Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Beginner's Guide to Writing a Literary Analysis Essay For Mr. McAteer's Class

by Kaitlyn Sandvik

Before you begin the spiritual journey of crafting an insightful and masterful piece of literary analysis for your AP English class, it is absolutely essential that you understand the critical nature of displaying your own expertise on the complexities the author raised. If you learn one thing from this ridiculously well-written instructional material, let it be that you know the answers to questions the author asks, and you are a damn expert on it all. You could and should reduce the work of the writer into a neatly packaged and singular meaning based only upon your own life and perspective! For reliabilities sake, you should consult Sparknotes or Cliffnotes...but beware, do not resort to entering any form of dialogue at all with your peers, as that will only narrow your understanding of the novel and leave any questions you might have about a confusing text boiling. It isn't as though you should have been tracking important thoughts or noticing what you were noticing while reading, let's be real here, reading with a purpose is so 2010.

Anyway, once you need to start the essay writing process, you should get a bunch of super short quotes that are literal and do not have many literary devices in them to clutter your essay. A quick side note on quote work, never ever ever use complex sentences or the author's name in your essay. Many novices will make those mistakes-hell, those schmucks even analyze what is within the quote, instead of the highly superior method of looking outside the quote to your own thoughts and interpretations.

A complex sentence surrenders your control, don't forget that. While you're taking notes on that, be sure to also remember your essay can only be in the 5 paragraph form-it is the universal model that works best for every single essay. On to the good stuff, you are a brilliant scholar, you practically have won a Nobel Peace Prize, you have been on trips to save starving children in underdeveloped countries while simultaneously somehow teaching a class in an inner-city school the importance of under-water basket weaving over Skype-so you will slay this essay, you will assert your authority on the complex unanswered questions of life and love and death. At the mere age of 17, you have the wisdom of an old sage atop a mountain in Nepal, so please, feel free to enlighten us with the answers that the author could not find-make resolution, it is what you were born to do.

Next, I will address the beef of this burger...the introduction. You read that right, oh boy, I know...how exciting. The introduction is ideally a long, lingering ramble of abstract ideas you may or may not address in the body paragraphs. Write a thesis, but do not feel compelled to follow that line of inquiry-you don't owe anyone anything. But wait, you may ask, dropping that soggy Chipotle burrito onto your tear-stained copy of Mrs. Dalloway, "How did we already start the essay, I haven't even read the book!" Alas, for those of you rebels without a cause who did not read the book, you can resort to the class group chat, this of course, is the only time you will have discussed the book with peers (despite the forum, attempts to form a study group, restructuring of the entire class layout, etc.). You will seek fellow lonely souls for reassurance and spend your night scrambling together a killer essay (caution: while the essay will rock, you may enter an existential crisis at about 3AM, this will be induced from a conglomerate of the intensity of free indirect style and that burrito mentioned earlier). Now, for the body paragraphs. Basically, you have short quotes without antithesis, juxtaposition, or anything really important, their purpose is really for aesthetic appeal. We are not amateurs here, and for that reason we know that this essay is the last word we will ever have to say everything and anything we can about the book. Cram it all in there. Skim the surface, so long as everything is vaguely touched. You cannot leave anything out.

Hey, kiddos, we made it to the end and it's only 5AM! How exciting! Your conclusion. The longest paragraph in the whole masterpiece. This is where we raise new questions and musings that we have not discussed at all in the rest of the essay. It is here that we can start to explore our own tensions and the ambiguous nature of being a teen. Sure Clarissa and Septimus were dealing with some shit, but man, this essay isn't about them! Feel free to get real abstract in the conclusion, consider the existence of a god-does this god have a gender? What is water, really? Can I trust the NSA? Pretty simple, folks. That's it.

PS. Don't bother with spell check or revisions, best to let that "all-nighter" glow shine!

Monday, February 22, 2016

How to Write a Literary Essay in Mr. McAteer’s Class

How to Write a Literary Essay in Mr. McAteer’s Class
By Thomas, Mia, Griffen

Like most seniors in Mr. McAteers AP English class, you probably have no idea about how you to write your first literary essay. Maybe you’ve written that you think is good, but in fact, it is utterly terrible. Most of the details are completely irrelevant, literally the only thing that matters is what you paid attention to.

LESSON 1: 99% of the book is irrelevant, as long as you establish control.
John walked over and picked the flower, the flower didn’t like it.

Pay attention to stuff like this.

LESSON 2: Pay attention to what you pay attention to
While you can pay attention to anything, there are better things than others to pay attention to.

TIP 1: Don’t ask a question if you are afraid of the answer.

TIP 2: When in doubt, make Chinua Acheve or Virginia Woolf as the subject of your sentence.

Good example:
Through the establishment of tension between John and the flower, Achebe alludes to the effect of PTSD after 9/11.

Bad example:
By picking the flower, John is expressing his hatred for the flower and the flowers hatred toward him.

LESSON 3: If 75% of your essay isn’t quoted, your doing something wrong.

It would be a really good idea to find the PDF of the book ASAP. The bigger the quote, the less likely he is to want to read your analysis of it. Hide behind your block quotes, they are your best freinds.

Good example
quote quote quote quote quote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quotequote quote quote quote
analysis: antithesis quote quote quote juxtaposition Achebe tension anaphora quote and tension.

Tip 3: QUICK! get up! You’ve been in this section too long!

LESSON 3: If you don’t have the answer, it’s a safe bet that “unresolved conflict” is an acceptable conclusion.

Don’t write anything you are unable to write. You can’t write about what you didn’t pay attention to.  Remember that the author is smarter than you so you aren’t expected to know what they’re saying.

R.I.P. George

Writing An Effective Lit Essay

Lit Analysis of Mac’s Class
Via Mads and Jane
First things first. Don’t read the book. Skip over GradeSaver and Cliffsnotes too. Just read SparkNotes. That’s the best way to ensure you get an A. Because let's be honest. That’s all that really matters.

Don’t use quotes… or should you? It’s really up to you, but the way the author writes really doesn't matter. Does Sparknotes use quotes? No. So they don’t matter. All that matters is that the words sound pretty.

Absolutely no complex sentences. Always use short, single clause sentences because that is the real way to show the complexity. For example, Shoop is a good source:

“Jordan's a girl, and she quickly becomes a romantic interest for our narrator. Probably because she's the only girl around who isn't his cousin” (Shmoop, The Great Gatsby).

Always mention what the reader thinks and feels while reading.The reader is the most important part of the essay. Discuss your points of views. Don’t worry about the characterization. They don’t matter that much. Are you friends with them? Do you stay up late with them and braid their hair? No. They don’t matter.

It’s obvious that the reader should feel scared while reading this. The wind and lightning really conveys that the reader should be terrified.

The most important thing to remember is to summarize what happened in the book, not to analyze. Assume that the reader of your essay has never read the book, and just wants a rundown of what’s happening.

First, Jane walked walked down the street. She then promptly turned around and ordered grande chai tea double pump mocha latte with extra whipped cream and skim milk with no sugar with a lemon on the side from Starbucks. It was obviously delicious. The End.

PRO TIP: Grammar doesn’t matter. As long as it’s the right word count and page length, you’re golden.

How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay for Mac

Meredith and Kate
It’s super easy to write a literary analysis in this class. No really, suuuuper easy. There’s no format. At all. No rules, nothing. Just, yknow, react to the book. You can’t go wrong there is just a couple things to keep in mind. Like in prison, everything will be okay if you befriend a prison guard or get involved in one of those prison dog programs where you train dogs for the blind. Yeah that.  Ignore periods and commas those aren’t important anymore.
I felt like this belong. He is too proper to go unnoticed. 
If the book like reminded you of that one time your cat ate all the vacuum cleaner bags in your house and like your mom like yelled at you, write about that. Who cares. Let the inspiration run wild. You are a fluid spirit don’t let the system keep you down.

Feel free to write in choppy sentences. Like this. That’s a fragment. Or is it? I honestly wouldn’t know. But who cares. Grammar? Pssshhh. That so old school. Ignore the rules of grammar in your essay then will make it so much gooder.
Never write complex sentences. Seriously, keep things simple. Just launch right into whatever you wanted to say, no one will get confused. I promise. It won’t sound at all like a rant. Here, I’ll show you:
Scout’s classmates tell her that her “daddy defends niggers”. She asks Jem about it and he forwards her to Atticus. The racism is evident. He says, “‘Of course I do, don’t say nigger, Scout. That’s common’” (99). See dat? Courage is needed for Atticus to say this.
See? Not confusing at all, you know exactly what my point is with this whole thing and it works yafeel?
OH also, be sure to use lots of casual words he loves it. Seriously, it makes him feel like relatable and all and teen.
Some fun examples are:
  • u
  • yafeel
  • Icouldfuxwit (insert characters name) being all (insert characters emotion)
  • fosho
  • like (used as a conjunction)
  • literally (even when it’s not literal)
  • seriously (use this one a lot)
  • foreal
  • are you shittin me?
  • cmon
  • dat

Always talk about the reader. Seriously, every single time you mention something from the text, reflect on how this affects the reader. You are better than the author and everyone else. Don’t forget that.
Never hesitate to examine a character. Like this:
I really don’t agree with Huck’s decision to run away like what the heck? Who would do that. I would never run away from home I care so much about my family. And why does he have such a problem with his dad?  I once had a problem with my dad but I talked it out. Huck is clearly immature because he doesn’t talk it out. I think Huck’s also a bad person, I mean why won’t he stay in school? Who does that?
Basically treat literary analysis like a gossip session. Imagine the character is a person in your life and imagine you are talking to your friend about something they did. In fact, treat the character as a real person. Ignore the fact that the author created the character with a purpose because honestly that’s way too heavy for this class, let’s keep it simple people.

There is a couple steps you need to keep in mind when writing for Macattaq.
  1. Always google your analysis for quotes, he secretly writes for sparknote and gradesaver in his free time so he is basically giving you the answer. No he is giving you the answer.
  2. Come and talk to him about everything. But you must Start off the conversation with, “how many tic tacs have you eaten today, I think you have a problem.” Tbh we know they are pills he is fooling nobody
  3. If you don’t know something. Mumble.
  4. this guy likes to use big words but who the hell does he think he is use only words that you can find on his walls, those are the only words he believes in.
  5. in fact, construct entire sentences out of them, like this “ambiguity is the antithesis of complexity”

Both of these people have the same name. One is superior. But, look at both of their smug grins. Taunting you thinking they are big meech. Well they aren’t.

How To Write An Analytical Essay

Nick Ranieri
It’s important when writing an essay to not focus too much on providing background, especially when introducing quotes. Expect that the reader has read the book being discussed (if they didn’t why would they read the essay?). And that is the ONLY time you should be thinking about the reader. You’re not trying to show anything or tell the audience something. If you already know the purpose of what you’re looking at (which you shouldn’t), you have no purpose in writing the essay. The analysis and following of the ideas you noticed are meant to guide you to a conclusion. It’s through the writing of the essay that you discover something. That’s also why the introduction should be the last thing edited. Once your quotes are analyzed, your sentences complexed, your conclusion written, you go back to your introduction to focus it back on the conclusion you came to. Your first draft of an introduction is NEVER the final draft. When you write an introduction, you may have a set idea of what you’re going to follow, but more often than not you’ll find you’ve come to a completely different conclusion by the end of your essay. And, while on the topic of conclusions, it shouldn’t be too long. True, it’s a space to gather all your thoughts and pin them to one singular discovery. But no one wants to read a whole other essay just summarizing thoughts. It should tie back to your initial (edited) idea, and provide a sort of happy ending in terms of a discovery. It’s perfectly fine to not reach a full conclusion, but you should leave off on some final point. This isn’t the last Harry Potter movie, or the last Hobbit movie, or the Last Hunger Games movie or… you get the point. We don’t want a cliffhanger in an analytical essay, we don’t want to wait for “Analytical Essay Part 2” to come out. And remember, conclusion always comes after the body paragraphs.
Speaking of body paragraphs (best segway ever), they are crucial to an analytical essay (duh). Always start with a complex sentence. These help to center the quotes to come on a specific idea, connecting them before even writing them. And make sure mention the author’s name at least six or seven times, it really Nick Ranieri doesn’t matter Nick Ranieri where. And the purpose of quotes isn’t to make your essay long, they should convey something or further a point. That way your analysis of them actually makes sense. And as for the analysis, this isn’t 5th grade. You don’t need to copy and paste every line of the quote talking about what it means. If a reader wants to reread a line, they’ll reread it. They don’t need your help. The point of the analysis is to show how the author uses the language they use to further a point. Use words like: show, suggest, imply, detail, and hint to describe what the author’s purpose behind the language is.
Besides that, have fun. You’re only gonna write these essays once (as long as they’re good), so make the most of it, enjoy it. And be confident in what you’re writing about. If you come to a conclusion, stand by that conclusion. If you aren’t, your essay will just be a jumbled mess. Happy writing!

How to write a literary analysis essay

trey y miles

Step 1: Choose a book to analyze, preferably one written over 100 years ago, originally in another language, and not at all based around plot. Anything with long, boring monologues about the trivial nature of the church or anything with a mention of suffering and the hopelessness of the human condition will suffice.

Step 2: Using your browser of choice, search “book title quotes” where book title is the title of your book.

Step 3: Copy the quotes you find online into a document that you then share with 3-4 friends that happen to be classmates as well. If the quotes come with analyzation, that’s perfect, just copy and paste (saves time) and hope you don’t have to submit to turnitin (which you don’t so that’s never been an issue). When writing, assert total confidence over every word in the book. You read it, you know it all, in fact, you even know it better than the author. You know what the author meant to say. You know the author better than they know themselves. Get out there champ and knock this essay out of the park.

Pro-tip: Thesis’ and topic sentences need commas in the middle. (Ex. Jimmy likes, meat)

Step 4: One to two days after the essay is due, schedule a conference with Mr. Mcateer, telling him that you were “sick” the last couple of days, and you “just don’t get it”. Wait for him to give you the answers, but be patient because it can take a little while to get them out of him.

Pro-tip: If you only have three body paragraphs but you need four, copy and paste your third paragraph to make a fourth.

Step 5: Lastly, take the answers that Mr. Mcateer gave you, the quotes you copied online, throw in some page numbers, a couple different variations of tension, antithesis, complexity, juxtaposition, ambiguity and share the document with Mr. Mcateer, who will then tell you to print once you get to school, (but don’t print and then share, it’s important that he asks you to print after you have shared it with him). If you don't want to turn in your essay, don't fret. Simply attempt to slide your work in with other assignments several months later.

Pro-tip: Try to invent words as you write. Non-sensical transformations of nouns to verbs works best (Ex. verbization, verbing, nouning, studenting, etc.).

Viola! You now have an essay.

How to Write a Literary Analysis By Charlotte Decker and Jordan Smith

How to Write a Literary Analysis
By Charlotte Decker and Jordan Smith

  1. Read the book and notice things
It is important to read the book you are analyzing and notice themes, character development, and most importantly author’s purpose.

For example:
Daniel is strolling cooly through school. Daniel’s vans are blue. They become red. Daniel’s vans change color. Finally, Daniel’s vans are white. A viner approaches and whips out phone, eying and recording his vans. He says, “Damn, Daniel. Back at it again with the white vans!”

Why does the author emphasize his white vans? Take note of the possibly purposeful theme of vans.

  1. Pick topic
Choose area of things you noticed that most resonate with you. For example, Daniel’s thematic white vans.

  1. Write thesis
Your thesis is key to the line of inquiry of your essay. Create a thesis using complex sentence structure, independent clause, dependent clause, subordinating conjunctions and all.

For example:
Through the author’s strategic repetition of white vans, the author emphasizes how damn cool Daniel’s white vans are.

  1. Pick quotes and analyze; relating to thesis
Choose quotes of importance that chronologically contribute to the development of your argument. Be sure that quotes lead to inference, not summary. Quotes dense with literary elements and not with plot text are cool. Analyze dissecting the author’s purposeful language in relation to their overall purpose and your thesis.

For example,
“Damn, Daniel. Back at it again with the white vans!” (last line)
The author strategically incorporates the literary technique alliteration with his opening statement in the viner’s dialogue, “Damn, Daniel”. Doing so, emphasizes the awe that the viner feels upon seeing the legendary white vans. The author further employs methodical punctuation in order to excite the reader, especially with the concluding exclamation point.

  1. Form introduction
Form your introduction with the following structure.
  • Big world problem
    • for example, Vans production
  • Preview of literature
    • for example, author name and vine name
    • bridge to thesis and general overview of your topic
  • Thesis
    • (stated above)

  1. Form topic sentences
Form at least three planned body paragraph, stating intent regarding each body paragraph. Topic sentences should be complex
For example:
  • By initially opens with Daniel’s blue vans, the author introduces Daniel as a character owning one of vans.
  • Through changing Daniel’s vans color, the author develops complexity within Daniel’s character.
  • Through the inclusion of the alternate perspective provided by the viner, the author reveals the final awesomeness of Daniel’s white vans.

  1. Write your conclusion
Restate your thesis and form your conclusion in somewhat of an upside nature of the structure of your introduction.