NON-FICTION TEXT - ANALYSING STYLE
The non-fiction essay takes many forms: a persuasive paper about an issue the writer feels strongly about, a personal reflective essay, a newspaper editorial, a satiric piece, a review of a movie or book. As you read and write non-fiction essays, keep in mind the following two considerations: the content, or matter of the essay; and, the style, or manner in which it has been written. The purpose of the written analysis is to show how the style develops the content.
I. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
A. Audience: Is the intended audience of this piece general or specific? What source is it from, and does that indicate the audience?
B. Theme and Intention: What statement about the human condition is made? What is the writer's purpose? Why did he or she write this?
C. Methods of development: argument or persuasion, narration, description, cause and effect, comparison and contrast, process analysis, analogy, definition, example, or classification.
D. Tone: Choose adjectives from the attached list which describe the tone or voice of the article.
E. Emotion: What do you feel as you read? How has the author achieved the emotion? Has the author manipulated your emotions?
II. WRITING STYLE - Examine the specific ways in which the writer has developed the essay, considering both diction (word choice) and syntax (sentence structure). Identify which techniques the writer has used, provide an example, and explain why it is an effective choice.
A. An over-all description of style - the following list of words with descriptions or explanations may help you name the over-all style of the essay.
1. colloquial - conversational, informal
2. humourous - for enjoyment through exaggeration or irony
3. formal - no slang, usually written rather than spoken
4. aggressive - forceful, vigorous, strong
5. terse or concise- lacking in description...