Frederick Douglass Prompt Read the Prompt Underline important ideas that you will need to note in your essay. 1845 autobiography syntax, figurative language, detail third paragraph distinguish rhetorical purpose passage as a whole Understand the verbs: noting, identify, show how this difference First 10 minutes Read slowly marking the text Number the paragraphs Look for repetition, parallel structure, changes in tone, syntax. Mark the text citing rhetorical strategies/devices Circle important words/images Make note of the author’s organization in each paragraph. Brainstorm What is the author’s rhetorical purpose in this passage? Why did he write this passage? What is his argument? How do I know this? Planning Why does the 3rd paragraph stand out? Look for DIDLS (Diction, Imagery, Details, Language, and Syntax) What is the contrast between the 1st, 2nd and 4th paragraphs to the 3rd paragraph? Why did the author choose to make this contrast? What is he trying to argue for or against? Writing your 1st paragraph Develop a thesis statement with the title of the piece, the author’s name followed by the argument you want to prove. In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Frederick Douglass describes…. Use powerful active verbs (see handout) Be sure to set up your specific argument: The author utilizes animal imagery, contrasts the freeman to that of a slave, and changes the pedantic tone to that of a desperation and a cry for help. Writing the body paragraphs Create topic sentences that will lead the reader into your argument. Douglass’ metaphorical imagery describes the harsh life of a brute slave that is dehumanized to the stature of an animal. Be sure to cite the text for examples to support your argument. Discuss the EFFECT for the overall passage. Why does Douglass utilize this rhetorical strategy? How does it effect meaning? The metaphorical imagery emphasizes the ugly atrocities that the slaves’ mental and physical selves were subjected to and dehumanized their lives to the relative unimportance of an animal. The animal imagery serves to remind us that slaves were not worthy of freedom despite their ability to think and emote about their tragic status in society. Do’s and Don’ts Do underline the title of a major work such as a book. Short works are in quotations. Do use the author’s last name to discuss them as the author. Don’t use FRED or FREDERICK Do not start off a paragraph with a quote. Topic sentences are like road markers and lead the reader in the right direction. Do use several paragraphs if you intend to discuss a new rhetorical device, unless it is under the umbrella of figurative language or syntax. Do’s and Don’ts Use the active tense to discuss literature. Frederick Douglass DESCRIBES, EXPLAINS, SUPPORTS. Avoid vague and generalized statements: Examples- How bad the life of a slave really is Gives the reader a clear image to create Makes the reader feel for him Douglass explains the situation that he was in and describing his situation Do’s and Don’ts Avoid passive tense (eliminate TO BE verbs): is, are, was, were, am, become, became, being Use powerful, specific diction: Douglass was in a hard place being a slave. Douglass’ harsh conditions as a slave. Douglass’ experiences atrocities as a slave. ANALYZE and scrutinize your word choice. (Note* The following are awkward sentences) Douglass was in a bad time of his life. He realizes he shouldn’t be a slave. Douglass has sad and depressing thoughts. Slavery is bad.
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