critical The AP Essay
Diction
Consider the following when analyzing the diction:

In describing events or situations, does the writer use specific words or general words?
Are the words concrete or abstract?
Does the writer use words with multiple meanings?
Do the words have strong connotations?
Does the writer use allusion?
Does the writer use figurative language such as metaphors, similes, or personification?
Are any words repeated?

Syntax as it relates to theme.
Remember these are questions to guide your thinking. Do not write these as a string of answers.

What is the average length of the sentences in the passage?
What type of sentence does the author use?
Are there any really short sentences in the passage? If so, what seems to be their function?
Are there any sentence fragments? Runons? What effect do they have? What function?
Does the passage rely on active verbs or passive verbs?
Does the passage include a number of phrases?
Does the passage include punctuation marks that are noticable such as dashes, parenthesis, ellipsis, etc.?

Tone
The tone of a passage generally represents one of the basic emotional responses to life:

humorous or serious
comic or tragic
mater-of-fact or ironic
positive or negative
detached or emotionally involved

What general impression does the passage leave with you?
How is the effect achieved?
Look for two tones within the same passage.
Last updated  2008/09/28 08:04:28 PDTHits  375