Author`s Style

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How Do You Determine an Author’s Style?
Feature Menu
Style
Literary Devices
Figurative Language
Irony
Your Turn
Style
When you hear the word style, you may think of
the way your friends dress . . .
or the way a baseball player swings a bat.
A person’s style is created by how he or she does
something—whether it’s selecting clothes or
playing a sport.
Style
To determine a writer’s style, look at the way he or
she uses language.
realistic
dialogue
short,
conversational
sentences
comical main
characters
lighthearted
tone
Every writer has a style, although some styles are
easier to recognize than others.
Style
Word Choice
Most writers do not try to invent new styles. Rather,
a writer’s style comes from the choices he or she
makes putting words on a page.
Do I want a
simple sentence
or a long,
complex
sentence?
Should I
use a long
word or a
short one?
The decisions a writer makes determine his or her
style.
Style
Tone and Mood
The writer’s word choice sets the work’s tone, or
attitude, and mood, or feeling.
Nina and her dad frolicked
on the playground.
“I’ll drag you to court!”
Mrs. Hicks shouted.
A happy tone can create a
carefree mood.
An angry tone can create a
tense mood.
Style
Tone and Mood
Read the following. Note its tone and mood.
It was a frosty October day, yet the new playground was
crowded with parents and their happy, noisy children.
The tone, as shown in Manny’s attitude
“Wow!”toward
exclaimed
Manny
his friend.
am keep
so pumped that
the
parktoand
how it“Iwill
the park
is finally
ready. This
awesome
trackaand
baseball
his
little brother
busy,
creates
mood
diamond will be great in the spring. And the new swings and
of excited anticipation.
slide are perfect for keeping my annoying pest of a little
brother busy.”
What words show Manny’s attitude toward the park?
What words show his attitude toward his brother?
What mood does the tone create in the passage?
Style
Quick Check
The old woman stalked cautiously down
the long, dark hallway. With each step,
she moved closer to her victim: the
elusive noisy cricket that had somehow
made its way into the house.
I’ll get him this time, she thought. I can’t
listen to his racket one more night!
The woman’s careful steps were virtually
soundless; those old slippers were softer
than a whisper. Yet, somehow, the cricket
heard her, and it jumped just beyond her
reach into the linen closet.
What is the tone of
this passage?
How does the tone
contribute to the
mood of the
passage?
[End of Section]
Literary Devices
Another way to determine an author’s style is to
examine his or her use of literary devices. A
literary device is a technique writers use to
produce a certain effect.
Examples of literary
devices include
• imagery,
• dialect, and
• symbols.
Literary Devices
Imagery
Language that creates word pictures and appeals to
our senses is called imagery.
Images make us feel as if we are
• seeing,
• hearing,
• touching,
• tasting, or
• smelling
what the writer describes.
Literary Devices
Imagery
Imagery helps create word pictures as you read.
The children laughed as they ran
along the beach, feet pounding
the soft sand. The salty ocean
breeze cooled their faces.
Literary Devices
Dialect
Dialect is a way of speaking that is characteristic of
a particular place or group of people.
Y’all come on
back to my ranch
and watch me
lasso that steer.
?
What
does this
character
look like?
Writers sometimes use dialect to provide clues
about the people and settings in stories, bringing
characters and places to life.
Literary Devices
Dialect
Did you guess that the character is a
friendly cowboy?
Y’all come on
back to my ranch
and watch me
lasso that steer.
Dialect can make characters seem more real.
Literary Devices
Symbols
A symbol is a person, place, or event that has
meaning but also stands for something else.
For example,
a skull and
crossbones
represent
part of the
human
Poison!
Pirates!
Toxic smoke!
skeleton. As a
symbol . . .
a skull and crossbones represent
danger.
Literary Devices
Symbols
Read the passage. Then, answer the questions.
Mr. Badu created many jobs and donated
millions of dollars to local nonprofit
organizations. To honor his contributions,
Mayor Cohen presented him with the
keys to the city.
Identify the symbol.
What do the keys symbolize?
The keys to the city don’t actually unlock anything.
Instead, they symbolize the city’s appreciation for Mr.
Badu’s achievements.
Literary Devices
Quick Check
The boat slowed as it neared the shore.
Overhead, the full moon shone like a spotlight, sending beams dancing along the
ripples.
Identify the
imagery,
dialect, and
symbols.
“Blimey, ’ere we are at last,” growled Captain
Haines. “Strike the bloomin’ colors! Step
lively, now!”
A sailor swiftly lowered the British flag.
Captain Haines touched the lucky rabbit’s foot
he always carried. If the border guards found
out where the ship was from, the mission was
doomed.
[End of Section]
Figurative Language
Writers often use figures of speech—expressions
that are not literally true but suggest similarities
between usually unrelated things.
His eyes .sparkled
..
like
diamonds.
Figures of speech can be an important part of a
writer’s style.
Figurative Language
Here are some figures of speech that you will find
in your reading:
Similes
compare two unlike things using a
word of comparison, such as like,
than, as, or resembles.
Metaphors
compare unlike things directly,
without using a specific word of
comparison.
Personification
speaks of a nonhuman or
inanimate thing as if it had human
or lifelike qualities.
Figurative Language
Similes
Similes compare two unlike objects using a word of
comparison, such as like, than, as, or resembles.
Youssef shot up
like a rocket as
he went for the
basket.
Describe how Youssef made his shot.
Figurative Language
Metaphors
Metaphors compare unlike things directly, without
using a specific word of comparison.
Hannah’s eyes are
stars brightening the
room.
Change this metaphor into a simile.
Figurative Language
Personification
Personification speaks of a nonhuman or nonliving
thing as if it had human or lifelike qualities.
The moonlight
danced along
the water.
How does personification help the moonlight come
alive?
Figurative Language
Idioms
Idioms are expressions that mean something
different from the literal meanings of the words.
The actor hid
nothing from her
fans. Her life, you
might say, was an
open book.
How does the idiom express the idea that nothing is
hidden?
Figurative Language
Quick Check
Christian was upset when his mother
told him his room smelled like an old
running shoe.
“How can you say that, Mom?” he
asked, his face a question mark. “I’m as
neat as a tack.”
Identify the
similes,
metaphor, and
personification.
“Maybe the room is neat, but your
laundry bag is overflowing with sweaty
clothes,” replied his mom. “I think the
bag will walk out of here on its own
pretty soon.”
[End of Section]
Irony
Another aspect of a writer’s style is irony—what
happens when reality contradicts what we expect.
For example, we expect a
tiger to be a dangerous
beast stalking its prey . . .
not a pet relaxing in a
monk’s lap.
Irony
There are three types of irony:
dramatic irony
verbal irony
situational irony
Irony
Verbal irony occurs when we say one thing but
mean something else. Often, the speaker’s tone,
or attitude, is key to the meaning.
“I can’t wait to get to the
cafeteria for my favorite lunch—
hot dogs and beans,” Laura said
sarcastically.
Here, Laura means the opposite of what she says.
Irony
With situational irony, a situation turns out to be
the opposite of what we would expect.
For example, we
expect to find a
kitten peering at
fish in a fishbowl.
We certainly don’t
expect to find that
kitten in the bowl!
Irony
Dramatic irony occurs when we know something
that a character does not know.
It’s really
quiet around
here today.
Jolene has no idea that her brothers are sneaking up
to attack her with pillows, but we do know.
Irony
Quick Check
“Yeah?” grumbled the police officer behind
the desk.
“I’m . . . ah . . . here to . . . ah . . . pick up
my brother, Joshua Taylor,” the woman said
nervously.
Which type of
irony does
this passage
contain?
The officer noticed her jumpy behavior. She
looks familiar, he thought. Wait a minute—
that’s Bonnie Taylor! She’s on our Most
Wanted list. He smiled.
“Well, young lady, you’ll be joining your
brother, but you won’t be leaving. You’re
under arrest.”
[End of Section]
Analyze Author’s Style
Your Turn
Read this passage, and identify which statement
on the next slide correctly describes its style.
But what bothered him even more was when his
father’s eyes went away.
Usually it happened when it didn’t cause any
particular trouble. Sometimes during a meal his father’s fork
would stop halfway to his mouth, just stop, and there would
be a long pause while the eyes went away, far away.
"Stop the Sun" by Gary Paulsen from Boy's Life, January 1986. Copyright © 1986 by Gary Paulsen. Reproduced by permission of Flannery Literary
Agency on behalf of the author.
Analyze Author’s Style
Your Turn
Which statement correctly describes the passage’s
style?
Style 1
Style 2
The writer uses
imagery and idioms to
create a light tone
about a serious subject.
Repetition and vivid
imagery help show a
young man’s struggle to
understand his father.
The End
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