I beg to differ

In the cookie of an essay, literary devices are chocolate chips.

on December 14, 2013

Err…that’s how the saying goes, right?

I’ve never yet made cookies this perfect, but I’m on my way 🙂

Today, I made cookies. Chocolate chip, to be exact. Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite type of cookies ever, so if I’m ever feeling down, you know what to bring me. Warm chocolate chip cookies and a glass of cold milk.

Recently, we’ve been analyzing the style of several essays to prepare for our AP exam. Of course the test isn’t until May, but this was our teacher’s first little introduction to the types of questions that we have to answer come May 9th.

Baking cookies is a lot like writing a paper with great style. The ingredients aren’t the only things that matter; the technique does, too! In an essay, words are your ingredients, but how you use them – diction and syntax – is the difference between a crumbly, dry cookie, and a chewy, delectable dessert. When making my cookies, I first refrigerated the dough for a while and I made extra tall cookie dough balls so that the butter would solidify and not spread too much, creating a perfect thickness. The recipe didn’t say to do that, but I know from my experience that cookies turn out better this way. We can also variate the standard cookie recipe to our likes by changing the ingredient proportions.

Ingredient variations to help you find your favorite cookie recipe!

Likewise, writers use diction and syntax to achieve their purpose by creating a mood or tone. It’s our job as AP English 3 students to identify and analyze the effect of each rhetorical strategy. We must consider the topic, speaker, and especially audience. For example, when I’m making cookies for my dad, I might add chopped nuts, because I know he’ll appreciate that more. My mom will want extra chocolate chips. My brother will be satisfied with whatever I end up making. And my sister…well, she’ll ask me why I didn’t make brownies instead.

Style analysis is really a step-by-step procedure, so don’t make it too hard on yourself! First read, annotate, add flour, find literary devices, add brown sugar, and ask what the effect of each is. Then bake for 10 minutes. It’s really that simple 🙂 good luck on your future analysis essays!

Isn’t this Sesame Street/Hunger Games mashup the best thing ever!?


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