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Day 2

Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Levels of Language
"Do you speak differently when talking with your teacher or doctor than when you are chatting with a
friend on the telephone?"
1. Frozen (Ceremonial)-- Language that does not change
Examples: Lord's Prayer; Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag
2. Formal--Complete sentences and specific word usage.
3. Consultative--Formal register used in conversation
4. Casual--Language used in conversation with friends. Word choice is general, and
conversation is dependent upon non-verbal assists.
5. Colloquial Language particular to a geographic location
6. Intimate--Language between lovers. This is also the language of sexual harassment.
7. Jargon Language associated with a trade or profession
8. Slang Language only understood among a select group of people often defined by age, sex,
ethnicity, or socioeconomic status

Diction Ladder
Ceremonial or Elevated
Formal or Standard
Neutral or Conversational
Colloquial
Jargon

Slang

Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Diction
Your team will have five minutes to think of synonyms for the following words. These words
produce a fairly neutral tone. At the end of the five minutes one member of your team should
write your list on the board.
To laugh:

Self-confident:

House:

King:

Old:

Fat:

Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Beyond the Negative and Positive


Developing a refined and precise tone vocabulary will go a long way to improving the
preciseness and eloquence of your writing. You need to have a bevy of words to describe
the authors attitude beyond just negative and positive. Using the list of nouns that you just
generated in the diction race, categorize them by the connotations and tones they convey.

Positive:
Hopeful

Joyful

Appealing

Compassionate

Lighthearted

Optimistic

Sympathetic

Elated

Amused

Proud

Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Negative:
Angry

Outraged

Accusatory

Irritated

Bitter

Wrathful

Gloomy

Fearful

Condemnatory

Inflammatory

Patronizing

Flippant

Taunting

Irreverent

Cynical

Apprehensive

Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Neutral (Can Remain Neutral or Move to the Negative or Positive)


Clinical

Sentimental

Matter of Fact

Informative

Factual

Questioning

Authoritative

Urgent

Instructive

Reminiscent

Ceremonial

Shocked

Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Tone
To misinterpret tone is to misinterpret meaning. If a reader misses irony or sarcasm, he may find
something serious in veiled humor.
A Guide for Advanced Placement: English Vertical Teams
DIDLS
Diction:
the connotation of the word choice
Images:
vivid appeals to understanding through the senses
Details:
facts that are included or those omitted
Language
the overall use of language, such as formal, clinical, jargon
Structure:
how structure (micro and macroscopically) affects the readers attitude
Tone Words:
angry
sad
sentimental
sharp
cold
fanciful
upset
urgent
complimentary
silly
joking
condescending
boring
poignant
sympathetic
afraid
detached
contemptuous
happy
confused
apologetic
hollow
childish
humorous
joyful
peaceful
horrific
allusive
mocking
sarcastic
sweet
objective
nostalgic
vexed
vibrant
zealous
tired
frivolous
irreverent
bitter
audacious
benevolent
dreamy
shocking
seductive
restrained
somber
candid
proud
giddy
pitiful
dramatic
provocative
didactic
formal
majestic
serious
highfalutin
pompous
despairing
helpless
lamenting
angry
warm
caring
enraged
concerned
syrupy
amused
comic
disapproving
disgusted
scandalized
anxious
frightened
terrified
horrified
shocked
ironic
satiric
surprised
pleading
begging
prayerful
sardonic
cynical
cryptic
You may combine words to encapsulate complex tones. Example: contentious harmony
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Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Tone Organization - Transitions


"If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?" by James Baldwin1

It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means and proof
of power. It is the most vivid and critical key to identity: It reveals the private identity and
connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity. There
have been, and are, times, and places, when to speak a certain language could be
dangerous, even fatal. Or, one may speak the same language, but in such a way that one's
antecedents are revealed, or (one hopes) hidden. This is true in France, and is absolutely
true in England: The range (and reign) of accents on that damp little island make England
coherent for the English and totally incomprehensible for everyone else. To open your
mouth in England is (if I may use black English) to "put your business in the street": You
have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your salary, your self-esteem, and
alas, your future.
1. According to Baldwin, language has the power to do what?
_______________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
2. How does he control tone?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
3. What organizational patterns does Baldwin use?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
1. Baldwin, James. "If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?" The New York Times on the Web.
Retrieved February 4, 2004, from http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/29/specials/baldwin-english.html.

Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Mother Tongue
by Amy Tan2

I am not a scholar of English or literature. I cannot give you much more than personal opinions
on the English language and its variations in this country or others.
I am a writer. And by that definition, I am someone who has always loved language. I am
fascinated by language in daily life. I spend a great deal of my time thinking about the power of
languagethe way it can evoke an emotion, a visual image, a complex idea, or a simple truth.
Language is the tool of my trade. And I use them all allall the Englishes I grew up with.
Recently, I was made keenly aware of the different Englishes I do use. I was giving a talk
to a large group of people, the same talk I had already given to half a dozen other groups. The
talk was about my writing, my life, and my book The Joy Luck Club, and it was going along well
enough, until I remembered one major difference that made the whole talk sound wrong. My
mother was in the room. And it was perhaps the first time she had heard me give a lengthy
speech, using the kind of English I have never used with her. I was saying things like the
intersection of memory and imagination and There is an aspect of my fiction that relates to
thus-and-thusa speech filled with carefully wrought grammatical phrases, burdened, it
suddenly seemed to me, with nominalized forms, past perfect tenses, conditional phrases, forms
of standard English that I had learned in school and through books, the forms of English I did not
use at home with my mother.
Just last week, as I was walking down the street with her, I again found myself conscious
of the English I was using, the English I do use with her. We were talking about the price of new
and used furniture, and I heard myself saying this: Not waste money that way. My husband
was with us as well, and he didnt notice any switch in my English. And then I realized why. Its
because over the twenty years weve been together Ive often used the same kind of English with
him, and sometimes he even uses it with me. It has become our language of intimacy, a different
sort of English that relates to family talk, the language I grew up with.
So that youll have some idea of what this family talk sounds like, Ill quote what my
mother said during a conversation that I videotaped and then transcribed. During this
conversation, she was talking about a political gangster in Shanghai who had the same last name
as her familys, Du, and how in his early years the gangster wanted to be adopted by her family,
who were rich by comparison. Later, the gangster became more powerful, far richer than my
mothers family, and he showed up at my mothers wedding to pay his respects. Heres what she
said in part:
Du Yusong having business like fruit stand. Like off-the-street kind. He is Du like Du
Zongbut not Tsung-ming Island people. The local people call putong. The river east side, he
belong to that side local people. That man want to ask Du Zong father take him in like become
own family. Du Zong father wasnt look down on him, but didnt take seriously, until that man
big like become a mafia. Now important person, very hard to inviting him. Chinese way, came
only to show respect, dont stay for dinner. Respect for making big celebration, he shows up.
Mean gives lots of respect. Chinese custom. Chinese social life that way. If too important wont
have to stay too long. He come to my wedding. I didnt see, I heard it. I gone to boys side, they
have YMCA dinner. Chinese age, I was nineteen.
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Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
You should know that my mothers expressive command of English belies how much she
actually understands. She reads the Forbes report, listens to Wall Street Week, converses daily
with her stockbroker, reads Shirley MacLaines books with easeall kinds of things I cant
begin to understand. Yet some of my friends tell me they understand fifty percent of what my
mother says. Some say they understand eighty to ninety percent. Some say they understand none
of it, as if she were speaking pure Chinese. But to me, my mothers English is perfectly clear,
perfectly natural. Its my mother tongue. Her language, as I hear it, is vivid, direct, full of
observation and imagery. That was the language that helped shape the way I saw things,
expressed things, made sense of the world.
Lately Ive been giving more thought to the kind of English my mother speaks. Like
others, I have described it to people as broken or fractured English. But I wince when I say
that. It has always bothered me that I can think of no way to describe it other than broken, as if
it were damaged and needed to be fixed, as if it lacked a certain wholeness and soundness. Ive
heard other terms used, limited English, for example. But they seem just as bad, as if
everything is limited, including peoples perceptions of the limited-English speaker.
I know this for a fact, because when I was growing up, my mothers limited English
limited my perception of her. I was ashamed of her English. I believed that her English reflected
the quality of what she had to say. That is, because she expressed them imperfectly, her thoughts
were imperfect. And I had plenty of empirical evidence to support me: the fact that people in
department stores, at banks, and in restaurants did not take her seriously, did not give her very
good service, pretended not to understand her, or even acted like they did not hear her.
My mother has long realized the limitations of her English as well. When I was a
teenager, she used to have me call people on the phone and pretend I was she. In this guise, I was
forced to ask for information or even to complain and yell at people who had been rude to her.
One time it was a call to her stockbroker in New York. She had cashed out her small portfolio,
and it just so happened we were going to New York the next week, our first trip outside of
California. I had to get on the phone and say in an adolescent voice that was not very convincing,
This is Mrs. Tan.
My mother was standing in the back whispering loudly, Why he dont send me check,
already two weeks late. So mad he lie to me, me losing money.
And then I said in perfect English on the phone, Yes, Im getting rather concerned. You
had agreed to send the check two weeks ago, but it hasnt arrived.
Then she began to talk more loudly. What he want, I come to New York tell him front of
his boss, you cheating me? And I was trying to calm her down, make her be quiet, while telling
the stockbroker, I cant tolerate any more excuses. If I dont receive the check immediately, I
am going to have to speak to your manager when Im in New York next week. And sure
enough, the following week, there we were in front of this astonished stockbroker, and I was
sitting there red-faced and quiet, and my mother, the real Mrs. Tan, was shouting at his boss is
her impeccable broken English.
We used a similar routine more recently, for a situation that was far less humorous. My
mother had gone to the hospital for an appointment to find out about a CAT scan she had had a
month earlier. She said she had spoken very good English, her best English, no mistakes. Still,
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Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
she said, the hospital staff did not apologize when they informed her they had lost the CAT scan
and she had come for nothing. She said they did not seem to have any sympathy when she told
them she was anxious to know the exact diagnosis, since both her husband and son had died of
brain tumors. She said they would not give her any more information until the next time and she
would have to make another appointment for that. So she said she would not leave until the
doctor called her daughter. She wouldnt budge. And when the doctor finally called her daughter,
me, who spoke in perfect Englishlo and beholdwe had assurances that the CAT scan would
be found, promises that a conference call on Monday would be held, and apologies for any
suffering my mother had gone through for a most regrettable mistake.
I think my mothers English almost had an effect on limiting my possibilities in life as
well. Sociologists and linguists probably will tell you that a persons developing language skills
are more influenced by peers than by family. But I do think that the language spoken in the
family, especially in immigrant families which are more insular, plays a large role in shaping the
language of the child. And I believe that it affected my results on achievement tests, IQ tests, and
the SAT. While my English skills were never judged poor, compared with math, English could
not be considered my strong suit. In grade school I did moderately well, getting perhaps Bs,
sometimes B-pluses, in English and scoring perhaps in the sixtieth or seventieth percentile on
achievement tests. But those scores were not good enough to override the opinion that my true
abilities lay in math and science, because in those areas I achieved As and scored in the ninetieth
percentile or higher.
This was understandable. Math is precise; there is only one correct answer. Whereas, for
me at least, the answers on English tests were always a judgment call, a matter of opinion and
personal experience. Those tests were constructed around items like fill-in-the-blank sentence
completion, such as Even though Tom was _____ Mary thought he was _____. And the correct
answer always seemed to be the most bland combinations, for example, Even though Tom was
shy, Mary thought he was charming, with the grammatical structure even though limiting the
correct answer to some sort of semantic opposites, so you wouldnt get answers like Even
though Tom was foolish, Mary thought he was ridiculous. Well, according to my mother, there
were very few limitations as to what Tom could have been and what Mary might have thought of
him. So I never did well on tests like that.
The same was true with word analogies, pairs of words for which you were suppose to
find some logical semantic relationship, for instance, Sunset is to nightfall as _____ is to
_____. And here you would be presented with a list of four possible pairs, one of which showed
the same kind of relationship: red is stoplight, bus is to arrival, chills is to fever, yawn is to
boring. Well, I could never think that way. I knew what the tests were asking, but I could not
block out of my mind the images already created by the first pair, sunset is to nightfalland I
would see a burst of colors against a darkening sky, the moon rising, the lowering of a curtain of
stars. And all the other pairs of wordsred, bus, stoplight, boringjust threw up a mass of
confusing images, making it impossible for me to see that saying A sunset precedes nightfall
was as logical as saying A chill precedes a fever. The only way I would have gotten that
answer right was to imagine an associative situation, such as my being disobedient and staying
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Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
out past sunset, catching a chill at night, which turned into a feverish pneumonia as punishment
which indeed did happen to me.
I have been thinking about all this lately, about my mothers English, about achievement
tests. Because lately Ive been asked, as a writer, why there are not more Asian-Americans
represented in American literature. Why are there few Asian Americans enrolled in creative
writing programs? Why do so many Chinese students go into engineering? Well, these are broad
sociological questions I cant begin to answer. But I have noticed in surveysin fact, just last
weekthat Asian-American students, as a whole, do significantly better on math achievement
tests than on other English tests. And this makes me think that there are other Asian-American
students whose English spoken in the home might also be described as broken or limited.
And perhaps they also have teachers who are steering them away from writing and into math and
science, which is what happened to me.
Fortunately, I also happen to be rebellious and enjoy the challenge of disproving
assumptions made about me. I became an English major my first year in college, after being
enrolled as pre-med. I started writing nonfiction as a freelancer the week after I was told by my
boss at the time that writing was my worst skill and I should hone my talents toward account
management.
But it wasnt until 1985 that I began to write fiction. At first I wrote what I thought to be
wittily crafted sentences, sentences that would finally prove I had mastery over the English
language. Heres an example from the first draft of a story that later made its way into the Joy
Luck Club, but without this line: That was my mental quandary in its nascent state. A terrible
line, which I can barely pronounce.
Fortunately, for reasons I wont get into here, I later decided I should envision a reader
for the stories I would write. And the reader I decided on was my mother, because these were
stories about mothers. So with this reader in mindand in fact she did read my early draftsI
began to write stories using all the Englishes I grew up with: the English I spoke to my mother,
which for lack of a better term might be described as simple; the English she uses with me,
which for lack of a better term might be described as broken; my translation of her Chinese,
which could certainly be described as watered down; and what I imagined to be her translation
of her Chinese if she could speak in perfect English, her internal language, and for that I sought
to preserve the essence, but neither an English nor a Chinese structure. I wanted to capture what
language ability tests could never reveal: her intent, her passion, her imagery, the rhythms of her
speech, and the nature of her thoughts.
Apart from what any critic had to say about my writing, I knew I had succeeded where it
counted when my mother finished reading my book and gave me her verdict: So easy to read.
1. How do the tones of Baldwin and Tan differ?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
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Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
________________________________________________________________________
2. How does Tan control her tone?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
3. What organization patterns does Tan use?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
4. What are some of her more effective transitions?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
6. What is her focus?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

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Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

13

Day 2
Sentence 1

Sentence 2

Number of
words
Number of
independent
clauses
Number of
subordinate
clauses
Use of dash,
semicolon, or
exclamation
point
Repeated use
of
coordinating
conjunctions
(and, yet, but,
for, nor, so,
or)
Number of
polysyllabic
words
Use of
inverted
syntax or
questions
Number of
prepositional
phrases
Use of
repetition
Use of
parallel
structures
Other unusual
or
distinguishing
characteristics
of sentence
structure
(whole
14

Sentence 3

Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Sentence 4 Sentence 5

Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
passage)
Use of
comparisons
Types of
figurative
language (or
none used)
Use of
colloquial
expressions
or
regionalisms
What conclusions can you draw about how the syntax helps create meaning in the passage?
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
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Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Verbs for Academic Discourse


Words to Give Is a Break
Accentuate
Accepts
Achieves
Adopts
Advocates
Affects
Alleviates
Allows
Alludes
Alters
Analyzes
Approaches
Argues
Ascertains
Asserts
Assesses
Assumes
Attacks
Attempts
Attributes
Avoids
Bases
Believes
Challenges
Changes
Characterizes
Chooses
Chronicles
Claims
Comments
Compares
Compels
Completes
Concerns
Concludes
Condescends
Conducts
Conforms
Confronts
Considers
Contends
Contests
Contrasts
Contributes
Conveys
Convinces
Defends
Defines

Defies
Demonstrates
Denigrates
Depicts
Describes
Despises
Details
Determines
Develops
Deviates
Differentiates
Differs
Directs
Disappoints
Discovers
Discusses
Displays
Disputes
Disrupts
Distorts
Downplays
Dramatizes
Elevates
Elicits
Empathizes
Encounters
Enhances
Enriches
Enumerates
Envisions
Evokes
Excludes
Expands
Experiences
Explains
Expresses
Extends
Extrapolates
Fantasizes
Focuses
Forces
Foreshadows
Functions
Generalizes
Guides
Heightens
Highlights
Hints

Holds
Honors
Identifies
Illustrates
Imagines
Impels
Implies
Incites
Includes
Indicates
Infers
Inspires
Intends
Interprets
Interrupts
Inundates
Justifies
Juxtaposes
Lampoons
Lists
Maintains
Makes
Manages
Manipulates
Minimizes
Moralizes
Muses
Notes
Observes
Opposes
Organizes
Overstates
Outlines
Patronizes
Performs
Permits
Personifies
Persuades
Ponders
Portrays
Postulates
Prepares
Presents
Presumes
Produces
Projects
Promotes
Proposes

16

Provides
Qualifies
Questions
Rationalizes
Reasons
Recalls
Recollects
Records
Recounts
Reflects
Refers
Regards
Regrets
Rejects
Represents
Results
Reveals
Ridicules
Satirizes
Seems
Sees
Selects
Serves
Shows
Specifies
Speculates
States
Strives
Suggests
Summarizes
Supplies
Supports
Suppresses
Symbolizes
Sympathizes
Traces
Understands
Understates
Uses
Vacillates
Values
Verifies
Views
Want
Wishes

Discrete Skills
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

LIST OF ACTIVE VERBS


Degrade
Hand over; abandon
Give aid

abase
abdicate
abet

Put up with

abide

Hate
Refrain from use
To criticize for an offense
To separate in parts for study
Stop
Exile
Harass; pester
Browbeat, bully
Divide into groups
To put in solitude
Come together as a whole
Understand
Reduce; make short
To ruin character or quality
To change from solid to liquid
Express disapproval
To perceive; recognize
Pretend; act false; mislead
Invalidate, remove; wipe clean
To call forth or bring out
To model or copy
Bewitch; charm; enchant
To destroy all traces of
To cease to exist
Cringe; flatter, grovel
To pass off; impose
To make raw by friction; annoy
Put a good face on; gloss over
To contort in pain;
Restrict activity or movement
To visit regularly; hand around
To provide light
To put into action
Encumber; block; hinder
To bring into existence; create
Abolish; cancel
To subject to danger
To cause to burn
To pay tribute or homage to
Take extravagant pleasure
Defame; slander
To use wrongly

abhor
abstain
admonish
analyze
apprehend
banish
bedevil
bludgeon
categorize
cloister
coalesce
comprehend
curtail
debauch
deliquesce
deprecate
discern
dissemble
efface
elicit
emulate
enthrall
eradicate
expire
fawn
foist
gall
gild
grimace
hamper
haunt
illuminate
implement
impede
institute
invalidate
jeopardize
kindle
laud
luxuriate
malign
misappropriate

To stir to action or feeling


To make or become different
Bewilder; confuse
To make ineffective; cancel
To raise trivial objections
To confound; confuse
To put an end to; abolish
To destroy all traces of
To prohibit from occurring
Leave out; drop; eliminate
Make sad or gloomy; oppress
To set forth; decree
Copy in manner or expression
To walk at a leisurely pace
To destroy the composure of
Plunder; ransack; rape
Reproduce artistic work
without permission
Take for granted without proof
To raise trivial objections
Make excuses for; explain
Criticize for a fault or offense
To separate or pull apart
Triumph over; win a victory
To set apart from a group
To emit light in rays or sparks
To convey a particular idea
To smile in a knowing way
To make dirty
To make less severe or extreme
To do or fare well
To laugh in a stifled way
Capsize; knock over
Defame, malign; slander
Relax; rest; unwind
Imbue with city ways, citify
To win a victory over
Strive against for victory
Bask; indulge; enjoy
To hold oneself back
To become lower in quality
To take by force
wrest
To give in; let something go
To cause the death of

motivate
mutate
mystify
negate
nitpick
nonplus
nullify
obliterate
obviate
omit
oppress
ordain
parody
perambulate
perturb
pillage
plagiarize
presume
quibble
rationalize
rebuke
rive
rout
segregate
shimmer
signify
smirk
soil
temper
thrive
titter
topple
traduce
unbend
urbanize
vanquish
vie
wallow
withhold
worsen
yield
zap

Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Nearly 200 Ways to Say Says from the Marion Campus Studies in English and Technology
accuses
acknowledges
acquires
adds
admonishes
affirms
agrees
alleges
allows
alludes
announces
answers
apologizes
appeases
approves
argues
articulates
asks
assents
asserts
assures
begins
begs
believes
berates
beseeches
boasts
brags
cajoles
calls
cautions
challenges
charges
chides
cites
claims
coaxes
commands
comments
complains
concedes

concludes
concurs
confesses
confirms
consents
contends
contests
continues
contributes
counters
criticizes
cross-examines
debates
decides
declaims
declares
defends
demands
denies
describes
determines
dictates
discusses
echoes
elaborates
emphasizes
entreats
enumerates
exaggerates
explains
exhorts
expostulates
extols
fears
fumes
gloats
goads
guesses

hastens -to sayhesitates


hints
imitates
implies
implores
informs
inquires
insinuates
insists
interjects
interposes
interprets
interrupts
interrogates
intimates
intimidates
intones
jeers
jests
jokes
laughs
lectures
lies
makes known
magnifies
maintains
manifests
marvels
mimics
mocks
mourns
muses
notes
objects
observes

18

offers
orders
perceives
persists
pleads
points out
ponders
praises
preaches
predicts
prevaricates
proceeds
prods
profanes
professes
prophesies
propounds
promises
prompts
proposes
protests
pursues
puts in
queries
questions
quips
quotes
rates
rails
runs on
rants
raves
recalls
recites
recounts
regrets
reiterates
rejoins
remarks

remembers
reminds
remonstrates
renounces
repeats
replies
reports
reprimands
requests
resolves
resumes
retorts
reveals
scoffs
scorns
sermonizes
sneers
specifies
spells out
speaks
starts
states
stresses
submits
suggests
taunts
testifies
thinks
threatens
tells
urges
vaunts
ventures
voices
volunteers

Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Delving Into Meaning Through Grammar


For our purposes this year grammar includes parts of speech, syntactical pattern, usage
(mechanics), and the relationships among these parts.
Verbs Important Characteristics that Create Meaning
Create and control a sense of time and narrative pace
Create and control distance from the speaker and subject
Create tone and mood
Three Functions of Verbs:
Tense Controls time and narrative pace
Voice Controls distance from the speaker and subject. Also contributes to narrative
pace
Mood Controls tone and point of view
Verb Tense
Verb tense controls a sense of time and narrative pace.

Voice: Active/Passive
Verbs have two voices: active and passive. The verb's voice is determined by the relationship
between the subject and the verb. If the subject completes the action indicated by the verb, the

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
voice of the verb is active. If the sentence's subject is acted upon, the voice is passive. The
passive voice is formed by joining the past participle of the verb to a form of "to be."
Why Is It Important to Understand Voice in Verbs?
Verbs have more personality than any other part of speech. They have voice, mood, and
tense.
Passive voice can be a problem for writers who don't have a clear focus. The extra words
give the writer time to think of his or her next point.
In modern prose, the active voice is usually preferred because it is clearer and creates a
livelier narrative pace than does the passive voice.
Accomplished writers and orators, however, do consciously choose the passive voice for
intended purposes, for example:
o Politicians distance themselves from acts with the passive voice.
o If the result is more important than the action, the passive voice emphasizes the
effect rather than the cause. Scientists use the passive voice to detail their
experiments because their findings are more important than their actions.
o Passive voice creates psychological distance.
Examples:
Active- Voice The teacher prepared the exam.
Passive The exam was prepared by the teacher

Verb Mood

Indicative fact (at least assumed to be fact by the speaker0


Imperative command
Subjunctive doubt, possibility, potential

Indicative versus Subjunctive Mood OR Fact versus


Possibility
Indicative He reads voraciously
Subjunctive The course requires that he read voraciously.
Indicative I am in high school now.
Subjunctive I wish I were in college now
Or
If I were in college, I would be happier.
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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Or
His mom insisted that he come home immediately.

Subjunctive Mood
Presnt Tense be
I be
You be
He, she, it be

We be
You be
They be

Past Tense - were (Used now for past and present)


I were

We were

You were
He, she, it were

You were
They were

Present Tense Regular Verbs (Ex. To Read)


I read
You read
He, she, it read

We read
You read
They read

Pre 1800s use of future tense


Indicative:
I shall go
We shall go
You will go
You will go
He will go
They will go.
Imperative/Emphatic
I will go
(You) Thou shall go
he shall go

We will go
(you) Thou shall go
They shall go.

A Note on Pronouns
Prior to the 19th century English enjoyed a formal and informal second person pronoun. Use this
knowledge to read between the lines in older literature. If the speaker uses thy, thou, or
thine, s/he is familiar with the audience being addressed. If you your, or yours is used,
the speaker has chosen a formal pronoun out of respect or unfamiliarity.

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

ActivePassive Lesson
Prerequisite Knowledge

The three principle parts of the verb


Conjugated forms of "to be"
Subjects and verbs

Direct Instruction:

Verbs have two voices: active and passive. The verb's voice is determined by the relationship
between the subject and the verb. If the subject completes the action indicated by the verb, the
voice of the verb is active. If the sentence's subject is acted upon, the voice is passive. The
passive voice is formed by joining the past participle of the verb to a form of "to be."
Example of active voice: Mary sang the National Anthem at the basketball game.
Example of passive voice: The National Anthem was sung by Mary at the basketball game.
Guided Practice
Have students brainstorm other examples to check their understanding.
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Why Is It Important to Understand Voice in Verbs?
Verbs have more personality than any other part of speech. They have voice, mood, and
tense.
Passive voice can be a problem for writers who don't have a clear focus. The extra words
give the writer time to think of his or her next point.
In modern prose, the active voice is usually preferred because it is clearer and creates a
livelier narrative pace than does the passive voice.
Accomplished writers and orators, however, do consciously choose the passive voice for
intended purposes, for example:
o Politicians distance themselves from their actions with the passive voice.
o If the result is more important than the action, the passive voice emphasizes the
effect rather than the cause. Scientists use the passive voice to detail their
experiments because their findings are more important than their actions.
o Passive voice creates psychological distance.
Guided Practice: ActivePassive Voice

Underline the verbs in the following poem by Catullus:

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Catullus 873
No woman is able to say that she has ever been loved as
much as my Lesbia has been loved by me.
No faith so great has ever existed in any pact as has
been found in your love from my part.
1. What verbs are active? _____________________________
2. What verbs are passive?_________________________
3. Why did the speaker use the passive voice?
____________________________________________
4. Rewrite the poem using only active voice:

5. What changes in the poem's meaning when you switch from active to passive?
3

Catullus. "Catullus 87," The Poems of Catullus, trans. Sherwin Little, ed. Phyllis Young Forsyth (Lanham, MD:
University Press of America, 1986), 93.

Directions
Identify the underlined verbs as active (A) or passive (P). Hint: Only one verb is passive.

'Hope' is the thing with feathers


by Emily Dickinson
"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all (4)

1. _____
2. _____
3. _____
4. _____

And sweetest in the Gale is heard 5. _____


And sore must be the storm
6. _____
That could abash the little Bird
7. _____
That kept so many warm (8)
8. _____
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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest Sea
Yet, never, in Extremity,

9. _____
10. _____
11. _____

It asked a crumb of Me. (12)

12. _____

Identification Question: In which stanza(s) does Dickenson switch between active and passive
voice?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Interpretive Question: Why does Dickenson switch between active and passive voice?
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
4

Emily Dickenson, "Hope Is the Thing with Feathers," The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 4th ed., Margaret Ferguson,
Mary Jo Salter, and Jon Stallworthy, eds. (New York: W.W Norton, 1996), 1012.

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Participles and Gerunds


Prerequisite Grammar Knowledge

Past participles
Progressive form of the verb
Function of adjectives and nouns

What Are Participles? The past or progressive form of a verb that serves as an adjective
What Are Gerunds? The progressive form of a verb that serves as a noun
Why Are Participles and Gerunds Important?
Too many adjectives can clutter writing.
Participles are often used as fillers when writers don't have a clear point to their writing.
Participles tend to be stronger than simple adjectives because they carry with them
connotative meanings from the verb.
Sloppy use of participles result in misplaced modifiers and dangling participles that often
produce unintended humor.
Sloppy use of gerunds can result in problems with subjectverb agreement.
Usage: Gerunds require the possessive not the objective case of pronouns.

25

Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Part A: Group Practice with Participles and Puns

Often verbs are naturally associated with certain nouns. If writers use a participle to describe a
noun associated with it, their writing will not only carry a punch, but also will reveal the writer's
cleverness. Poets often use this technique to create extended metaphors.
Your grammar squad will have five minutes to add nouns and appropriate participles to the list
below. Members of the winning squad will receive one grammar homework pass.
Noun
Electrician
Musician
Musician
Chef
Fisherman
Secretary
Secretary
Cosmetician
Stock Broker
Ditch Digger
Podiatrist

Past Participle
Delighted
Noted
Decomposed
Deranged
Baited
Defiled
Described
Defaced
Devalued
Demoted
Defeated

Present Participle
Delighting
Noting
Decomposing
Ranging
Debating
Defiling
Describing
Defacing
Devaluing
Demoting
Defeating

Part B: Creative Writing (Student Activity)

Using the list above, write a sentence that uses both gerunds and participles.
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Or: As a group, write a poem using at least three nouns and their corresponding participles from
the list above. Begin by identifying three nouns that might have some relationship to each other.
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Part C: Gerunds and ParticiplesStyle and Meaning

Read the opening paragraphs of Sue Monk Kidd's A Secret Life of Bees.5 Identify the underlined
verbals as participles (P) or gerunds (N).
At night I would lie in bed and watch the show, how bees squeezed through the
cracks of my bedroom wall and flew circles around the room, making that propeller
sound, a high-pitched zzzzzz that hummed along my skin. I watched their wings like bits
of chrome in the dark and felt the longing build in my chest. The way those bees flew, not
even looking for a flower, just flying for the feel of the wind, split my heart down its
seam.
During the day I heard them tunneling through the walls of my bedroom,
sounding like a radio tuned to static in the next room, and I imagined them in there
turning the walls into honey-combs, with honey seeping out for me to taste.
Directions

For participles, list the nouns that each participle modifies. For gerunds, identify their function in
the sentence (subject or direct object).
1. making ___________

2. pitched ____________

3. longing ___________

4. looking____________

5. flying_____________

6. tunneling __________

7. sounding __________

8. tuned ____________

9. turning ___________

10. seeping __________

Analysis of Style

1. What effect does the high number of verbals have on the passage's mood?
_____________________________________________________________________
2. What predictions might you make for the remainder of the book?
_____________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________

Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees (New York: Penguin Group, 2002).

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

PHILOSOPHICAL CHAIRS

A Discussion/Debate Activity
DESCRIPTION:
Philosophical Chairs involves the entire class in a discussion activity that employs a
controversial prompt with a pro-con response. Desks are arranged facing each other with a few
seats in the back of the class for neutral ground and observers. A Controversial topic is
introduced which is relevant to the curriculum or is suggested by a piece of literature or historical
document.
Lit. Example: Little Red Riding Hood should be punished for talking to
strangers. (Agree/Disagree)
Hist. Example: The settlers had a moral obligation not to take away the Indian
lands.
Class/school process example: Girls should be able to invite boys to the dance.
Teacher workshop example: Tenure should be abolished.
If the class is unevenly split on the topic, then modify it to get a more even distribution. Its best
if students can participate in this refinement.
Lit. Example: Little Red should lose TV privileges for one week.
Teacher workshop example: Tenure should be modified to a 5 year renewable
tenure with an administrator/union member team working wit the teacher for 1
year before dismissal.
Alternative selection method: simply assign half the class to the pro side and half the class to the
con side. (Tell students that lawyers often defend people and policies they may not agree with.)

SWITCHING:
If a student should change her mind during the course of the discussion, she is encouraged to
move to the other side or to neutral ground. During a time-out, the teacher/moderator calls on
those students who have changed their opinions to give their reasons for changing sides.

NEUTRAL GROUND:
Those few students who do not want to participate or who are undecided go to neutral ground
(seats at the back of the room.) They have three tasks:
Keep a log of the speakers and which speakers were most effective and WHY.
Act as timers, check off who has spoken, and keep the rules
At the end of the discussion, those in neutral ground must pick a side and tell why.

DISCUSSION RULES:

After a student speaks, she must wait until two students on her side have spoken
so the two severely gifted kids dont just have a dialogue.)

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Chengdu Day 2

Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
A student must briefly summarize the previous speakers points to the speakers
satisfaction before he begins his own comments. (Teachers can invoke or revoke
this rule as the process evolves.
The teacher can call time-out periodically to clarify, reflect on the process or
content, or refocus.
Everyone needs to speak at least once during the discussion.
Attack the ideas, not the person.
Think before you speak. Organize your thoughts and sign post (I have three
points, first)
One speaker at a time; others are listeners. (Participant note taking can reinforce
this rule.)

BENEFITS:

Oral Communication Skills: speaking, listening, responding, organizing,


collaborating
Higher Level Thinking Skills: understanding, utilization, analysis, synthesis,
judgment

Name: ___________

Topic: ___________________
Philosophical Chair Evaluation
1

Delivery
Sources:
(facts, stats,
anecdotes,
hypothetical
situations,
precedent)
Balance among
ethos, logos, and
pathos
Acknowledgement
of opposing
viewpoint
Acknowledgement
of points made by
others
Ability to respond
to questions

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Comments:

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Textual Analysis
Determining Rhetorical Purpose: Whether you are analyzing anothers text or
your own composition, you should be able to discern a purpose in each
section as well as in the overall piece. Below is a list of possible purposes
that writers might have. Please not multiple right answers exist and the list
is not exhaustive. Please add to it as you think of other purposes. The
important outcome is that you engage in critical thinking about purpose.
Describe
Persuade/Argue
State a
proposition/State
a thesis
Offer a
hypothesis
Elaborate
List
Narrate
Exemplify

Categorize
Provide history
Deepen
Itemize
Illustrate
Develop
Provide an
example/Support
Compare/Contra
st
Predict

Explain
Evaluate
Trace
Cite
Synthesize
Reason
Refute
Qualify
Develop
Reflect

Determining How the Purpose is Achieved: The following list of literary devices and
rhetorical strategies are common ways writers achieve their purposes. As the prior list in not
exhaustive, neither is this one.
Alliteration
Suspense
Understatemen
Metaphor
Figures of
t

Litote
Allusion
speech
Plot
Setting
Symbol
Antithesis
Flashback
Shift, turn
Point of view
Apostrophe
Synecdoche
Narration
metonymy)
Simile
Foreshadowing
Assonance
Prosody
Onomatopoeia
Syntax
(Sound
devices)
Hyperbole
Consonance
Pun
Oxymoron
Imagery
Structure
Repetition
Details
Anaphora
Paradox
Polysyndeton
Style
Asyndeton
Diction
Irony Rhyme
Personification
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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Elements of Argument
Claims the formal term for a thesis in formal argumentation.
Claim of Fact The thesis implies that a definitive answer can be reached based on data.
Example She is older than she looks.
Claim of Policy The thesis states a change in law, policy, or routine should occur.
Example Women should be allowed to join the Augusta Country Club.
Claim of Value The most difficult of the three claims to prove. The value claim argues
morality and ethics.
Example Abortion is murder.
Logos Statements based on syllogistic logic or fact.
Example:
Major Premise If you remember the Viet Nam War, you must be at least forty years
old.
Minor Premise Jane remembers the Viet Nam War.
Conclusion Jane is over forty.
Pathos Statements that elicit emotion.
Example: We will lose countless American lives if we go to war with Iraq.
Ethos Statements that appeal to ones sense of ethics or moral code.
Examples: Plagiarism in American universities is one of many indicators that this
generation lacks the integrity of their parents and grandparents.
Types of Support: Facts, Opinions of Experts, Statistics/Surveys, Hypothetical Situations, and
Anecdotes.
Organization Options: Cause/Effect, Least to Most Important, Spatially, Chronologically,
Compare/Contrast.

34

Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Read the following excerpt of a speech given by President George W. Bush on September
20, 2001, nine days after the attack on the World Trade Centers. For each underlined verb,
identify in the margins the following: tense, voice, and mood.
From: An Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People 6
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. President Pro Tempore, members of Congress, and fellow
Americans:
In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to report on the state of the
Union. Tonight, no such report is needed. It has already been delivered by the American
people
We have seen the state of our Union in the endurance of rescuers, working past exhaustion. We
have seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of
prayersin English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We have seen the decency of a loving and giving
people who have made the grief of strangers their own.
My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for itself the state of our
Unionand it is strong.
Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned
to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our
enemies, justice will be done.
I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time. All of America was touched on
the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats joined together on the steps of this
Capitol, singing "God Bless America." And you did more than sing; you acted, by delivering $40
billion to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of our military.
6

George W. Bush, excerpted from: "An Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American
People," September 20, 2001;
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/print/20010920-8.html.
On September the 11th, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country.
Americans have known wars but for the past 136 years, they have been wars on foreign soil,
except for one Sunday in 1941. Americans have known the casualties of warbut not at the
center of a great city on a peaceful morning. Americans have known surprise attacksbut never
before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us in a single dayand night fell
on a different world, a world where freedom itself is under attack.
Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking: Who attacked our country? The
evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely affiliated terrorist organizations
known as al Qaeda. They are the same murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in
Tanzania and Kenya, and responsible for bombing the USS Cole.
35

Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Al Qaeda is to terror what the mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money; its goal is
remaking the worldand imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.
The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been rejected by Muslim
scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clericsa fringe movement that perverts the peaceful
teachings of Islam. The terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all
Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and
children.
This group and its leadera person named Osama bin Ladenare linked to many other
organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic
Movement of Uzbekistan. There are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries. They
are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like
Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or
sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction.
The leadership of al Qaeda has great influence in Afghanistan and supports the Taliban regime in
controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan, we see al Qaeda's vision for the world.
Afghanistan's people have been brutalizedmany are starving and many have fled. Women are
not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced
only as their leaders dictate.
A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough. The United States respects
the people of Afghanistanafter all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aidbut
we condemn the Taliban regime. It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening people
everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By aiding and abetting
murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder.
And tonight, the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban: Deliver
to United States authorities all the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land. Release all foreign
nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists,
diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist
training camp in Afghanistan, and hand over every terrorist, and every person in their support
structure, to appropriate authorities. Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps,
so we can make sure they are no longer operating.
These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act, and act
immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.
I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world. We respect your faith. It's
practiced freely by many millions of Americans, and by millions more in countries that America
counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of
Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own faith, trying, in effect,
to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many
Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports
them.
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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have
found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom
the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every timenow depends on us. Our
nationthis generationwill lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We
will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not
falter, and we will not fail.
The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and
cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them.
Fellow citizens, we'll meet violence with patient justiceassured of the rightness of our cause,
and confident of the victories to come. In all that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and
may He watch over the United States of America.
Rhetorical Purpose
Even though President Bush says he is speaking to Americans and Members of Congress, he also
addresses Muslims, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Afghanis. His speechwriter chose verbs carefully,
depending on audience and purpose. Consider the verb tense, mood, and voice used in different
sections. Analyze the implied message in these choices.
Audience

Verb Voice

Verb Tense

Americans

Congress

Muslims
Al Qaeda

Taliban

Afghanis
37

Verb Mood

Other
Observations

Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Syntax Practice: Knowledge of syntax or sentence patterns can


help students unlock meaning. After ensuring students can identify
some basic sentence patterns, give them exercises similar to the one
below. This type of rhetorical analysis will help develop their
language skills and will prepare them for both the multiple choice
and essays on the AP Language exam.
Foundational Concepts of Syntax The following categories of
sentence patterns can help students analyze syntax which is one of
the key skills to develop for the AP Language Exam. Chinese
students will probably have a good understanding of most of these
terms. The Pre-AP teacher should review them with students and
them provide them with activities that ensure students use the
concepts to unlock meaning in texts they read.
Sentence Structure (syntax)
Describe the sentence structure by considering the following:
1. Examine the sentence length. Are the sentences telegraphic (shorter than 5 words in length),
short (approx. 5 words in length), medium (approx. 18 words in length), or long and involved

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
(30 words or more in length)? Does the sentence length fit the subject matter? What variety of
lengths is present? Why is the sentence length effective?
2. Examine sentence beginnings. Is there a good variety of beginnings or does a pattern
emerge?
3. Examine the arrangement of ideas in a sentence. Are they set out in a special way for a
purpose?
4. Examine the arrangement of ideas in a paragraph. Is there evidence of any pattern or
structure?
5. Examine sentence patterns. Some elements to consider are listed below:
A declarative (assertive) sentence makes a statement: e.g., The king is sick. An imperative
sentence gives a command: e.g., Stand up.
A simple sentence contains one subject and one verb: e.g. The singer bowed to her adoring
audience.
A compound sentence contains two independent clauses joined by a coordinate conjunction (and,
but, nor, or, yet ) or by a semicolon: e.g., The singer bowed to the audience, but she sang no
encores.
A compound-complex sentence contains two or more principal clauses and one or more
subordinate clauses: e.g., The singer bowed while the audience applauded, but she sang no
encore.
6. The following terms, loose and periodic sentences, can be applied to all sentences.
A loose sentence makes complete sense if brought to a close before the actual ending: e.g., We
reached Edmonton/that morning/after a turbulent flight/ and some exciting experiences.
A periodic sentence makes sense only when the end of the sentence is reached: e.g., That
morning, after a turbulent flight and some exciting experiences, we reached Edmonton.
7. Other patterns to consider:
Natural Order of a Sentence involves constructing a sentence so the subject comes before the
predicate: e.g., Oranges grow in California.

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Inverted order of a sentence (sentence inversion) involves constructing a sentence so the
predicate comes before the subject: e.g., In California grow oranges. This is a device in which
normal sentence patterns are reversed to create an emphatic or rhythmic effect.
Split order of a sentence divides the predicate into two parts with the subject coming in the
middle: e.g., In California oranges grow.
8. Juxtaposition is a poetic and rhetorical device in which normally unassociated ideas, words,
or phrases are placed next to one another, crating an effect of surprise and wit: e.g., The
apparition of these faces in the crowd:/Petals on a wet, black bough (in a Station of the Metro
by Ezra Pound)
9. Parallel Structure (parallelism) refers to a grammatical or structural similarity between
sentences or parts of a sentence. It involves an arrangement of words, phrases, sentences, and
paragraphs so that elements of equal importance are equally developed and similarly phrased:
e.g., He was walking, running, and jumping for joy.
10. Repetition is a device in which words, sounds, and ideas are used more than once to enhance
rhythm and create emphasis: e.g., ....government of the people, by the people, for the people,
shall not perish from the earth. (Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln)
11. A rhetorical question is a question that expects no answer. If is used to draw attention to a
point and is generally stronger than a direct statement: e.g. If Mr. Ferchoff is always fair, as you
have said, why did he refuse to listen to Mrs. Baldwins arguments?

Syntax Practice: Student Writing and Revision


The following passage contains wording that connotes speed, but the syntax does
not enhance the effect of the diction. Think of some syntactical tools you could
use--e.g., punctuation, repetition, or clauses and phrases linked together in
different patterns and orders. Then experiment with syntax to create a fast pace
so the reader feels the rush of the wind and the racing vehicle. Change any
diction that you feel would add to the pacing.
Share your ideas with your table group.
Choose one sample to read aloud to the whole group. Revise as needed.
Write it on the flip chart and/or read it aloud, and discuss how the syntax
contributes to the kinetic sense/imagery of speed.
Around the bend sped the yellow racecar. Sparks darted from the wheels. The
car tilted slightly at the bend. Roaring was everywhere. The driver felt the
whoosh of wind flatten the skin on her face. She navigated yet another
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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
hairpin turn and kept on zooming around the track. The wheels appeared to
hover above the ground. The crowd soon became dizzy with motion.

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
In-Class Essay Rubric
High Level Essay:
9

Interprets the question perceptively and makes a persuasive or comprehensive


application of the question to the work. Offers well-focused and persuasive
analysis.

Fully explores the thesis with a wealth of well-chosen, specific examples.


Explores the question in depth, showing significant insight and understanding.
Organizes the material in a consistently coherent manner.
Comes to a conclusion which not only restates the main points of
the essay, but also shows insight into the implications of the question.
Style- Sophisticated control of composition elements; Voice and fluidity
Correctness: No major errors in expression- good command of mechanics.
Middle Level Essay:
5
Interprets the question correctly and has an apparent understanding of the work, but may be
somewhat shallow in application or make a somewhat misguided application of the work.
Offers minimal analysis.
Explores the subject/thesis with some significant illustrations, but is underdeveloped. May
lapse into plot summary.
Organizes the material coherently, but may make an occasional slip in ordering development
Conclusion merely restates thesis
Style generally clear, but may lack polish or strength; diction my be unimaginative, but is
generally, correct. Adequate command of composition basics.
Good control of mechanics but my make an occasional slip.
Low Level Essay:
4
Shows serious misunderstanding of either the question or the work.
Development slender only a few significant examples; often a mixture of the
significant and the trivial without apparent knowledge of the difference.
Organization lacks a coherent plan or fails to adhere to one.
Conclusion May make new points that should have been stated earlier or
may be lacking altogether.
Style May be marred by monotony of phrasing, triteness, or ambiguity.
Correctness May lack good control of language; work marred by errors of
various types.
Comments:

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

A Guide to Holistic Grading


By Mary Kay Harrington
With thanks to Marilyn Elkins
1. Internalize the scoring guide and then read quickly for a holistic impression of the paper;
score immediately. Do not reread or analyze. Those who read and score quickly tend to
be more accurate than the slow rereaders.
2. Read the entire paper; the writing sometimes improves dramatically (after some throat
clearing) as the writer continues, and it sometimes falls apart after the first page or two.
3. Read supportively; try to reward what is done well, rather than search for small errors or
omissions (remember students have 40 minutes)these are drafts.
4. Read with an open mind: students are young and they may have a very simple notion of
a literary work that youve read many times and absolutely love!
5. Holistic reading means to take everything into account, to hold many things in your head:
does the student answer all parts of the question, is the essay organized at the essay and
paragraph level, is it well-developed, how well expressed (syntax, vocabulary,
mechanics, etc.), is the tone and diction appropriate?
6. Remember that a good plot summary is not analysis, nor is repetition.
7. Try to ignore handwriting. Some handwriting doesnt look intelligent. Be careful of
these judgments. If the handwriting is too illegible to permit a rapid, holistic reading,
give the paper to your table leader who will, if necessary, give the paper to the question
leader.
8. Do not judge a paper for its length alone; some short papers are excellent, and some long
papers very poor.
9. Use the full scale. In the papers to be scored, there will be 1 and 9 papers.
10. Remember that each score category represents a range (a high 3 or 5 or 9, etc. We have
thousands of essays to read and only 9 score points!
11. An unfinished (but developed) paper should not be penalized for lacking a conclusion
(unless you were waiting breathlessly for the answer).
12. A 9 paper need not be absolutely perfect and polished.
13. Standards are set by consensus. Remember to remind readers that they should set aside
their individual or local scoring standards (or in some cases, idiosyncratic).
14. Remember that the writer of the paper believes that his/her ideas are fresh and original.
Unlike the readers, the writer has not read a hundred pages that begin just like the one
currently scored.
15. The paper should be scored as fairly on the last day of the reading (or last moment) as on
the first or third day.

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us

Writing Tips for In-Class Essays


Write two prompts and allow student choose which to grade.
Start with a command of topic; avoid flat, generic
introductions. Students can leave a space at the top to go back
and fill in after they find a focus.
Have peers write an introduction and conclusion.
Read a long short story and a short, short story. Have students
retell the long short story in the style of the original shorter
piece.
Have students slash and burn 1) to be verbs 2) adverbs 3)
vague constructions such as The plot depends on Hamlets
madness to develop.
Chicken Foot
FIG Facts, Interpretation, Global
Forego page introductions. They tend to be plot summary.
Avoid repeating the prompt.
ASR should be used in the service of generalities.

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Chengdu Day 2
Rebecca McFarlan
mcfarlan@ih.k12.oh.us
Thesis Statement Practice

Below you will find an essay prompt from the 2012 AP English Language and
Composition exam. Three thesis statements follow the prompt.
Read the prompt and then evaluate each of the thesis statements based on the
following qualities. Rank them from one to three with three representing the
strongest and one the weakest.
Use the following criteria to rank the thesis statements:
o Goes beyond the obvious
o Is specific to the works being discussed
o Has a persuasive quality
o Contains a universal big idea (so what quality)
o
o

Contains an arguable yes/but idea and is interesting


Responds clearly to the prompt
Questions 3 - 2012 English Language and Composition Exam

Consider the distinct perspectives expressed in the following statements.


If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide,
then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those
things that other people are certain are impossible.
William Lyon Phelps, American educator, journalist, and
professor (18651943)
I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of
doubt. I shouldnt wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy,
not even mine.
Bertrand Russell, British author, mathematician, and philosopher (18721970)
In a well-organized essay, take a position on the relationship between certainty and doubt.
Support your argument with appropriate evidence and examples.
Thesis Statements:
1. My position on a well-organized essay is that sometimes its good to
have doubt about some things, because not all the time your going
to be right on something its good to question your thinking, your
though before you speak.
2. Through medicine, it becomes apparent that statistical certainty,
accompanied by doubt, is always nothing more than a statistic:
what is probable to happen, but may not necessarily happen.
3. Doubt is truly necessary for Real learning and growth to occur,
while believing only in certainty can be a hindrance. There are
many beliefs that some people hold to
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