen your own idea” (Kennedy et al. 53). Parenthetical/internal citations must be used with paraphrasing.

4. quotations- (Please note that the word quotations is the noun; quote is the verb! We use quotations in our papers, not quotes. We quote what someone says!) Quotations, the exact words of the original author enclosed in quotation marks, are used to “support and enliven your own ideas” (Kennedy et al. 54). Parenthetical/internal citations must be used with quotations.

5. plagiarism-the failure to give the original author credit for his/her words and ideas. In this class credit is given using MLA parenthetical/internal citations. Plagiarism, intentional or unintentional, will earn students zeroes and disciplinary actions.

6. parenthetical (internal) citations-MLA style of documentation uses brief citations within parentheses within the text to give the reader the original author’s/the original source information: name and page number.

7. works cited list-a list of all the sources a writer uses—summarizes, paraphrases, or quotes—in a paper. The list is the last page of a paper. Guidelines for the list follow in a coming section of this document.

8. common knowledge-facts so widely known or agreed upon that they are not attributable to any one specific source. Common knowledge does not have to be cited in a paper since there is no specific source.

Special Note: The following information on formatting a research paper has been taken directly from the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers Sixth Edition, Chapter 4, “The Format of the Research Paper” (Gibaldi 131-138). Because of the technical and precise nature of the information, I have quoted much of the information word for word from this chapter. I take NO credit for the information and give all credit to Gibaldi.

Format of English Papers

The MLA research paper format will be used for all papers in Honors or AP classes, typed or handwritten. Follow these guidelines for all assignments.

For papers produced on computer/word processor, general guidelines:
• Use only white, 8 ½ by 11 inch paper for typed papers, regular notebook paper for handwritten—no fringe.
• Use one inch margins top, bottom, left, and right.
• Paragraph indentions are one-half inch from left margin or one tab.
• Entire paper is double-spaced. Set your spacing before you start typing by using the “Line Spacing” icon under the “Paragraph” section in the Home ribbon.
• Use one space after periods.
• Long quotations, more than forty words, are indented one inch from left margin.
• No title page is needed unless instructed by teacher to have one.
• Do not put paper in a report folder/cover.

Quick Check for MLA Formatting

1. Font: Times New Roman

2. Font Size: 12 point

3. Margins: 1” all the way around
a. Go to the “Page Layout” ribbon on the toolbar at the top of the screnn
b. Select “Margins.”
c. Be sure all four sides: top, left, bottom, right, are set at 1”.
d. Do not change “gutter.”

4. Spacing: Double space the entire paper.
a. Go to the “Home” ribbon on the toolbar at the top of the screen.
b. Got the “Paragraph” section.
c. Go to “Line Spacing” in the center. Select “2.0.”

5. Header: Set up the “header” which will insert your last name and the page number on every page of your document.
a. Go to the “Insert” ribbon on the toolbar at the top of the screen.
b. Select “Header.”
c. Click “Edit Header” at the bottom
d. Select the “Home” ribbon on the toolbar at the top of the screen.
e. In the “Paragraph” section, select “Align Text Right”
f. Type your last name and a space.
g. Go back to the “Insert” ribbon on the toolbar at the top of the screen.
h. Select “Page Number”
i. Select “Current Position”
j. Select “Plain Number”
k. Be sure your name and the page number are Times New Roman 12 point font.
l. Click back into the main part of your paper to close the Header section

6. Heading:
a. Align paper to left using alignment icons at the top of the document:
b. Your heading will be composed of four elements: your name, teacher’s name, course name and period, and the date.

Jane Doe
Ms. Vincent
AP Language – 7th Period
1 August 2011
7. Title:
Align title to center using alignment icons at the top of the document:
Type title in Times New Roman, 12 point, regular font. (No bold, underline, italics, etc.)
Hit “enter” on keyboard.
Align paper to left again using alignment icons at the top of the document:

8. Paragraphs: Indent each paragraph by hitting the “tab” key on the keyboard once. You do not have to hit enter at the end of each line. The computer will automatically move on to the next line as you type. You will only hit enter at the end of each paragraph. You should be certain that the line spacing is set to 2.0.
Guidelines for Weaving Quotations into Your Writing

The first point to remember about using quotations from other sources in your writing is that the quotations should be used only to provide supporting evidence for your statements and assertions. The readers want to know your response and your thoughts concerning the prompt/passage. Use quotations sparingly.

Always wrap quotations in your writing. TIE them to your work: Tag, Introduce, Embed.
Tag the quotation with the original author’s name.
Introduce the quotation with your thoughts.
Embed the quotation into your writing.

Quotations should not stand alone. Quotations should not open a sentence.

Method #1—Using a Colon
Juliet’s wit reminds Romeo of appropriate behavior: “Saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,/ and palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss” (Shakespeare 1.5.99-100).
Here you make a complete statement and follow it with a quotation. This method has a very abrupt effect on the reader (can lack flow).

Method #2 Using a Comma
Juliet is an intelligent young lady and her wit is shown when she says, “Saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch,/ and palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss” (Shakespeare 1.1.99-100).
The quotation is preceded by words or phrases of attribution such as “(s)he states”, “(s)he says”, “(s)he observes”, this is smoother than method #1, but the reader is still aware of the quotation inserted into the text.

Method #3 Paraphrasing
When Juliet reminds Romeo that the most important kissing he can do is having his hands pressed together in prayer, she demonstrates her wit (Shakespeare 1.5.99-100).
A paraphrase is not a direct quotation, but is does come from a specific place in the text. Use a paraphrase especially when a large segment of text needs to be analyzed. When citing the text, always mention the entire section where the paraphrase was found.

Method #4 Inserting the quotation into the context of the sentence
Juliet warns Romeo that although “Saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch” he must note that “palm to palm is holy palmer’s kiss” (Shakespeare 1.5.99-100).
Here parts of the quotation are used. They must fit into the sentences and the original text is not altered.

If the text needs to be altered, the square bracket method can be used.
When the argument will not flow because of pronouns used in the text itself, use the square brackets to insert a pronoun that will suit the argument as it is being presented by you.

Example using the square bracket method: Juliet says “what tongue will smooth thy name/ when [she] [his] three hour wife has mangled it?”(Shakespeare 3.2.98-99).

Ellipsis marks (…) indicate deleted text. These are used at the middle of the quotation; never use them at the beginning or the end of a passage.

Example using ellipsis marks:
“Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?/Ah, poor my lord…Tybalt’s death was woe enough, if it had ended there”(Shakespeare 3.2.97-115).
Multiple Choice Question Tips
Exam Strategy 1:
The multiple-choice section always presents a combination of easy, medium, and hard questions for each passage. These questions generally follow the chronology of the passage rather than transition from easiest to hardest or vice versa. The most important factor, however, is that all the questions are worth the same points. Therefore, a sound strategy is to make sure you get credit for all the easy and medium answers first. That means choosing which questions to answer and which ones to skip and then returning to answer if time allows. A student who spends too much time on a single, hard question may not get to answer two or three easy questions in a later part of the exam. Do a quick check of the number of the question and the number on the Scantron forms every time you see a zero (10, 20, 30, and so on). This double-check can keep you from getting off track, having to go back to find their error, and wasting valuable time.

Exam Strategy 2:
When the question refers to a part of the sentence and asks for the meaning of a word or phrase in context, what a word refers to, or how a word functions, it is best to go back to the beginning of the sentence or even to the previous sentence and read completely to the end of the sentence to comprehend the meaning. I have seen questions that ask the student what the antecedent of "this" is, and the answer is found in the preceding sentence. You may also want to read the sentence that follows because the answer could be there.

Exam Strategy 3:
If you have no idea of what the correct answer might be, leave the answer blank because a quarter-point penalty is assessed for guessing incorrectly. Test takers who guess incorrectly actually lose the point that they would have received for a correct answer and an additional quarter-point as a penalty. For every incorrect answer, you lose 1.25 points. When the exam is scored, these points are totaled and deducted from the number of correct answers.

Exam Strategy 4:
If you find yourself running out of time, try the following approaches:
A. Scan the remaining questions and look for either the shortest questions or the questions that refer to a specific line or lines. These questions take less time to answer.
B. Look for questions that contain the answer without requiring the student to refer to the text. For example, "The sea slid silently from the shore" is an example of (B) alliteration. The student would not have to go back to the passage to find the answer.

Exam Strategy 5:
Scan the questions first but not the answers, since four out of five of them are wrong. Skip any questions that direct you to a specific line number as this eliminates the majority of questions. Therefore, this strategy takes only a few seconds. In the few questions that are left, many times hints and clues about the meaning of the passage will be revealed. Some students may find that they have no idea what the passage is saying until they read some of the questions. Others may find that looking at the questions first is a waste of time. This strategy is really one of personal preference. Try the strategy a few times and then do what works best for them.

Exam Strategy 6:
One way to ensure that you finish the entire multiple-choice section is to first scan the number of questions and divide the number by two. For example, if there are 54 questions, and you have 60 minutes to complete the section, you should be around question 27 after 30 minutes. Another strategy is to divide the time by the number of passages. Count the passages when you receive the exam. For example, if you have four passages to read and one hour to complete the exam, they should allot 15 minutes to each passage. The advantage of this method is that every passage has a number of easy and medium questions, and by moving steadily you will receive the maximum number of points.

Sample Rubric for Essays:
|9 |WOW!!!! |excellent thesis |
| | |excellent illustration; strong support; sound, relevant evidence |
| | |effective imagination (notices and makes connections) |
| | |excellent organization |
| | |persuasive and carefully reasoned |
| | |demonstrates impressive stylistic control |
| | |infrequent minor errors |
|8 |YEAH! |excellent thesis |
| | |excellent illustrations; strong support; relevant evidence |
| | |less imagination or speculation |
| | |effective organization |
| | |cohesive |
| | |demonstrates the writer’s ability to control a wide range of the elements of effective writing, but not flawless |
|7 |GOOD!! |intelligent, yet less effective thesis |
| | |effective illustrations, adequate support, adequate evidence |
| | |somewhat imaginative |
| | |sound organization |
| | |a few lapses in syntax may be present, but for the most part, the prose style is strong |
|6 |GOOD! |adequate thesis |
| | |some illustrations, some support, some evidence |
| | |significantly less imagination and risk taking |
| | |a “safe” paper, carefully done |
| | |some lapses in diction or syntax may be present, but for the most part, the prose conveys the writer’s ideas clearly though |
| | |not with significant intellectual leaps |
|5 |ALMOST |unnecessarily imprecise thesis |
| |THERE |predictable, superficial, or limited illustrations, rather weak support, little evidence |
| | |uneven development though the prose is generally clear, |
| | |hints of an effective essay at times |
|4 |NOT QUITE! |inadequate response |
| | |weak or nonexistent thesis |
| | |no clear indication that writer understood the task |
| | |may use inappropriate or insufficient illustrations, support, and/or evidence |
| | |while prose usually conveys writer’s ideas, organization is usually rambling |
| | |generally suggests inconsistent control over the elements of writing: grammar, diction, syntax |
|3 |NADA! |no discernible thesis |
| | |may misread or substitute a simpler task thus only tangentially addressing the question |
| | |an assortment of rambling generalizations or a paraphrase takes the place of cogent analysis |
| | |little attention to structural and rhetorical technique |
| | |prose reveals consistent weaknesses in control of elements of writing/grammar |
| | |a lack of development, organization, control |
|2 |INCOMPLETE |not enough to adequately score content or quality |
|1 |FAILS TO ADDRESS |response does not address the issue/s contained in the prompt |
| |TOPIC | |

Helpful Websites

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online: www.merriam-webster.com

American Rhetoric: http://www.americanrhetoric.com

Silva Rhetoricae: The Forest of Rhetoric: http://rhetoric.byu.edu/

Aristotle’s Rhetoric: http://rhetoric.eserver.org/aristotle/

Perdue University’s Writing Lab http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant: http://powa.org/

UW-Madison Writing Center Writer’s Handbook: http://www.wisc.edu/writetest/Handbook

The Writing Instructor: http://writinginstructor.com/

Another great Jack Lynch site: Google these words: Resources for writers and writing instructors
Guide to Grammar and Style, Jack Lynch; Google these words: jack lynch writing Rutgers

Literary terms and definitions: http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/lit_terms_A.html

Special Note:
Thank you to Pat Faulkner, Shirley Henderson, Beth Morgan, and George Seaman for compiling their AP Language and Composition handbook and Tools for Critical Reading and Writing Packet and for sharing that information with other students so that we can share it with our students. This handbook was originally complied by Mrs. Henderson, Mrs. Morgan, and Mr. Seamen in an attempt to help their students prepare for a successful AP exam…and of course, life! They have used many, many sources for this book; some pages they have had for years; others were found online. In NO WAY are they or Ola High School taking credit for authoring these materials. All involved are grateful to all who contributed in any manner to this compilation.

What are words to describe a bad person? Negative Adjectives for Negative People. 1. Abrasive — lacking any softness, tenderness, or tact in their expression. 2. Bad-tempered — short-tempered or quick to anger. 3. Bigoted — prejudiced against and hostile towards those of a different race, religion, or sexual orientation. 4.