Tips on Grammar, Usage, and Style

TIP 1
- Generally opt for present tense verbs rather than present progressive verbs when analyzing a piece of writing.
Example from Student Work: This excerpt from "The Biotech Century" is describing Dr. Wilmut's success and ...
Improved Version: This excerpt from "The Biotech Century" describes Dr. Wilmut's success and ...

TIP 2 - Do NOT capitalize the names of rhetorical strategies.
Example from Student Work: Schwartz uses Alliteration when speaking of a common game that children play ...
Correct Version: Schwartz uses alliteration when speaking of a common game that children play ...

TIP 3 - Watch the use of a vague “it”
Example from Student Work:
In this essay, it talks about the issue of...
Speak directly about what the essay and/or the author does
Improved Version:
In her essay, the author discusses the issue of... OR The essay addresses the issue of...


Tips on Analysis Content


TIP 1
- Your analysis should not include an actual definition of the rhetorical strategy; your analysis should, however, allow your reader to understand what the rhetorical strategy is, even if he/she is not familiar with it. Your analysis of the example should reveal what it is that the author is doing to create an effect.
Example from Student Work: A simile is a comparison using the words "like" or "as."
Improved Version:
The author's use of simile to compare these two unrelated images highlights ...


TIP 2
- Be sure to differentiate between the author using a rhetorical strategy vs. the author quoting someone else using a rhetorical strategy. It's fine to include strategies within quoted/paraphrased material, but it's important that you acknowledge that the author has chosen to incorporate others' rhetorical strategies into his/her own writing, not the he/she is using the strategy him/herself.



Tips on Discussing Specific Rhetorical Strategies


ANAPHORA - It's not enough simply to state that the author uses anaphora for emphasis. This is basically understood. Your analysis should look at the words or phrases being repeated and discuss the possible reasons for -- as well as the effects of -- the author using these specific words over and over. There may be other qualities of the repeated phrase (such as a shift from past to present tense of the verb) that are worth examining.