Writing/General Analysis

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Reading and Marking


  • Types of Irony and their Functions
  • verbal irony: express something by saying the opposite
⇒ effect: reader enjoys finding irony, discovers real meaning and contrast between what is said and what is meant

Oh thank you VERY MUCH for not inviting me to the party!

  • dramatic irony: the reader or the audience know more than the characters
⇒ effect 1: readers feel superior, because they know more, only to be soon shown they are not ⇒ readers are taught a lesson
⇒ effect 2: readers feel pity, find it hard to bear the tension and have to see the main character making fatal mistakes ... ⇒ involvement in story

In a play the characters listen to a man explaining enthusiastically that he will travel to the USA on board of an absolutely unsinkable ship - the Titanic!

  • irony of situation: sharp contrast between what the characters/readers wish/intend and what real life/the situation is like.

An example would be a man who takes a step aside in order to avoid getting sprinkled by a wet dog, and falls into a swimming pool."

(Lars Elleström, Divine Madness. Bucknell Univ. Press, 2002)

Line of argument/argumentative structure

  1. describe what the author does (e.g. he puts forward his main thesis, he asks a question, he creates a contrast, he gives examples ...)
  2. explain why he does it at this point ( ... in orfder to show/convince/underlien/defend ..)
  3. show how he tries to do this effectively (rhetorical devices, argumentation ...)


Aspects of Informal Style

  • beginning a sentence with a conjunction (e.g. But, And, Or, So, Yet, Because)
  • contractions (e.g. can’t, won’t, doesn’t)
  • use of the word you
  • use of the imperative or command form (e.g. Watch this film.)
  • abbreviations (e.g. etc. instead of and so forth)
  • short sentences, and short paragraphs, paratactical structure
  • stories in the text that are too personal or too compelling
  • use of dialect, slang, informal or taboo expressions (kinda, kiddo, bugger, me mum an dad)
  • use of fillers like You know, er(m), well, kind of / kinda, yeah, uhm, actually, I mean, O.K.
  • ellipsis (I don't think we …. )

Aspects of Formal Style

  • rather objective, non-personal point of view
  • no contractions or abbreviations
  • no use of imperatives
  • varied length of sentences and paragraphs. ==> Hypotactical structure
  • complete sentences
  • absence of fillers, dialect, slang etc.
  • use of latinate forms and technical terms rather than phrasal verbs (irrevocable, discover, arrive, reappear instead of impossible to take back, find out, get there, be there again)