WRITER’S DEVICES are the tools authors use in any language in order to communicate a main idea, theme, moral, message.

To get a real look at the author’s style, perspective, goal, to figure out what the theme of a work is, to understand and SEE the scenes, to comprehend the depth of the issues an author presents, one must examine the literary devices employed by the author. This can only happen in stages.

SET UP: Using the novel you are working with RIGHT NOW and every other piece of literature you come across, complete the following assignment. Get a 70-100 page notebook to DEDICATE to this. Title it WRITER’S DEVICES. Inside, skipping two pages after each term, set up space for each of the following terms. 

FIND OUT WHAT’S WHAT – Define all of the terms.  Get at least two definitions for each WRITER’S DEVICE in order so that you can start to build dynamic, round, full understanding of the term. Here’s the list:

  1.  Allusion
  2. Assonance
  3. Consonance
  4. Paradox
  5. Metaphor
  6. Simile
  7. Personification
  8. Hyperbole
  9. Irony
  10. Onomatopoeia
  11. Foreshadowing
  12. Alliteration
  13. Oxymoron
  14. Imagery
  15. Repetition
  16. Rhyme
  17. Flashback
  18. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Association
  19. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Band Wagon
  20. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Beautiful People
  21. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Bribery
  22. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Celebrities
  23. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Experts
  24. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Explicit Claims
  25. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Fear
  26. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Intensity
  27. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Plain Folks
  28. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Testimonials
  29. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Warm & Fuzzy
  30. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Glittering Generalities
  31. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Name Calling
  32. Persuasive/Propaganda Technique: Slippery Slope

IDENTIFY WHAT’S WHERE – This may include weekend homework. You have no idea how much work this is (or isn’t really). It all depends on how you plan out the work. For this part, you must put all of your thoughts down on paper. Identify and discuss instances of each  DEVICE IN YOUR NOTEBOOK. Show us what you found, and tell us why it is what you claim it is. Explain (1) WHAT IS WHAT, (2) WHERE it is in the text, (3) WHY IT QUALIFIES, and (4)WHAT IT COULD MEAN. USE DIRECT QUOTATIONS. 

For example….

MetaphorExample #1

  1. What is the metaphor you found? DIRECT QUOTATION
  2. Why is it a metaphor? 
  3. What does the metaphor mean? Could this be an indication of something larger?

AlliterationExample #2

  1. What is the ALLITERATION you found? DIRECT QUOTATION
  2. Why is it an example of alliteration?
  3. What does the alliteration do for your enjoyment? How does it serve the author’s purpose? Perspective?

Be able to talk about this in a discussion group and/or when we conference one-on-one:

  • In what ways does the author’s use of literary devices improve upon or detract from your understanding of the novel’s events? How the events relate to each other in actual timeline order? how the events are given out of order? why they are in or out of order?
  • In what ways does the author’s use of literary devices improve upon or detract from your understanding of the novel’s theme? how the theme may translate to a larger UNIVERSAL theme?
  • In what ways does the author’s use of literary devices improve upon or detract from your understanding of the novel’s characters? their motivations? how they are resolving conflicts or NOT?
  • In what ways does the author’s use of literary devices improve upon or detract from your enjoyment of the novel? what do you like about how the author used a certain device or more?
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