Project #60965 - worksheet imitating essay

Format: Handwritten or typed. Paper submission.

Length: About 3 pages typed or 6 pages handwritten, unless your handwriting is tiny.

This should be very long, as you should have a lot of observations.


Instructions: Study the essay you are going to imitate, looking at it in all the following ways. Do not skip any of them! Write down all of your observations about all of the following elements.


In class on the due date, you will exchange your observations with others who are imitating the same essay.



  • Overall theme and idea. What’s the main idea? What deeper theme might there be?
  • How long is the essay? Why do you think the author made it this length?
  • Title: How does it relate to the essay?
  • Thesis: Is it explicitly stated? If so, where is the thesis placed--beginning, end, somewhere in the middle? If it is not explicitly stated, how does the writer build to it, and where does a reader figure out fully what it is?
  • Overall organizing principle. Is it chronological? Stream of consciousness? From the general to the particular? From the particular example to the general?
  • How does the theme and idea fit with the structure and style that the writer has chosen?
  • Beginning and end: how do they relate to each other?



  • Paragraph order: how does the order of the paragraphs help to develop the idea?
  • Paragraph length: Are they all the same length? Different lengths? Why do you think the author chose these sizes of paragraphs?
  • Order within paragraphs: how does each paragraph develop its idea? Does it use PIE, or a variation of PIE, or some other structure?
  • Do any of the paragraphs do surprising things, or challenge your idea of what a paragraph should be? 



  • Length: Are they all the same length, are there different lengths? What’s the average sentence length? Is there a lot of contrast between short and long sentences? What is the effect of this?
  • Sentence rhythm and sounds: Read some sentences aloud. How do the rhythms and sounds of the sentences reflect or enhance the meaning? Does the music of the sentence dramatize the idea in the sentence?
  • Grammatical structure of sentences: Are there a lot of single-clause sentences? Are there a lot of compound sentences (clauses joined by coordinating

conjunctions)? Are there a lot of subordinated clauses (review our list of the different kinds of conjunctions)? How does the author’s choice of sentence types reflect the meaning?

  • Coordination, parallelism, repetition: Within sentences, are there lists of things, or elements presented in a series? Are words or phrases repeated within sentences or from sentence to sentence? What is the effect of this?



  • Level of vocabulary: Is it fancy or plain or somewhere in between? Do you think it is average for the audiences of the time, or might it have been fancy or plain to those audiences as well?
  • Length of words: Are there a lot of long words? A lot of short words? Are there any series of many short words in a row? Or many long words in a row? What is the effect of this?
  • Verbs: What particularly active and precise verbs do you notice?
  • Nouns: What particularly strong and specific nouns do you notice?
  • Adjectives and adverbs: Are there a lot of them? A few of them? Do any of them particularly stand out as adding valuable meaning?


Literary Devices

  • Metaphor and simile: Does the writing contain a lot of metaphor and simile? What are some specific examples and how are these apt for the purpose?
  • Sensory imagery: Does the writing contain a lot of specific sensory imagery? What are some specific examples and how do these enhance meaning?
  • Symbol: Do any of the elements in the writing rise to the level of symbol, standing for something greater than themselves, something that perhaps reflects a deeper meaning for the whole piece?
  • Literary or historical allusion: Does the essay contain references to literary works or historical events? Why does the author do this, and what is its effect in the essay?



THE ESSAY LINK IS : shooting an elephant

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 03/05/2015 11:00 am
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