Stylistic Analyses

Your analyses will explore the style of several assigned essays. Address ONE element of the essay’s style (sentence structure, vocabulary, voice, or tone) in detail and cite specific examples from the text for support. The following list may help you focus your analysis:

Sentence Structure
long/short
simple/complex
many modifiers/few modifiers
normal word order/frequent inversions or interruptions
Vocabulary
abstract/concrete
formal/colloquial
ordinary/unusual
specialized/general
poetic/literal
Voice (or Persona)
expert/amateur
scholar/student
outsider/insider
neutral observer/active participant
Tone
intimate/distant
personal/impersonal
informative/entertaining
humorous/serious
emotional/detached

You will compose 10 stylistic analyses over the course of the semester. Each analysis will focus on ONE of the assigned readings in The Norton Reader for that day. You should analyze the style of the assigned readings; do NOT waste time summarizing or paraphrasing them. Don’t repeat what the text says, analyze how the text says it.

Each analysis should be one paragraph long (100-150 words). The first sentence of your paragraph should be a topic sentence that clearly states the main point of your analysis.

Keep all your analyses to submit in your portfolios. You will revise some of your analyses for your Mid-Term Portfolio and for your Course Portfolio.


Due Dates:

#
Date
Readings

1

1/25 “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell
“A Victim,” Bruno Bettelheim
“Salvation,” Langston Hughes

2

2/8 “Under the Influence,” Scott Russell Sanders

3

2/10 from An American Childhood, Annie Dillard
“My Father: Leslie Stephen,” Virginia Woolf

4

2/15 “Yeager,” Tom Wolfe
“George Washington,” Thomas Jefferson
“Abraham Lincoln,” Nathaniel Hawthorne

5

3/1 “‘This Is the End of the World’: The Black Death,” Barbara Tuchman
3/10 Mid-Term Portfolio

6

3/29 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

7

3/31 “Where I Lived and What I Lived For,” Henry David Thoreau

8

4/5 “A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift

9

4/7 “In Search of a Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf

10

4/21 “The Beatles Now,” Terry Teachout
“Consider the Lobster,” David Foster Wallace
5/5 Course Portfolio

Page Last Updated: 18 August 2011