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The Basics • MLA (heading upper left in proper order, double space, write on one side of paper) • DS = Double Space • Underline titles • Don’t call the author by first name – Only when you first introduce him/her. Then use last name • Include TAG – title, author, genre • V comment = VAGUE • A the P comment = Answer the Prompt • Judd=boy
Remember the purpose of an intro … • This is reader’s first impression… • Be strong, go beyond the basic • Do not merely reword the prompt
An Intro Par. Is like a Menu What are you serving your reader? Go beyond just saying eggs and potatoes. Get specific. Look for patterns or trends in the literary devices and mention this in your INTRO. FIND the UNIVERSAL ELEMENT or the HEART of the passage and state it in your intro. What is the moment to which many can relate? Find PATTERNS and TRENDS the Author uses
Similar Prompt revised for MODELS from ATPH In a well-organized essay, analyze the literary techniques McCarthy uses to characterize John Grady.
What is Universal Moment in ATPH Passage? 1st Confrontation with Death Struggle to find identity and to assert self into the world – Asking what he wishes to do with his life
What are the patterns? • Repetition • Light and dark • Cold and warm • Life and death • Glass and reflection • Items that can be shaped or formed • Color • Movement • Stagnancy
Change the language of the prompt • Prompt: In a well organized essay, analyze the literary techniques Oates uses to characterize the speaker, Judd Mulvaney. • BORING thesis: Oates uses many specific literary devices to characterize Judd. • MUST characterize Judd with strong adjectives • MUST mention LIT DEVICES
Boring thesis: McCarthy uses literary devices to characterize John Grady. Still Boring: McCarthy uses literary devices such as diction and imagery to characterize John Grady. Still Boring: McCarthy uses strong diction and vivid imagery to characterize John Grady. Still Vague: McCarthy uses diction and imagery to reveal John Grady as thoughtful. (Thoughtful about what? Define the moment)
Revised Thesis – not 1 right way Through contrasting imagery and imagery of items whose shape and form can be manipulated, McCarthy portrays John Grady as unsettled and indecisive about his future. McCarthy illustrates Grady’s struggle to assert identity and break from tradition through repetition and imagery that contrasts life and death. McCarthy uses juxtaposition, glass imagery and the symbolism of a thumbprint to reveal a transitory moment where Grady questions his destiny.
Other notes • Avoid “the reader” phrase • Assume reader is familiar with passage – (do not need to explain that Judd is the main character) • Use strong diction – (i.e. main character = protagonist) • Avoid empty words like “VERY,” “Things,” “really, “key phrase”
Other Notes No “I” (not a journal entry) or “You” (gives a preachy tone) Avoid Sounding forced or insincere – “In Oate’s amazing novel…” or “Oates uses incredible diction in her powerful writing …”
Apply Strong Diction – Don’t overuse • Words such as SHOWS, USES, THINGS • Shows (portrays, reveals, exposes, demonstrates, delineates, conveys, etc.) • Uses (applies, utilizes, creates, produces, etc.) • Other diction - Smart Boy (insightful, precocious, advanced, profound, etc.)
Be Specific • Unspecific: McCarthy portrays Grady as fearful • Unspecific: Grady has a thoughtful personality • Unspecific: McCarthy uses literary devices and key phrases to explain who Grady truly is ………………………………………… • SPECIFIC: McCarthy portrays Grady as unsettled in a world that is not longer familiar.
Weak Intro • Cormac McCarthy uses many literary devices to characterize John Grady. Grady is a boy who sees his dead grandfather. He uses imagery, diction and repetition to show that Grady is uncertain.
Purpose of the Lit Précis • Makes you sound smart • Gets info out in a powerful structure and forces you to A the P that involves Content/Form (Character and Lit devices for this prompt)
Literary Précis Step 1 Step 1: TAG and PURPOSE of the passage – capture the UNIVERSAL ELEMENT or HEART of the piece In Cormac McCarthy’s passage from All the Pretty Horses (1996), he portrays the transcendence from adolescence to adulthood and the individual’s search for purpose in the universe.
Literary Précis Step 2 Step 2: An explanation of how the author develops the work, usually chronologically following the development of plot or character. Following the death of a grandfather, John Grady comes to pay his respect and in doing so, he is shadowed by the portraits of his ancestors. From this dismal encounter, he must make a choice about his future, his destiny, and decide if he will follow a similar fate as those before him.
Literary Précis Step 3 Step 3: A statement of how the author’s purpose is achieved through his/her use of literary techniques. McCarthy primarily achieves his purpose through imagery. First he uses contrasting imagery to expose Grady’s conflicted nature; then he applies images of glass to show Grady’s need for inward reflection; finally McCarthy conveys images of items whose shape and form can be easily manipulated or changed to reveal that Grady’s fate is not yet sealed.
Another Variation/Example of Step 3 McCarthy applies contrasting imagery, symbolism of a thumbprint and repetition to reveal Grady’s morbid realization about life’s brevity and impermanence.
Literary Précis Step 4 Step 4: A convincing statement to support your opinions of the work and its underlying value. McCarthy’s opening scene is about the classic human struggle to discover self worth and to create legacy for oneself while battling the force of time.
Intro/ Précis All Together In Cormac McCarthy’s passage from All the Pretty Horses (1996), he portrays the transcendence from adolescence to adulthood and the individual’s need to find purpose in the universe. Following the death of a grandfather, John Grady comes to pay his respect and in doing so, he is shadowed by the presence of death, including the portraits of his ancestors. From this dismal encounter, he must make a choice about his future, his destiny, and decide if he will follow a similar fate as those before him. McCarthy applies contrasting imagery, symbolism of a thumbprint and repetition to reveal Grady’s morbid realization about life’s brevity and impermanence. McCarthy’s opening scene is about the classic human struggle to discover self worth and to create legacy for oneself while battling the force of time.
Which intro is stronger???? Compare … • Cormac McCarthy uses many literary devices to characterize John Grady. Grady is a boy who sees his dead grandfather. He uses imagery, diction and repetition to show that Grady is uncertain.
NOW BEFORE YOUR REWRITE, RETHINK YOUR PASSAGE. HOW IS JUDD CHARACTERIZED? HOW DOES THE AUTHOR ACHIEVE THIS?
What is the Content/Meaning of the Passage? Return to the Mulvaney passage … Find the universal/ heart of the passage … What is this moment to which many of us can relate?
What is the Form? What LITERARY DEVICES do you notice? What do notice about the DICTION/word choice? Patterns? What do you notice about the IMAGERY? Patterns? What do you notice about punctuation and sentence structure – SYNTAX? Patterns?
Here are some Devices that are in the Mulvaney Passage and May be new to you.
Polysyndeton • Repetition of conjunctions for emphasis • Example: "Let the whitefolks have their money and power andsegregation and sarcasm andbig houses and schools and lawns like carpets, and books, and mostly--mostly--let them have their whiteness."(Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969)
Anaphora • The deliberate repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive verses, clauses, or paragraphs - Occurs typically two or more times • Example: “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."(Winston Churchill, speech to the House of Commons, June 4, 1940)
ASSIGNMENT Rewrite your INTRO Paragraph Staple your new draft on top. Your original draft and the prompt should be underneath.