2Diction refers to the author’s choice of words Diction refers to the author’s choice of words. Tone is the attitude or feeling that the writer’s words express.
3When analyzing diction, consider such questions as: Is the language concrete or abstract?Are the words monosyllabic or polysyllabic?Do the words have interesting connotations?Is the diction formal or colloquial?Is there any change in the level of diction in the passage?What can the reader infer about the speaker or the speaker’s attitude from the word choice?
4What are some of the conclusions we can draw from these answers? Concrete?Abstract?Monosyllabic wordsPolysyllabic wordsFormalColloquialChange in type of diction?ChildlikeMature thinkingIntellectually inferiorSophisticatedEducatedIlliterateDoes this indicate an epiphany?
5Denotation means the literal, dictionary definition of the word – plump and obese both mean caloricly challenged Connotation means the implied or suggested meaning attached to a word, or the emotional “tag” that goes along with the word. Corpulent, plump, obese, heavy set, fleshy, fat, paunchy, burly, over-weight, roly poly, bulky, portly, weighty, pudgy Which word do we use to insult someone? Which one do we use to describe someone we like? Which one do we use to describe a cute little baby?
6The choice of diction contributes to the tone When discussing tone, consider such questions as: What seems to be the speaker’s attitude in the passage?Is more than one attitude or point of view expressed?Does the passage have a noticeable emotional mood or atmosphere?Can anything in the passage be described as irony?
7ALWAYS use an adjective when describing diction and tone ALWAYS use an adjective when describing diction and tone. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone.
9Bouncing into the room, she lit up the vicinity with a joyous glow on her face as she told about her fiancé and their wedding plans. What are the specific words that create the feeling of the sentence? What words did the author use to create the feeling of the sentence?
10Bouncing into the room, she lit up the vicinity with a joyous glow on her face as she told about her fiancé and their wedding plans. Bouncing – lit – joyous – glow – fiancé - wedding What kind of words are these?
11Bouncing into the room, she lit up the vicinity with a joyous glow on her face as she told about her fiancé and their wedding plans. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. Cheerful diction contributes to the euphoric tone. Or uplifting diction contributes to the joyful tone.
12She huddled in the corner, clutching her tattered blanket and shaking convulsively, as she feverishly searched the room for the unknown dangers that awaited her. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. frightening diction contributes to the alarming tone.
13She lay on the couch in a white evening dress, whispering softly in the ear of her fiancé, running her fingers through his hair and gently nibbling his earlobe. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. suggestive diction contributes to the seductive tone.
14Harvard accepted her, allowing this child the opportunity to study in the same halls as the many famous scholars before her, giving her the chance to excel in her field in the best college in the United States. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. lofty diction contributes to the elevated tone.
15Bursting through the door, the flustered mother hollered uncontrollably at the innocent teacher who gave her child an F. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. fierce diction contributes to the antagonistic tone.
16Drawing the attention of his classmates, as well as his teacher, the student dared to experiment with his professor’s intelligence by interrogating him about the Bible. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. challenging diction contributes to the confrontational tone.
17He furtively glanced behind him, for fear of his imagined pursuers, then hurriedly walked on, jumping at the slightest sound, even of a leaf crackling under his own foot. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. threatening diction contributes to the frantic tone.
18Gently smiling, her mother tenderly tucked the covers up around the child’s neck, and carefully, quietly, left the room, making sure to leave a comforting ray of light shining through the opened door should the child awake. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. loving diction contributes to the serene tone.
19The laughing wind skipped through the village, teasing the trees until they danced with anger and cajoling the grass into fighting itself, blade slapping blade, as the silly dog with golfball eyes and flopping, tongue bounded across the lawn. ____ diction contributes to the ____ tone. humorous diction contributes to the happy-go-lucky tone.
20Remember……………………… What kind of words are there Remember……………………… What kind of words are there? And how do they make you feel?
22See…………The more words you know to describe passages, the more sophisticated your descriptions will be when you analyze authors’ writing
23And one last tip……….. Never, never, never, never, never say: “the author uses diction” do you mean – the author chooses words? Well, duh!!!!!! Always say: the author uses ______(what kind of) diction indignant? dark? euphoric? Describe it!!!!!!