Friday, October 5, 2012

Extra Credit: Psychology Today

If you would like to raise your lowest grade to 100%  follow the link to Psychology Today , read the article, and compose a 3 paragraph (5-7 sentences) summary of your findings in the comment section below.
Suggestions for Writing a Literary Commentary:

Read the passage you are given a few times. Read it once through to get a gist of what the speaker is saying. Jot down your initial reactions to certain parts of the text so you can refer to them when you are writing. When you have finished, go back and read it again, this time identify key words and phrases and jotting notes to yourself in the margins. While the minimum number of times you should read something is two, it is ideal that you read each passage three or four times.

Plan your commentary. List the key points that you need to cover. Arrange them in a logical order so that your commentary does not sound jumpy. Find quotations from the text for each point you make. You should comment on all of the following (though not necessarily in this order):
  • Theme/Topic/Subject - What is the point of the text? There may be many themes, but try and find one or two key ones to discuss. It may help to consider information that you have such as the writer's name or the date it was written.
  • Message/Purpose - Determine the aims and purpose of the writer. Is the text persuasive, informative, descriptive? Address subtext and any irony or satire present.
  • Tone/Atmosphere - Discuss the tone of the piece. Is there a strong mood or feeling present throughout the piece? Talk about how the writer created this effect (think about word choice, cadence, syntax). Readdress the setting and its effect on the tone and mood.
Write your commentary. Now that you have a clear idea of what you want to say, begin to write your commentary. Sometimes getting started is tricky—you can start with the body paragraphs (which you've just planned out) and write the introduction at the end. Some things to keep in mind:
  • Avoid writing in first or second person. The only exception to this is the conclusion—the first person may be used here to further enforce a point made earlier).
Write a conclusion. This should sum up the information presented in an interesting way without introducing any new ideas  Have fun.