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Annotation Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Annotation Mistakes
How to Fix Them
Rhetorical Appeal v. Rhetorical Strategy
• Rhetorical Appeal
– an APPEAL is a persuasive technique, designed to
influence the reader’s thinking
• Rhetorical Strategy
– an STRATEGY is any device used in service of the 3
– There are MANY (check the teacher website)
Rhetorical Appeals
• It is insufficient to say “The author uses logos.” You
must establish HOW HE DEVELOPS his appeal.
• LOGOS – how does he build his argument and structure
his reasoning? (EX: inductive or deductive) Is he actually
logical? Does his argument hold up or break down?
• ETHOS – how does he establish credibility or authority?
Why do you believe/trust him? Or don’t you? Does he
fail to establish Ethos?
• PATHOS – How does he play on our emotions? What
does he want us to feel? How does he make us feel that
Clarifying Rhetorical Strategies
• Diction, Syntax, and Figurative Language
– Each of these categories has MULTIPLE STRATEGIES that fit into each
heading. You must specify. Check the teacher website to help you.
• Diction - You do not say “uses diction” or “uses good diction” {In
fact, never use the words good/bad}. BE SPECIFIC.
– Authoritative diction; negative connotations; abstract or concrete
nouns; mild euphemisms; short, common words; etc.
• Syntax – what is significant about the sentence structure? There are
TONS of syntactic schemes. Figure out what you’re dealing with.
– EX: Parallelism, chiasmus, antithesis, polysyndeton, etc.
– Repetition? What kind? Anaphora, Amplification, Alliteration, etc. Just
saying “repetition” is not nearly as sophisticated as epanalepsis
• Figurative Language – metaphor, simile, hyperbole, understatement,
symbolism, metonymy, synecdoche, personification etc.
Understanding the Passage
• Summary - Generally 1 sentence/paragraph. Only
one paragraph? 3-4 sentences.
• The summary should never be more than 3-4
sentences! If it is, you are too bogged down with
detail and you are missing the bigger picture.
• Supporting Reasons – make sure you find at least
two supporting reasons. Make sure these are
different. Make sure you aren’t explaining a point,
then elaborating on a sub-point. Make sure you
have at least TWO different, separate ideas.
• Limit to 1-2 words, tops.
• If you have 4 different tone words, you have missed the
mark. Look for a more specific word choice. EX: not
hopeless and sad, but bleak.
• Check the teacher website for tone words. (Describing
• Your author may shift tones. Perfectly acceptable, in
which case: “moves from a tone of ___ to ___.”
• Must ALSO explain HOW YOU KNEW this was the tone.
Specify what details/word choice, etc. in the passage
led to your tone pronouncement.
• Always be on the look-out for irony/sarcasm. These
elements factor into tone.
• You MUST nail down the author’s central argument. You
must get this correct, or you compromise the rest of your
annotation and your entire Critical Reading.
• Claim = 1 sentence, neither too broad, nor too specific.
EX: What are the Harry Potter books about?
Too broad: These kids go to magic school.
Too narrow: Harry battles against Voldermort.
Just right: A student wizard and his friends navigate the magical
world, finding adventure and developing as young adults.
• Keep the claim limited to the author’s POINT. The claim is
not the time to discuss the author’s STYLE.
– EX: Rowling uses nominal imagery and subtle foreshadowing to
weave a tale of adolescent magical realism.
Vocab. and Part of Speech
• Learn the POS of your word. If it’s a noun, use it
as a noun, NOT an adjective.
• Pomp = NOUN = ceremony and splendid display.
– Lucia’s quinceañera displayed more pomp than your
average wedding.
• Pompous = Adj. = related to or suggesting pomp
or splendor
– Lucia’s parents spent $15K on her pompous
Analyzing Rhetorical Strategies
• It is not sufficient to say “uses analogy.” Or
anything else, for that matter. You MUST answer
the questions:
• WHY is this RS being used?
– Answer is NOT “to prove his point.”
– EX: to give an example; to set up a contrast; to
establish ethos; to build suspense; etc.
• What is the effect the author is trying to achieve?
• NEXT STEP – your critical judgment – is the device
effective? Does it have the intended result on you
as the reader? Why/not?
• Darling students. If we don’t know how to avoid a comma
splice, we are in the wrong class.
– 90% of the time, change your comma to a semi-colon or ,
conjunction and you’re fine.
• You can have super long sentences; they must be punctuated
• S+V ; S+V
– Ms. Shelley likes the Texans; she thinks they’ll make the playoffs.
• S+V , (FANBOY) S+V
– Ms. Shelley went to Baylor, but Ms. Ciarella went to A&M.
• Subordinating conjunction S+V , S+V
– After the cat puked on the carpet, I got a different cat.
• S+V Subordinating conjunction S+V
– You will have more career options if you graduate college.
The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter
The Scarlet Letter
NOT “The Scarlet Letter”
If you are citing INSIDE another title, you still
need to punctuate the title correctly:
• “Example Title of The Scarlet Letter.”
• “Example Title of The Scarlet Letter.”
Punctuation Inside Quotes
• ALWAYS put punctuation – periods or commas
- INSIDE quotes
• “Quote quote quote,” (Name 45).
– ONLY exception is parenthetical documentation.
• While P. is advocating on behalf of the
“temperance movement,” he is also drinking
“five…glasses of sherry” on a daily basis.
This / Tone / Syntax
• Shelley makes comments on your essay that say
• This means MODIFY, which means SPECIFY or DESCRIBE
– EX: To show Pyncheon’s “true” character – what is it? MOD
• Don’t just use the word “this” w/o specifying what you
– EX: Hawthorne does this to show…Pyncheon is described
like this to show…This proves that…
• PLEASE don’t just say “has a tone” or “uses a tone” or
“develops tone.” {Note period inside quotes} Same w/
syntax. Don’t say “uses syntax.”
• GIVE AN ADJECTIVE for the tone and syntax.
• Also, w/ syntax especially, WHY is the author using
such structure? What’s the POINT? What effect is he
trying to achieve? WHY?
Shelley’s terrible penmanship
sch as? = SUCH as
H = Hawthorne
P = Pyncheon
hyp = hypocrite
evi = Evidence
elab = Elaborate
exp = Explain
Colon vs. Semi-colon
• Rule for Semi-colons – EVERYTHING on BOTH SIDES of
semi-colon needs to be a COMPLETE SENTENCE (or at
least a clause {subj-verb})
– Put your finger over the SC and check that way.
• Generally, the two sentences are related.
– Shelley is frustrated with the Texans; they were sure hard
to root for on Sunday.
• Colons are generally used in this way: to explain
I’m about to tell you something: something.
There’s one main reason you’re stuck at a 6: lack of style.
I’m about to list off reasons: reasons.
The Am. Rev. started for several reasons: R1, R2, and R3.
• Some of you are using semi-colons when you should be
using regular colons.
Presumptuous Assertions
• Be careful when critiquing the style of an established
author (like Hawthorne).
• Praising him too much comes across as pretentious.
You’re a high-school student. He’s in the cannon of Am.
Lit. OF COURSE he’s a good writer. No need to be obvi.
– Hawthorne expertly uses concrete diction…
• You ARE allowed to discuss style, but you need to
support your assertion.
– My author fluidly incorporates the work of other writers…
– My author adequately supports his argument, but he could
have used more text evidence…
Comma and FANBOYS
For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So
• If you are using a FANBOY (coordinating conjunction)
and a comma, make sure BOTH SIDES ARE COMPLETE
– RIGHT: P. advocates for temperance, but he drinks wine
– WRONG: P. advocates for temperance, but drinks wine
– RIGHT: P. advocates for temperance but drinks wine daily.
• Otherwise you don’t have a compound sentence; you
have a compound verb – and those don’t need
• Only exception is , and in a series.
– Shelley loves football, chess, and cookies.
Verb vs. Adjective
Verb – criticizing
Adjective – critical
No such thing as “criticizing tone”
“Critical tone”
• Don’t discuss syntax in terms of punctuation.
– Not “uses semi-colons” or “long list separated by
– What type of SENTENCE STRUCTURE is he using?
– Also, what’s the PURPOSE of the sentence
structure? WHY is the author using it? What effect
is he trying to achieve?
• NO: “Sets off with parentheses”
• YES: “Uses an aside” or “parenthetically adds”
Essay Scoring
• 6 – totally adequate. Be glad with 6. You got the job
done. BUT you prolly:
were too short
didn’t have enough evidence
didn’t speak to theme
were repetitive
• 8 – AWESOME! Nice job! You’re being insightful.
• You are NEVER going to get to an 8 without mention of
author’s purpose or theme. MUST ans. the Q: so what?
What’s the point?
• 7 and 9 – this is style. This has to be taught. The best
style is what good readers imitate from their reading.
You need to up your vocab. or vary your sentence
structure or stop being so repetitive.
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