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LETTER TO THE CLASS A Dolls House Responses

Dear Class,

In class we will review student responses to prompt further discussion of the texts as well as discussions about writing and literary
analysis. In order to get as much out of the session as possible, please take chances: make comments, ask for clarification, and
suggest possibilities. Ive listed some of the common writing errors that appeared repeatedly in the responses. Please feel free to add
notes to the list. *** Remember, the tone of our class discussion during the writing workshop should be supportive, not
demeaning. Choose your words accordingly.

-Ms. Britton-Nix


1. Know the genre of the text. A Dolls House is a play or drama, not a novel or book.

2. Address all aspects of the prompt. Use the prompt to organize your response. Suggestion, break down the prompt by pulling
out all of the verbs.

3. Make sure your thesis/claim is clear, accurate, and specific. It should indicate analysis.

4. Although some plot summary is necessary to provide context, avoid writing all plot summary. In particular, avoid the He said;
she said plot summary. Remember, you do not need to write about every detail in the book, just what is relevant to provide
context and support your claim. Horizontal & Vertical Thinking

Plot Summary for Context

Analysis and Textual Evidence

5. Before you dive into analysis, provide context (setting; background; framework; situation): This scene is important in the
context of the novel

6. ***Use domain specific vocabulary (literary and rhetorical devices) when possible; this is the language of literature and will
help to increase word choice sophistication. Do not define rhetorical devices; integrate them into your writing as part of your
language. Remember, it is the language of literature. This will also help avoid writing a mere plot summary. Your thinking
should be vertical, not just horizontal.

7. Do not state that the author proves something or that something is a fact. Avoid listing evidence as examples. Avoid for
example. Utilize the following words: conveys, signifies, illustrates, suggests, or implies, etc.

8. Authors make structure and style choices. When discussing structure and style, use the author. When discussing the plot,
use the character.

9. Avoid using the word very. - So avoid using the word very because its lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Dont use very
sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also wont
do in your essays.
N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

10. Avoid using the words things and a lot. Your word choices should be specific. Word choices should not be ambiguous

11. Avoid using you. When you use you, you are directly addressing the audience. Avoid writing I think and I believe. This is
redundant. Avoid the use of I in a literary analysis. Wrong tone.
12. Maintain an academic tone. Avoid phrases such a
keeps her mouth shut Revise: __________________________________________________

she called him out Revise: __________________________________________________

13. Avoid being verbose; your writing should be succinct, concise, terse, and pithy. Avoid being repetitive.

14. Write about literature in the present tense. If you are addressing a past historical event or a scene from the past in the novel,
write about that in the past tense.

15. Do not evaluate the literature; this is not a book review. Do not preach to the reader. This is a literary analysis; STICK TO THE
TEXT! You should not veer off into a discussion about life.

16. Avoid empty statements: All literature contains significant passages. and/or Authors often use symbolism in their writing.

17. Avoid clichs: Honesty is the best policy.

18. There is a difference between a Central Idea and a Theme.

See theme worksheet.

19. When possible, read your writing aloud, so you can hear how it sounds and catch mistakes. Make sure you avoid being
verbose and repetitive. You want to be concise and clear.

20. Avoid plot summary. Develop your ideas using specific accurate evidence from the text.

21. Quotes should be used to support your ideas. They should not dominate a response, nor should they be presented as a list of
evidence. See Quote Integration Quick Sheet.

22. Punctuation goes inside the quotes unless you are using a citation. (Comma or period goes inside quotation marks. If quote
ends in a question mark or an exclamation point, you don't need to then add a period.)
Example: In the poem The Second Coming, Yeats suggests that there has been a disruption to the natural order: The falcon
cannot hear the falconer (Yeats 2).

23. Provide context for quotes. Consider the Bullseye Method.

24. Avoid quoting lines of dialogue in a conversation. Again, use the Bullseye Method.

25. Review the various methods for quote integration.

26. Use apostrophes to show possession and for contractions: Therefore he now knew that Nora had signed the bond in her
fathers name.

27. Who = People and That = Things

28. P-A-C (Pronoun-Antecedent-Confusion): Torvald was a man who believed in justice, as he earlier says, that he despises Mr.
Krogstad because he escaped from the justice system and received no punishment for his crimes.

29. Use commas to separate an appositive if the sentence would be clear and complete without it. (An appositive is a noun or
pronoun often with modifiers set beside another noun or pronoun to explain or identify it.): Ruth Harris, a prominent lawyer,
became a judge.