We did a style analysis essay in class for practice for the AP English test. It was very interesting and new because I haven’t done something like that ever before this class. I’m going to really try to get better at really digging deep into depth and trying to focus a lot more on analysis then summary. I’ve been struggling on multiple things, but I’ve also been doing a lot of good things. I thought I would share with you guys my thoughts and also my strengths/weaknesses. Maybe we could have a discussion in class about it or you could just help me out, that would be great.
The first thing I’m having troubles on is analyzing, not really as a whole, but It’s been a little hard to shy away from summaries. I felt that in my essay I used a great amount of textual evidence but only to reiterate what Audubon or what passage two was saying. I did use some of them to my advantage in analyzing. I have a few questions on this topic, Where should the happy medium be between summaries and analysis? When is it even appropriate to summarize the text in style analysis essays? I just can’t find the good balance between them. I honestly feel like I should just omit any type of summaries when doing these essays because the writing judges will most likely consider it as inadequate to the essays prompt. I mean they know everything so why should I even begin summarizing? I guess from writing this I’ve sort of answered my own question. This is why we write blog posts, to put our mind on paper!
My second problem was that I did not find myself going into depth enough. Now this was actually a problem I saw throughout every essay I scored, so I’m not really alone here. Anyways, with the amount of time I had I was just trying to analyze as much as possible not really going beneath the text. After discussing it with the class, I realized how all of the evidence just went right past me and how easy it looked when we were talking about how Audubon was counting and that portrayed his scientific lifestyle. Also the way how passage two described the birds using pure description and there was no sense of narrative writing which portrayed her sense of art and imagery. I included textual evidence about each of their depictions of birds, but I forgot to relate it back to the author themselves which was a key part of the analysis. Now something that threw me off was that the prompt didn’t specifically ask to analyze the authors tone towards their analysis. If it did ask that in the prompt I definitely would’ve included that. What are some ways I can develop depth to my analyses?
Lastly, I had trouble overall formatting the compare and contrast. This was also a sort of recurring problem I saw from the essays I scored. I wanted to format it using an intro paragraph, a paragraph about passage one, passage two, both, and then finish with an end paragraph. I mean that sounds pretty decent to me. I don’t know it just felt a little choppy so maybe I should compare/contrast the essays by different styles and blend both passages into one paragraph about the same type of style. I wouldn’t say I had trouble because I picked up the pen and started writing, and I knew what I wanted to do, but I just feel like there is a better way to compare and contrast in a style analysis.