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									                                       An Adjective Vocabulary
     Cultured, intellectual, erudite, well read.
     Sage, sensible, rational.
     Philosophic, analytical, imaginative, perceptive, visionary, prophetic.
     Optimistic, broad-minded, idealistic, religious, orthodox, sympathetic.
     Sophisticated, unsophisticated.
     Original, clever, witty, humorous, whimsical.
     Conservative, progressive, radical, reactionary, unprejudiced.
     Realistic, romantic.

     A. General:
           Lucid, graphic, intelligible.
           Explicit, precise, exact, concise, succinct, condensed, pithy, piquant.
           Aphoristic, allusive, ironical, metaphorical.
           Poetic, prosaic.
           Plain, simple, homely, pure.
           Vigorous, forceful, eloquent, sonorous, fluent, glib.
           Smooth, polished, classical, artistic.
     B. The Diction:
           Precise, exact, concrete.
           Plain, simple, homespun.
           Esoteric, learned, cultured.
           Literal, figurative.
           Connotative, symbolic, picturesque, sensuous.
           Literary, provincial, colloquial, slangy, idiomatic, neologic.
           Inexact, euphemistic, non-specific.
           Bombastic, trite, artificial, abstruse, obscure, pedantic, grotesque, vulgar.
     C. The Sentences:
           Loose, periodic, balanced, antithetical, inverted.
           Long, short.
           Euphonic, rhythmical.
           Aphoristic, epigramma.
           Forceful, emphatic.
           Ungrammatical, un-unified, incoherent.
           Involved, rambling, tortuous, awkward, jerky.
           Monotonously similar.

     Scholarly, profound.
     Cultural, didactic, utilitarian, humanistic, pragmatic, inspirational, philosophic, spiritual.
     Naturalistic, realistic, romantic, impressionistic.
     Subjective, objective.
     Dramatic, melodramatic, fanciful.
     Authentic, plausible, credible.
       Esoteric, recondite.
       Orthodox, controversial, radical, reactionary, liberal, conservative.
       Symbolic, mystical.
       Ironical, satirical, humorous.
       Improbable, incredible, absurd.
       Superficial, shallow, trivial, insignificant, commonplace.
       Unscholarly, pedantic.
       Prejudiced, intolerant.

     A. Physical Qualities:
           Manly, virile, robust, hardy, sturdy, strapping, strong, stalwart, muscular, brawny.
           Beautiful, pretty, lovely, fair, comely, good-looking, handsome.
           Dainty, delicate, graceful, elegant, exquisite.
           Charming, shapely, attractive, winsome, fascinating, ravishing.
           Neat, spruce, dapper, immaculate.
           Adroit, dexterous, adept, skillful, agile, nimble.
           Active, lively, spirited, vivacious.
           Weak, feeble, sickly, frail, decrepit.
           Thin, spare, emaciated, cadaverous.
           Effeminate, unmanly, unwomanly.
           Ugly, hideous, homely.
           Coarse, unkempt, slovenly.
           Awkward, clumsy, gawky, ungainly, graceless.
           Bizarre, grotesque, incongruous, ghastly.
           Repellant, repugnant, repulsive, odious, invidious, loathsome, horrible.
     B. Mental Qualities:
           Educated, erudite, scholarly, learned.
           Wise, astute, sage, intelligent, talented, intellectual, precocious, capable, competent, gifted, apt.
           Rational, reasonable, sensible.
           Shrewd, prudent, observant, clever, ingenious, inventive, subtle.
           Cunning, crafty, wily.
           Unintelligent, unintellectual, unschooled, unlettered, ignorant, illiterate.
           Inane, irrational, puerile, foolish, fatuous, crass, obtuse, vacuous.
           Bigoted, narrow-minded.
           Ungifted, simple, shallow, dull, stupid, thick-skulled, crackbrained, idiotic, witless, deranged,
     C. Moral Qualities:
           Innocent, virtuous, faultless, righteous, guileless, upright, exemplary.
           Chaste, pure, undefiled.
           Temperate, abstemious, austere, puritanical.
           Truthful, honorable, trustworthy, straightforward.
           Decent, respectable.
           Wicked, iniquitous, corrupt, degenerate, notorious, vicious, incorrigible, infamous, immoral,
           unprincipled, reprobate, depraved.
           Indecent, ribald, vulgar.
           Intemperate, sensual, dissolute.
           Deceitful, dishonest, unscrupulous, dishonorable.
           Base, vile, foul.
D. Spiritual Qualities:
       Religious, reverent, pious, devout, faithful, regenerate, holy, saintly, angelic, godlike.
       Skeptical, agnostic, atheistic.
       Irreligious, impious, irreverent, profane, sacrilegious, blasphemous.
       Unregenerate, materialistic, carnal, mundane.
       Godless, diabolic, fiend like.
E. Social Qualities:
       Civil, tactful, courteous, polite.
       Cooperative, genial, affable, hospitable, gracious, amiable, cordial, congenial, amicable,
       Cheerful, convivial, jovial, jolly.
       Urbane, suave, politic, debonair, elegant.
       Unsociable, antisocial, contentious, acrimonious, quarrelsome, antagonistic, misanthropic.
       Discourteous, uncivil, impudent, impolite, insolent.
       Ill-bred, ill-mannered, unpolished, unrefined, rustic, provincial, boorish.
       Ungracious, brusque, churlish.
       Fawning, sniveling, unctuous, obsequious, sycophantic.
       Sullen, sulky, grumpy, fractious, shrewish, crusty, crabbed, peevish, petulant, waspish, perverse,
       malevolent, implacable, irascible.
       Critical, captious, cynical, caustic, sarcastic.
F. General Personal Qualities:
       Distinguished, noble, eminent, illustrious, admirable, influential, impressive, imposing.
       Well-bred, genteel, refined, aristocratic, cultured.
       Generous, benevolent, charitable, magnanimous, munificent, altruistic, philanthropic.
       Humane, merciful, gentle, kindly, patient, long-suffering, sympathetic, compassionate.
       Tolerant, indulgent, forbearing,
       Liberal, conservative, radical, reactionary,
       Ambitious, conscientious, persevering, industrious, persistent, efficient, assiduous, diligent,
       Uncompromising, scrupulous, punctual.
       Earnest, zealous, enthusiastic.
       Strong-willed, audacious, courageous, indomitable.
       Demure, sober, staid, solemn, serious, sedate.
       Discreet, cautious, wary, circumspect.
       Garrulous, eloquent, persuasive.
       Reserved, taciturn, laconic.
       Whimsical, witty.
       Sensitive, considerate, responsive.
       Thrifty, frugal.
       Coy, pert, flippant, saucy.
       Natural, candid, unaffected.
       Naïve, artless, ingenuous, gullible.
       Shy, reticent, diffident, timid, meek.
       Humble, self-effacing, modest, unassuming.
       Docile, amenable, tractable.
       Placid, serene, tranquil.
       Impassive, nonchalant, indifferent, phlegmatic, imperturbable, stoical, philosophical.
       Pensive, melancholic, moody, saturnine.
       Mediocre, ordinary, insignificant, petty.
       Parsimonious, stingy, niggardly.
       Pompous, contemptuous, disdainful, domineering, imperious.
       Oppressive, cruel, vindictive, ruthless, brutish, truculent.
Intolerant, dogmatic, prejudiced,
Lazy, slothful, listless, lethargic, lackadaisical, parasitic,
Inefficient, incompetent, bungling, worthless.
Unambitious, dilatory, remiss.
Fickle, unreliable, erratic, irresolute, capricious, unstable, irresponsible.
Cowardly, timorous, craven.
Mischievous, frivolous, silly.
Headstrong, impulsive, willful. Impetuous, rash, indiscreet, imprudent, reckless.
Prolix, wearisome.
Apathetic, insensitive, callous, irresponsible.
Prodigal, extravagant, profligate,
Affected, pretentious, insincere, artificial.
Hypocritical, pharisaical, sanctimonious.
Overconfident, self-centered, vain, boastful, egotistical, conceited, bumptious,
Arrogant, proud, haughty.
Obstinate, stubborn, unruly, rebellious, obdurate, mulish, recalcitrant, refractory.
Squeamish, fastidious, .
Mercenary, venal.
Avaricious, envious, gluttonous, voracious.
Perfidious, treacherous, traitorous.
Eccentric, odd, quixotic.
Smug, complacent.
Obnoxious, reprehensible, contemptible, malicious, scurrilous, insidious, malignant.
                                                            Levels of Diction

Formal – language generally found in lectures and documents

         “If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no
         more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an
         opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner: if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a
         private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the
         peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is that it is robbing the human race, posterity as well as the existing
         generation: those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of
         the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost a great benefit, the clearer perception and
         livelier perception of truth, produced by its collision with error.”
                                                                                     John Stuart Mill

         “To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war
         have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support – to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for
         invective – to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak – and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.”
                                                                                  John F. Kennedy

Semi-Formal – language generally used in newspapers and magazines

         “Beethoven was stirred to compose the Eroica by the spectacle (which he soon came to despise) of Napoleon crashing around
         Europe, making history, orphans and axioms, one of which is in vogue regarding Panama. Napoleon said, „If you start to
         take Vienna – take Vienna. There is a time for tentativeness.‟”

Informal – language used in letters and conversations with friends

         “The State Banquet was very grand. We ate in a huge hall with thousands of other guests and yet were all served at the same
         time which must have needed tremendous organization. Chou-en-lai, who was the host, made a speech and then, towards the
         end of the meal, Chairman Mao suddenly appeared muffled in a huge overcoat. The excitement was intense.”

Technical – language that is the specialized vocabulary of a particular trade or profession

         “We have investigated memory storage and the molecular nature of associative-memory formation by analyzing, in the
         marine snail Hermissenda crassicornis and the rabbit, a comparatively simple type of associate learning.

Doublespeak – language which pretends to communicate but really does not. Doublespeak is not the product of careless language or
sloppy thinking. Most doublespeak is the product of clear thinking and is language carefully designed and constructed to appear to
communicate when, in fact, it does not.

         Euphemisms – words or phrases that soften unpleasant realities: they can be used to deceive or mislead:

                  unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of life = killing

         Jargon – specialized language of members of a profession becomes doublespeak when it is used in addressing or confusing

                  involuntary conversion of a 727 = a plane crash

         Bureaucratese – use of sheer volume of words or complicated syntax to overwhelm the audience:

                  It‟s a tricky problem to find the particular calibration in timing that would be appropriate to stem the acceleration in
                  risk premiums created by falling incomes without prematurely aborting the decline in the inflation-generated

         Inflated language – makes the ordinary seem extraordinary

                  car mechanics = automotive internists
                  black and white TV sets = nonmulticolor capability
                  fire in a nuclear reactor building = rapid oxidation
                  lies = inappropriate statements
Tone/Attitude List – The nuances of these words are important!

Positive tone/attitude words

complimentary         confident                compassionate     reverent            Poetic:
lighthearted          elated                   sympathetic       awe-inspiring       fanciful
amused                passionate               loving            nostalgic           reflective
cheery                exuberant                intimate          sentimental         whimsical
jovial                enthusiastic             earnest           reminiscent         quizzical
sanguine              optimistic               sincere           hopeful             lyrical

Negative tone/attitude words


         angry        disgusted                outraged          incredulous
         furious      wrathful                 bitter            shocked
         irritated    indignant                threatening       baffled
         accusatory   condemnatory             inflammatory      disbelieving


         scornful     disdainful               haughty           malicious           obsequious
         sarcastic    cynical                  condescending     callous             ribald
         critical     facetious                patronizing       choleric            sardonic
         bantering    irreverent               mock-heroic       caustic
         taunting     insolent                 pompous           derisive
         ironic       flippant                 ridiculing        judgmental


         somber       elegiac                  melancholic       morose              pessimistic
         sad          disturbed                mournful          mordant
         solemn       serious                  apprehensive      concerned
         fearful      despairing               gloomy            sober
         foreboding   hopeless                 staid             resigned

Neutral tone/attitude words

formal          apathetic      objective       matter-of-fact    erudite      detached
ceremonial      factual        restrained      informative       forthright   candid
distant         didactic       clinical        learned           conventional questioning
instructive     admonitory     authoritative   cautionary        urgent
I. Loose vs. Periodic Sentences
       A. Loose Sentences: the subject, verb, and object occur at or near the first of the sentence. It reflects the way
       we talk – we often make our point and then tack on additional details and supporting information.
                Ex.:    I knew my corner of the canyons from days and hours alone, poking here and there, naming a dry
                        waterfall in one place, marking the way to a special “lost canyon” in another.
       B. Periodic Sentences: the subject, verb, and object are withheld until the last part of the sentence. Aperiodinc
       sentence is a good way to emphasize a point or build up suspense.
                Ex.:    From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. (Chief Joseph)

                Ex.:    (Loose) The thief shot Mr. Bridges as Mr. Bridges slowly crept into the study where the noise
                        was first heard.
                Ex.:    (Periodic) Hearing a noise coming from the study and cautiously crawling in to investigate, Mr.
                        Bridges was shot by the thief.

II. Vocabulary/Diction Structures
        A. Syllables: Monosyllabic or polysyllabic? High ratio of polysyllabic words = more difficulty.
        B. Formality: Colloquial (slang), informal (conversational), formal (literary), or archaic.
        C. Literal or Figurative Meanings: Connotative meanings can be manipulated to create tone
                (obese, plump, corpulent, porky)
        D. Word Sounds: Euphonious or cacophonous repetitions can manipulate tone.

III. Sentence Length
         A. Short – telegraphic (1-5 words)
         B. Medium – (8-18 words)
         C. Long – (20-30+ words)

IV. Sentence Beginnings – varied or repetitive (anaphora)?

V. Sentence Patterns
       A. Are they mostly declarative, imperative, interrogatory, or exclamatory? Effect is ____?
       B. Are they mostly simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex? Effect is ____?

VI. Sentence Order
        A. Natural – the subject comes before the predicate. (Oranges grow in California.)
        B. Inverted – predicate comes before the subject. (In California grow oranges.)
        C. Split order – predicate is in two parts. (In California oranges grow.)

VII. Juxtaposition – normally unassociated ideas, words, or phrases are placed next to one another, creating an effect of
        surprise and wit.

VIII. Similar Structures
        A. Parallel – grammatical or structural similarity between sentence parts.
                 Ex.: He was walking, running, and jumping for joy.
        B. Repetition – words, sounds, or ideas used more than once to enhance rhythm and emphasis.
                 Ex: “…government of the people, by the people, and for the people…”
        C. Balanced – phrases or clauses balance each other by virtue of structure, meaning or length.
                 Ex: He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters.
                                        TP – CASTT Analysis

Title         Ponder the title before reading the poem. Consider connotation.

Paraphrase    Translate the poem into your own words. Resist the urge to jump to interpretation. A failure to
              understand what happens literally inevitably leads to an interpretive misunderstanding.
              Look for: Syntactical units (complete sentences rather than line by line.
              Enjambment vs end- stopped lines

Connotation   Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal.
              Look for: Diction
                        Imagery (especially metaphor, simile, personification)
                        Irony- paradox, understatement, oxymoron,
                       Effect of sound devices (alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance, consonance, rhyme)

Attitude      Observe both the speaker‟s and the poet‟s attitude (tone). Remember, don‟t confuse the author
              with the persona.
              Look for: Speaker‟s attitude toward self, other characters, subject and finally toward the reader

Shifts        Note shifts in speaker and in attitudes.
              Look for: Occasion of poem (time and place)
                          Key words (e.g. but, yet)
                          Punctuation 9dashes, periods, colons…
                          Stanza divisions
                          Changes in line and/or stanza length
                          Irony (sometimes irony hides shifts)
                          Effect of structure on meaning

Title         Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level.

Theme         Determine what the poet is saying. Remember, theme is the author‟s subject and must be
              expressed as a complete sentence.
                                         TAKS Open Ended Notes
After you have read and understand the two stories:
   - silently read the open ended question completely
   - re-read the question
   - understand the question (use dictionary if necessary)
   - brainstorm
   - outline, find proof (small quotes to use)
   - write rough draft with embedded quotes
   - write final draft in answer box
   - proofread

Format for Open Ended Questions #1 and #2 (at least two quotes, 4-5 sentences)

   1. Write a Assertion – you can restate the question, but this must address and ANSWER the question
      specifically. If you do not answer the question, you will not get credit. If it‟s a direct question, answer
      the question directly. If it asks how something changes or is different, answer the question by stating
      how it was before AND after. This usually takes one sentence.

   2. Proof – Embed two or more small quotes that support your answer. Make sure your quotes support
      your answer and are not just words from the story. They should be embedded into the sentence. This
      may take one or two sentences.

   3. Commentary – Explain how or why your quotes support your answer from the Assertion. This may
      take one or two sentences.

Format for Open Ended Question #3 (at least four quotes, 8-9 sentences)

   1.   Assertion – answer question specifically for BOTH stories generally.
   2.   Assertion for story #1 – answer question for story #1 specifically.
   3.   Proof for story #1 – two or more small embedded quotes.
   4.   Commentary for story #1 – explain how the quotes support your answer.
   5.   Transition and Assertion for story #2 – answer question for story #2 specifically.
   6.   Proof for story #2 – two or more small embedded quotes.
   7.   Commentary for story #2 – explain how the quotes support your answer.
   8.   Clincher – make a real world connection about question.

Embedded quote example:

Mark went home and “played video games” and “ate some pizza” before doing his homework.
   English II Success Strategies for TAKS Open-Ended Responses

1. Maintain high standards.
   Having no quotes earns a grade of 0 with no exceptions.
   On-level students who are poorer writers can still write 3‟s.
   On-level students are asked to find 2-3 quotes that almost answer the
    question by themselves.
   Always embed quotes.
   Do not repeat the quote in the commentary – explain it. Commentary
    should explain what is said in the assertion.
   Do not bring up new ideas in the commentary.
   Do not use the word “quote” anywhere in answer.

2. Paraphrasing is not accepted in these responses.

3. Double-line always. Using three quotes and a sentence of commentary
for each quote makes this necessary.
Purpose: learning to revise

                                            Improving Sentence Style

Select one of your papers and follow these instructions. Turn in both the paper and your analysis.

1.     What styles of sentences can you find? List number of loose, balanced, parallel, and periodic sentences.
       If you have no sentences of one of these types in you paper, recast some sentence in that style.

2.     How long are your sentences? Count words in the paper, count sentences, and divide to arrive at
       average length.

3.     Find your longest sentence. What is the length of the sentence before it? After? If that long sentence is
       not either preceded or followed by a short sentence, change one of them to a short sentence.

4.     What forms are your sentences? Count simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.

5.     Count number of to be verbs. Find three that can better be expressed as action verbs and recast the
       sentences that way.

6.     Count parallel constructions. If fewer that three in paper, recast three sentences so they contain parallel

7.     How do your sentences begin? List subject, adverb, prepositional phrase, gerund, subordinate clause,
       verb, infinitive, conjunction, absolute. If more than half your sentences begin with the subject, recast
       ten sentences in a way that varies beginning.

8.     Check your comma use by applying these four rules:
       1. Use a comma before “and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet, and still” when those words join independent
       2. Use a comma between all terms in a series.
       3. Use a comma to set off parenthetical openers and afterthoughts.
       4. Use two commas to enclose parenthetical insertions.

9.     Have you used any semicolons? If not, find a sentence or a pair of sentences that would be better
       punctuated with a semicolon and recast.

10.    Have you used any dashes? If not, find a sentence that would improve with a dash and recast.

11.    Have you invert ed any sentence? If not, recast one.

12.    Find all which clauses, and recast half of them to eliminate which.

13.    Underline “of, in, to, by, and who” wherever they occur. Recast to eliminate as many as possible.

14.    Find any nouns used as adjectives and eliminate any not conventionally used this way.

15.    Find all instances of there is or there are, and eliminate as many as possible.
Below is a list of adjectives culled from Roget‟s Thesaurus from which you can choose apt terms to describe the
style of the various passages that you will be studying for the examination.

       Clarity        Obscurity       Plainness        Embellishment      Consciousness       Diffuseness
       lucid          obscure         unvarnished         ornate          brief               verbose
       explicit       vague           severe              flowery         terse               prolix
                      involuted       commonplace         turgid          laconic              rambling
                                      unimaginative       bombastic       succinct            protracted
                                      sparse              florid          sententious         wordy

       Elegance       Inelegance     Vigor          Feebleness      Conformity            Unconformity
       polished       graceless      forcible       prosaic         ordinary              singular
       classic        vulgar         mordant        unvaried        commonplace           amorphous
       graceful       labored        incisive       sketchy         bromidic              bizarre
       symmetrical    ponderous      graphic        weak            exemplary             extraordinary
       felicitous     tasteless      impassioned    puerile
                                     trenchant      inferior

                                        “To Be” / Passive Verbs

You must avoid these at all times because passive verbs cause your writing to loose momentum and interest.

                             am             be             seem(s)               became
                             are            being          look(s)               become
                             is             been           appear(s)
                             was                           taste(s)
                             were                          sound(s)

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