Arrange them in a logical order so that your commentary does not sound jumpy. Find quotations from the text for each point you make. You should comment on all of the following (though not necessarily in this order): o Theme/Topic/Subject – What is the point Of the text? There may be many themes, but try and find one or two key ones to discuss. It may help to consider information that you have such as the writer’s name or the date it was written. o Voice – Who is speaking? Address whether the text is in the 1st or 3rd person. If the former, is it the voice of the author or of someone else?
To whom is the text addressed? You should also use this time to address the setting and how it affects both the voice and the overall meaning of the passage. o Form/Structure – Determine the form (fiction/nonfiction, essay, journal, travel writing, etc) of this passage. Is the passage a circular or retrospective narrative? Look for obvious ways to divide the passage into sections (physical or otherwise). Determine how the chosen Structure and form affect the meaning or message Of the text. Message/Purpose – Determine the aims and purpose of the writer. Is the text recursive, informative, descriptive?
Address subtext and any irony or satire o Tone/Atmosphere – Discuss the tone of the piece. Is there a present. Strong mood or feeling present throughout the piece? Talk about how the writer created this effect (think about word choice, cadence, syntax). Readdress the setting and its effect on the tone and mood. o Sensory Details – Talk about how the senses are used to present a more vivid scene to the reader. Remember to always link your observations of these to the overall importance of the text. ; Imagery – This is one of the most important ensure details. Are there any visual images presented by the text?
Use this time to talk about metaphors and similes (both isolated examples and overall in the text). o Diction -Talk about the lexical field. Make observations as to the kind of words used by the writer-?is there a theme (happiness, worry, etc) that reoccurs in the word choice. You should also discuss words that seem out of place-?what sort of effect to they have on the reader/audience? Does this help contribute to the theme of the piece? o Rhyme/Rhythm/ Sound Effects – Talk about the rhyming scheme (if there is one). What effect does it have on the overall theme?
Explain the rhythm of the piece (while it’s a given to look for this in poetry, don’t forget to look for it in prose too). Does it change? Also look for things like alliteration. Be careful in this section, though-?if the rhyme/rhythm/sound effects don’t seem to have any effect at all, it’s better not to mention them. Write your commentary. Now that you have a clear idea of what you want to say, begin to write your commentary. Sometimes getting started is tricky-?you can start with the body paragraphs which you’ve just planned out) and write the introduction at the end.
Some things to keep in mind: o Avoid writing in first or second person. The only exception to this is the conclusion-?the first person may be used here to further enforce a point made earlier). o Stay away from using abbreviations-?did not and cannot are much better than using didn’t and can’t. Similarly, avoid saying things like “ex: and etc. ” Always write out ‘for example” or other variations. Conclusion. This should sum up the information presented in an interesting way without introducing any new ideas. Tips use quotations from the text/excerpt to support your ideas. When writing about poetry, remember the following: o When discussing voice, talk about “the speaker’ or “persona. ” Avoid using words like narrator or author. o Remember that poems are usually meant for an audience, not a reader ; When writing about prose, remember the following: o Focus on the writer’s style. Discuss the effect of the combination of literary devices they use, not just the effect of each individual device. THESIS STATEMENT This is the one sentence everything boils down to: that which you are setting out to prove. Spend time on getting it just right; it will make the rest of your planning and writing that much easier.
A thesis statement may take on many forms. It generally includes the author and title of text(s) examined and how the author achieves something particular. A common structure is: In (Title) , the author (Name) uses technique 1, technique 2, and technique 3 in order to show/convey/establish a particular effect/ purpose. Example: Thesis Statement: Len “Big Brother Little Sister Wit Mirage uses the settings of a turbulent home, dangerous city streets and the clinical train station in I I order to envoy the vulnerability of two neglected and abused children, Hem and Jane.