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A tool for analyzing visuals, poetry, and nonfiction

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1 A tool for analyzing visuals, poetry, and nonfiction
SOAPSTone A tool for analyzing visuals, poetry, and nonfiction

2 S – Speaker Who/what is the voice behind the words or images?
Remember it is not enough to simply name the speaker! What can you say about the speaker based on references to the text? Why is it important that the audience know who he is?

3 O – Occasion What is the context? Time and place?
What incident caused this to be created? What prompted the author to write this piece? How do you know from the text? What event led to its publication or development? Be certain to discuss and record both the larger occasion, that is, those issues or ideas that must have made the speaker think about the incident, as well as the immediate occasion, whatever made her decide to write about it now.

4 A – Audience To whom is this text directed?
It’s not enough to say: “Anyone who reads it.” You want to identify a certain audience by describing some of its characteristics. It may be one person, a small group, or a large group; it may be a certain person or a certain people. Think about who is the immediate audience and then a larger scale/long term one. What assumptions can you make about the audience?

5 P – Purpose What is the reason behind the text? Why was it written?
What goal did the author have in mind? What modes of writing/ rhetoric does it use? The purpose could be purely a personal one, e.g. to assuage guilt, to boast. But it could also be directed at the audience, in which case you will have to decide what the message is and how the author wants the audience to respond.

6 S – SUBJECT What is the general topic, content, or idea contained in the text? Think about it both literally and figuratively. Summarize in a few words or phrase.

7 Tone BEFORE we can even get to TONE, we must analyze TECHNIQUES!
DIDLS, Rhetoric – this is where your terms and handouts come into play. You should annotate the passage. Examine the choice of words, emotions expressed, imagery used to determine the speaker's attitude. However, just marking items isn’t enough. You have to think about the EFFECT of its usage. Then to determine tone, decide what attitude is expressed by the speaker towards the subject. This is where your tone list comes in handy. Remember a piece’s tone can be obvious or nuanced. Either way you must rely on textual evidence to support your evaluation.

8 Today’s Task With a partner complete a SOAPSTone Analysis over the article “In Praise of the F Word.” Clearly label each section of your analysis. Then, write a paragraph answering the following question: What are the chief rhetorical devices/techniques that the author uses to develop her assertion, and what is the effect created by their usage?

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