WRITING ABOUT DICTION Required Elements Of Literary Analysis When writing for literary analysis, your finished composition will have three required elements, regardless if its a paragraph or a full-length essay: A claim about a specific literary device. This is your thesis. Examples that support your claim. This is your chosen diction.
Analysis of why your example is appropriate. This is often called the COMMENTARY. The commentary is your own thinking and is the most important part of the writing, and when done correctly, most of your paragraph or essay will be commentary. Thesis statements When writing about literature, the author and title of the work must be identified. Thesis statements are required for all writings. The
thesis will clearly define for the reader what you are trying to prove. A literary analysis thesis will have two portions that we will call the concrete and the abstract. The concrete portion will typically revolve around a literary element (characterization, diction, symbolism, etc.) that exists in the piece. This is something you can point to in a piece of literature. The abstract will be the writers attempt to explain the EFFECT the concrete element has on the piece. This is your opinion about the literary element. Sample Thesis What portion would be the concrete in the thesis below? What would be the abstract?
Sample thesis: In The Devil and Tom Walker, Washington Irving uses figurative language to create a story with a spooky mood. Sample thesis: In The Devil and Tom Walker, Washington Irving uses figurative language to create a story with a spooky mood. Our Thesis Today Today you will write a brief literary analysis on the diction Edgar Allan Poe uses in The Pit and the Pendulum. We will all begin with the same thesis:
In "The Pit and the Pendulum" written by Edgar Allan Poe, the author uses ____________ to establish a _____________ mood. You may choose to expand your thesis to focus on a specific aspect of diction (connotative diction, abstract word choices, etc.) or you may leave it more open-ended Writing the Analysis
First, you analyzed a passage for mood, and the diction that impacted it by creating a graphic organizer. Next you will use those graphics to help build your paragraphs. Your paragraph must contain a thorough discussion of at least two choices in diction that helped establish the mood. The two words that you discuss should be the ones listed in the outer ring(s). Structure of the Paragraph
Thesis statement (already written) Example #1 of Dictionenclose the word in quotation marks and give the page number in parenthesis: (364). Commentary What is significant about the diction? How does that word have an effect on the moodThis is your own words. The commentary will be several sentences. Example #2 of Dictionenclose the word in quotation marks (pg. #) Commentary repeats for the second example Concluding Sentence: DO NOT WRITE A STATING THE OBVIOUS CONCLUSION SENTENCE! Think about the
authors purpose! Sample Diction Analysis Edgar Allen Poes use of diction in "The Masque of the Red Death" helps establish a fearful mood. As he introduces the problem the characters are dealing with, he describes a disease that is so fatal. This choice of word to describe the illness that is affecting so many has a powerful negative connotation. The meaning of fatal lets the reader understand that this disease wasnt just serious or severe, but rather one in which death cant be avoided. This reinforces the mood of fear in the opening lines.
This sample must now give a second example of the diction used, and then comment on it. Student Sample #1 In "The Masque of the Red Death" written by Edgar Allan Poe, the author uses diction to establish a spooky mood. Poe uses the word darkness to describe the attitude the Red Death left over the country. Darkness is an abstract and cacophonous word with a negative connotation associated with the unknown and mysterious. By using this word, Poe shows the fearful sadness and ruin left in the country, as well as the pain and misery that accompanied the massive amount of death. It shows there is no light in the future of the kingdom which causes the reader to feel afraid and sympathetic towards the victims of the
disease. Student Sample #2 In The Masque of the Red Death, written by Edgar Allan Poe, the author establishes an angry mood with the use of diction. When the prince sees the man dressed as the Red Death, his brow reddened with rage. This diction chose to describe his feelings towards this man with a negative connotation. The meaning of rage lets the reader know that he wasnt just mad, but extremely angry.
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