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Akhavan English 1-2/3-4 Honors

SELF-EDIT CHECKLIST FOR AP-STYLE ESSAYS (A.K.A. You have no excuse, now.)
Before you write/basic conventions Make sure you’re answering the question directly Create an outline Write in blue or black ink on one side of the paper only Don’t write your name on the first page; it goes on the back of your conclusion Intro Lead—Focuses on concept or theme, not the work; avoids personal pronouns Author/Title—Whole name (refer to last name hereafter); title underlined unless a short work or part of a whole Summary—1-2 sentences that revisit the plot of the passage, novel, or play Thesis—Central argument for the paper; should answer “how” or “why” Listing thesis—can be combined with thesis; suggests breakdown of body paragraphs by major point, device, or shift Body Topic sentences—directly and obviously reflect listing thesis points AND overall thesis; should not be combined with introduction to first quotation; should include a transition from previous paragraph Quotation context—Place BEFORE quotation. Not to be used as analysis, since it doesn’t interpret. In literary analysis papers, context tells your reader where you are in the work; in style analysis papers, context tells your reader where you are in the passage/poem OR introduces a specific observation about style that you’re going to prove Quotation integration and punctuation (first time quoting the evidence)— 1) Direct, whole sentence pattern: Holden wishes he were disconnected from the world: “Everybody’d think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard, and they’d leave me alone…” (199). Do NOT use a semicolon! “;” 2) Direct, incomplete sentence pattern: Holden confides, “Everybody’d think I was just a poor deaf-mute bastard, and they’d leave me alone…” (199). 3) Indirect pattern (do not use when changing pronouns results in awkwardness): Holden wishes “[e]verybody’d think [he] was just a poor deaf-mute bastard, and they’d leave [him] alone…” (199). 4) The end of a complete quotation usually has NO punctuation before the quotation marks. Exceptions: question marks, exclamation marks, or colons. Incomplete quotations end in only one way, ellipses (see above) “…” never commas or semicolons. 5) Never use abbreviations for pages, paragraphs, lines, etc. For whole works, cite the page numbers in parentheses, and for parts of works or short works, cite the line numbers. For triple+ digit page or line numbers, repeat last two digits only: (121-22)

6) Style analysis quotation integration usually follows item 3’s pattern and may be patchier. Ex: The alliteration of “dark,” dreary,” “death,” and “dank” suggests the similarity of the words’ connotations. 7) Avoid awkward integration. Your integrated quotation should result in a grammatical sentence, not a fragment or a run-on. Ex. 1: Holden feels like killing himself and says, “I felt like jumping out the window” (104). (Drop “and says”; use a colon) Ex. 2: When Holden says, “I felt like jumping out the window” (104), it shows how much he wants to kill himself. Or, worse, Ex. 3: When Holden says, “I felt like jumping out the window” (104).--fragment 8) Block all quotations that are longer than 5 of your handwritten lines or that are dialogue; double indent, make the left side align, and make the quotation appear exactly as it does in the book. Add the citation, floating, at the end (see AP guide) Quotation integration (requoting in analysis)— 1) Requote as little as needed to prove your point 2) Use indirect quoting pattern (items 3 and 5 above) to integrate the quoted evidence into your point as you write it OR paraphrase (don’t use quotation marks at all unless you’re referring to how a word works, as with diction) 3) See number 6 above Quotation analysis— 1) Quotation needs to prove EVERY point made in the analysis by SHOWING it in action 2) Analysis should be longer than the quotation if you follow the basic steps: Quote evidence, interpret it, and link it to your thesis 3) Avoid generalizations that cannot be proved by the text: Ex.:No normal person would pretend he had a bullet in his guts; therefore, Holden is crazy. 4) Select quotations that require you to interpret instead of quotations that state your point perfectly for you 5) Don’t confuse commentary with analysis. Commentary is making good observations about a quotation, but analysis is citing and interpreting specific details and aspects of the language in the quotation 6) Always explain the relationship between your analysis of the evidence and your thesis; don’t wait until the end of the paragraph or the conclusion to do so Transitions—transitions between body paragraphs belong at the beginnings, not the ends of the paragraphs. Use transitions between quotation “burgers.” Get past “Later on,” “In another scene,” and “Also,” by suggesting where you are in the book, in your argument, in the passage, etc. Ex.: Just as Holden disregards Sunny’s feelings, so does he ignore Sally’s. Style, grammar, and conventions Find the right word for “book”—play, novel, short story No first or second person pronouns (I, you, we, us, me, my, your) Present tense verbs only—“goes”; in some cases, use present perfect tense-- “has gone” Never use the words “quote” and “quotation”—it means that you’re saying the ACT of quoting proves your point rather than something IN the quotation, such as a character’s action, idea, or attitude or the author’s style Find nicer words for “show” and for all verbs resulting in contractions: “doesn’t” = “neglects to.” At the very least, spell out contractions that you cannot avoid using: “does not.”

Look up any word whose spelling you’re uncertain about if you plan to use that word more than once Avoid imprecise diction: quote, good, bad, very, things, stuff, etc. as well as indefinite pronouns (everyone, anyone, something, everything, etc.) Frighteningly common usage errors—woman is singular, women is plural; there, their, they’re; over exaggerate (redundant); accept, except; “although” used alone with a comma to mean “however” Conclusion Revisit the thesis—change wording to suggest closure Most important place to avoid second person pronouns (You, we, us) Answer the questions, “So what?” or “Why do we care?” about your thesis Suggest connections between your argument and the character’s fate, the fate of others, the whole work (if essay is on a particular passage), humanity, a concept, etc.

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