AP English: - English with Ms. Owen

AP English:Language
and Composition
The Art of Close Reading
Close Reading
 Finding
 Goes
the “nutritional value” in the
beyond understanding the
surface meaning of a text and moves
toward a true analysis of its parts
and layers.
Analyzing Style
 Through
an effective “close reading”
of a text, you discover the small
details and how they affect the
text’s larger meaning.
Tone (or tone of voice)
It’s all about the words. . .
 Good
writing ultimately boils down to
how well a writer controls the words
on the page.
 Good
writing doesn’t have to be
fancy, formal, or complex; it just has
to be precise.
The Importance of Diction
Diction: narrowly defined as a
speaker’s (or author’s) word choice.
 The term may also refer to the
general character of language used in
speech or in a work of literature.
 In this broader sense, diction is
typically divided into two
components: vocabulary and syntax.
Increase Your Vocabulary Daily
The greater command that you have
of vocabulary, the more effective you
will be both as a writer and a reader.
Vocabulary: the conscious choice of
words in relation to the degree of
difficulty, complexity, abstractness,
formality and connotation of words
Show don’t Tell
Abstract "Telling"
“Even a large male gorilla,
unaccustomed to tourists,
is frightened by people.”
Concrete "Showing"
"A four-hundred-pound male
gorilla, unaccustomed to tourists, will bolt
into the forest, trailing a stream of
diarrhea, at the mere sight of a person."
Choosing the Right Word
"Good writing starts with a profound
respect for words--their denotations, their
connotations, their force, their rhythm.
Once you learn to respect them, you'll
develop a passion for using them thriftily.
"A skilled writer writes as if she were paid
a dime for each word she deletes. Her
prose is concise."
(John R. Trimble, Writing With Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing, 2nd ed.
Prentice Hall, 2000)
Syntax is the Shizzle
Syntax: refers to the arrangement –
the ordering, grouping, and
placement – of words within a phrase,
clause or sentence.
 The term may also be extended to
encompass such things as the degree
of complexity versus simplicity or
fragmentation versus completeness
manifested in a given arrangement of
Identify the Effect of Syntax
 Short,
choppy or even fragmented
sentences are often used to signal an
important point, a shift in direction,
or to isolate a particular detail.
 Formal and informal syntax each
have their own place in emphasizing
an author’s purpose, and you must
get in the habit of looking at syntax.