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ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS Style Analysis. What is a Style Analysis? All writers have a style, but not all styles are good. Whether a style is good or bad.

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Presentation on theme: "ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS Style Analysis. What is a Style Analysis? All writers have a style, but not all styles are good. Whether a style is good or bad."— Presentation transcript:



3 What is a Style Analysis? All writers have a style, but not all styles are good. Whether a style is good or bad largely depends on whether it is appropriate to the work. Style should work with other elements to produce a final unity. Style is the author's personal expression. It reveals his/her way of perceiving experience and organizing perceptions. Style includes the author's choice of words as well as arrangement of words into phrases, sentences, and paragraphs. Therefore a style analysis involves ANALYZING the STYLE an author uses in an essay.

4 How to write a Style Analysis? 1. Choose an essay to analyze. (see Style Response Prompts in your notes booklet) If you can answer those questions about an essay, you should be able to write a proficient style analysis. 2. Choose three out of the following five elements to analyze: 1. Diction 2. Sentence Structure 3. Figurative Language 4. Sensory Impressions 5. Implications

5 Option 1: DICTION 1. Tone: What is the writer’s attitude to the subject or audience? 2. Connotation and denotation: which predominates? Is the connotation favourable or unfavourable? 3. Level of language used: colloquial or formal – for what effect? 4. Concrete or abstract words? 5. Forceful verbs, adjectives and adverbs 6. Monosyllabic or polysyllabic words: which is predominant? With what effect? 7. Use of unusual words and phrases: what is their effect?

6 Option 2: SENTENCE STRUCTURE 1. Variety 1. In grammatical structure: simple, compound, complex, compound-complex 2. By grammatical purpose: declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, imperative 3. In length: short or long sentences – to what effect? 4. In order of words: inverted sentences

7 Option 2: SENTENCE STRUCTURE 2. Emphasis 1.By using short sentences 2.Through punctuation, unusual spacing, capital letters, italics, boldface type, dashes 3.By use of rhetorical devices: positioning an important word or idea at the beginning or end of a sentence, order of climax, periodic and loose sentences, parallelism, balance, purposeful repetition of words or ideas (also by use of synonyms, parallelism, or appositives), antithesis 4.Direct quotation, dialogue

8 Option 2: SENTENCE STRUCTURE 3. Wordiness or terseness? How would you describe the style of the sentences (restrained, impassioned, plodding, etc.)?

9 Option 3: FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE 1. A gifted writer will include a figurative expression in such a way that it is not recognized as a figure of speech. a. simile, metaphor, personification, apostrophe, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, oxymoron, litotes, symbol, allusion, etc. b. If there is humour, how has it been created? Is there irony or satire? 2. The sounds of words: euphonious, cacophonous, alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance, consonance

10 Option 4: SENSORY IMPRESSIONS Imagery: What pictures are created by the word choice? Which senses are appealed to (sight, sound, touch, etc.)?

11 Option 5: IMPLICATIONS Very often the way in which something is described implies much about the author, or about the thing described.


13 INTRODUCTION 1. General Statements about the essay Introduce essay & briefly state its topic 2. Motivator State briefly what the essay explored & how, and its motivation 3. Thesis & Blueprint

14 EXAMPLE: INTRODUCTION David Adams Richards’ essay “My Old Newcastle” delves into the past of the evolving town of the author’s childhood. Richards reflects on his remembrances of Newcastle in contrast to what the town has become. The author aims to capture, at least on paper, the character of the place he grew up in; a simple, but vibrant town full of small delights and excitements. However, the “old” Newcastle is disappearing along with the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of his youth. The essay is, therefore, an attempt to immortalize old Newcastle through the written word. Any person who reads “My Old Newcastle” will take with them the simplistic beauty of what Newcastle was, preserving it forever. Richards forages a personal bond with his readers through the use of diction, sensory impressions, and implications. This bond inspires in the readers something akin to the author’s fondness for this vanishing town

15 BODY PARAGRAPHS You must develop paragraphs concerning THREE out of the FIVE following concepts: 1. Diction 2. Sentence Structure 3. Figurative Language 4. Sensory Impressions 5. Implications

16 BODY PARAGRAPHS Write your body paragraphs in the order outlined in your blueprint. Each body paragraph should include an introductory sentence, THREE point-proof-discussion sequences and a concluding/transitory sentence.

17 BODY PARAGRAPHS Whatever you are discussing, make sure that you use POINT – PROOF – DISCUSSION in your explanations. Point: The tone is humorous. Proof: “Yo Chicken Hips” and “Oh, Catherine, your buttocks are getting bigger.” Discussion:The light-heartedness of the essay is conveyed through dialogue.

18 EXAMPLE: BODY PARAGRAPH #1 The diction that Richards uses creates a flowing, easy-going style that allows the reader to better relate to the writing. Richards makes the reading pleasurable and charming through the use of euphony. “...we all played on the ice floes in the spring, spearing tommy-cod with stolen forks tied to sticks.” The repeated use of “s” in the sentence generates the fluid, euphonic style. Colloquial, clear speech is used to ensure an ease of comprehension for the reader and to convey a “simpler time”. Phrases such as “... somehow with the faint, worn smell of gas and steel” are basic in nature, but still conjure up comforting sensations for the reader. Richards also makes use of a varied vocabulary, assuring that the reader does not become bored. With descriptions varying from “the long spires of our church rose over the town” to “the air felt heavy and leaden”, the essay focuses on preventing repetition. Because of the relative simplicity of the diction, a wide range of vocabulary is necessary to keep the work from becoming monotonous. The euphonic, colloquial and varied diction make the essay flow seamlessly, engaging the reader.

19 EXAMPLE: BODY PARAGRAPH #2 The reader also becomes entranced by the multitude of sensory impressions used by the author. All of the senses are drawn upon in Richards’ descriptions. “Adolescent blueberry crops and sunken barns dotted the fields near the bay, where the air had the taste of salt and tar, and small spruce trees seemed constantly filled with wind; where, by August, the water shimmered and even the small white lobster boats smelled of autumn, as did the ripples that moved them.” In one sentence, Richards is able to address the senses of sight, smell and taste. These all encompassing descriptions transplant the reader directly into the image. Looses sentences are occasionally used to add further detail and create a fuller picture. “There is a new process at the mill, and much of the wood is clear-cut so that huge acres lie empty and desolate, a redundancy of broken and muted earth.” Each additional description creates more interest for the reader. When using sensory impressions, the author focuses on nature, and, therefore, the natural comfort of old Newcastle. Descriptions such as “the earth, by Thanksgiving became as hard as a dull turnip” and “the sun warmed, the ice shifted, and the river was free” show the simple calm of the wild. As the reader is drawn in by these impressions, they become absorbed in the essay.

20 EXAMPLE: BODY PARAGRAPH #3 Implications convey the author’s personal feelings, allowing the audience to connect with him. Richards’ fondness and nostalgia for the old Newcastle is, most obviously, portrayed in the title. The words “My Old Newcastle” show that the town is dear and close to Richards’ heart. However, sadness is also an emotion depicted in the work. The author contrasts “to this day I find the sound of trains more comforting than lonesome” with “for the most part the station is empty, the tracks fiercely alone in the winter sun.” The comfort of the first image is juxtaposed with the harshness of the second, creating a sense of loss. At the end, Richards’ feelings shift from melancholy to acceptance. The author does not pass judgement upon the modernization of Newcastle but merely states that it is “neither bad nor good I suppose- but away from what it was.” This phrase implies that Richards has accepted the inevitable transformation of his hometown. The suggestion of the Richards’ personal emotions throughout the essay allows the audience to personally relate with and, sometimes, share his feelings.

21 CONCLUSION Re-state thesis & Blueprint Brief summary of points General concluding comments

22 EXAMPLE: CONCLUSION “My Old Newcastle” is a loving rendition of the former scenes of a small town. Its successful interpretation relies on an intimate connection with its readers, one that can only be achieved by appealing to all aspects of their emotions and senses. Richards manages to develop a kind of kinship with his readers by drawing into his world. His use of diction creates a seamless flow that is relatable and appealing. The wide use of sensory impressions immerses the reader in every image that Richards renders with poignant sincerity. Finally, the implications in the essay directly relate to Richards’ own feeling, sealing the tie between him and his readers. Richards inspires a connection that moves his readers to love, with equal passion, “old” Newcastle.

23 FINAL ADVICE 1. Choose an essay you UNDERSTOOD well 2. Take the time necessary to PLAN your essay BEFORE class 3. Use your NOTES as a guide 4. Ask questions for CLARIFICATION before class 5. Remember that you are analyzing HOW the essay is written, not WHAT is said (in other words, the author’s opinion does NOT matter) 6. Use QUOTATIONS as evidence 7. Do not PLAGIARIZE from the exemplar GOOD LUCK

24 Images obtained through “google images” via public domain

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