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Avoiding Clichés

Identify and Revise Clichés

Avoiding Clichés

“When an expression is overused to the point of becoming meaningless, it is known as a cliché,” Mr. Espinosa explained. “A cliché doesn’t show originality.”

“Why should we listen to Mr. Espinosa? Sam whispered. “He’s as old as the hills. It’s just a matter of time before he retires.”

“Maybe he’s still got something to teach you about clichés,” Arianna whispered back.

Definition and Examples

A cliché is an overused and worn-out word, phrase, or sentence, which has lost its original meaning or effect. A cliché can have a literal or a figurative meaning. Examples: awesome; plenty of fish in the sea; what goes around, comes around

Speakers often use clichés as conversational fillers to generalize or draw a conclusion.

Examples:

“Putting together that toy is challenging, but it’s not rocket science,” she said.

“Yes, but at the end of the day, those little challenges help us think outside the box,” he replied.

Read the rule.

Don’t use clichés in formal writing, such as essays. Instead of clichés, use original thoughts and more specific language. Some writers intentionally use a cliché, but revise the wording to provide an original idea.

Practice

Write these sentences and [bracket] the clichés.

  1. Those two a certainly a strange pair. Who knows what he sees in her. Love is blind.
  2. You’re never going to make them accept you. You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
  3. She’s a bad apple and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her parents have issues, as well.
  4. For Matt the grass is always greener on the other side, but experience is the best teacher.
  5. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case, I’ll make an exception.

Revise the the clichés in the following sentence.

In this day and age, using clichés is not a necessary evil.

Answers

  1. Those two a certainly a strange pair. Who knows [what he sees in her]. [Love is blind].
  2. You’re never going to make them accept you. [You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time].
  3. She’s [a bad apple] and [the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree]. Her parents have issues, as well.
  4. For Matt [the grass is always greener on the other side], but [experience is the best teacher].
  5. [You can’t judge a book by its cover], but in this case, I’ll make an exception.

Pennington Publishing's Teaching Essay Strategies

Teaching Essay Strategies

For more essay rules and practice, check out the author’s Teaching Essay Strategies. This curriculum includes 42 essay strategy worksheets corresponding to teach the Common Core State Writing Standards, 8 on-demand writing fluencies, 8 writing process essays (4 argumentative and 4 informative/explanatory), 64  sentence revision and 64 rhetorical stance “openers,” writing posters, and helpful editing resources. 

Differentiate your essay instruction in this comprehensive writing curriculum with remedial writing worksheets, including sentence structure, grammar, thesis statements, errors in reasoning, and transitions.

Plus, get an e-comment bank of 438 prescriptive writing responses with an link to insert into Microsoft Word® for easy e-grading (works great with Google Docs),

Download the following 24 FREE Writing Style Posters to help your students learn the essay rules. Each has a funny or ironic statement (akin to “Let’s eat Grandma) to teach the memorable rule. 

Get the Writing Style Posters FREE Resource:

Literacy Centers, Spelling/Vocabulary, Study Skills, Writing , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Avoid Attention-Getting Alliteration

Avoid Poetic Devices

Avoid Alliteration

“I want my fans to pay attention to my magnificent mastery and manipulation of the English language in this argumentative essay,” explained Teddy.

“I’d rather focus their attention on my evidence,” said Cherish. “Save the attention-getting alliteration for your poetry.”

Definition and Examples

Alliteration is a poetic device in which the initial (first) consonant sound is repeated. Example: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Read the rule.

Don’t use poetic devices, such as alliteration, in formal writing. Poetic devices focus the reader’s attention on the writing itself, while essays are designed to argue a point of view or inform and explain. Essays focus on the content of the writing.

Practice

Write the following sentences and [bracket] the alliteration.

  1. The bear buried its nose in the berry patch.
  2. My cat cowered under the couch, afraid of the vacuum monster.
  3. Sam simply asked if the salmon seemed a bit under-cooked.
  4. The four hyenas paced nervously in their constricting cages.
  5. Amaria never noticed that the champion chihuahua was dressed in a fur-lined sweater and diamond dog collar.

Revise the sentence to eliminate alliteration.

Always avoid attention-getting alliteration.

Answers

  1. The [bear buried] its nose in the [berry] patch.
  2. My [cat cowered] under the [couch], afraid of the vacuum monster.
  3. [Sam simply] asked if the [salmon seemed] a bit under-cooked.
  4. The four hyenas paced nervously in their [constricting cages].
  5. Amaria [never noticed] that the [champion chihuahua] was dressed in a fur-lined sweater and [diamond dog] collar.

Pennington Publishing's Teaching Essay Strategies

Teaching Essay Strategies

For more essay rules and practice, check out the author’s Teaching Essay Strategies. This curriculum includes 42 essay strategy worksheets corresponding to teach the Common Core State Writing Standards, 8 on-demand writing fluencies, 8 writing process essays (4 argumentative and 4 informative/explanatory), 64  sentence revision and 64 rhetorical stance “openers,” writing posters, and helpful editing resources. 

Differentiate your essay instruction in this comprehensive writing curriculum with remedial writing worksheets, including sentence structure, grammar, thesis statements, errors in reasoning, and transitions.

Plus, get an e-comment bank of 438 prescriptive writing responses with an link to insert into Microsoft Word® for easy e-grading (works great with Google Docs),

Download the following 24 FREE Writing Style Posters to help your students learn the essay rules. Each has a funny or ironic statement (akin to “Let’s eat Grandma) to teach the memorable rule. 

Get the Writing Style Posters FREE Resource:

Spelling/Vocabulary, Study Skills, Writing , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similes | Essay Writing Rules

Essay Rules and Similes

Similes and Essay Rules

Sandra said, “I’m trying to add some spice to my essay by adding similes. I know a simile uses like or as. Let me read two of them that might work in my conclusion: ‘He did not like being wrong, and as an inexperienced cook, he was often corrected by veteran chefs.’”

“Similes need to compare unlike objects, such as ‘Rafael was as sour as a lemon.’ Your sentence doesn’t use like or as to compare, so they aren’t similes,” corrected Mark. “However, you shouldn’t include poetic devices, such as similes, in essays, so your sentence is fine.”

“So, I was wrong, but I was also right,” said Sandra.

Definition and Examples

A simile compares two unlike things and is often introduced by like or as. However, not every usage of like or as signals a simile. Examples: His voice was like the roar of a lion. “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree” (Joyce Kilmer). A simile is a figure of speech in which the words are not meant literally. Similes are commonly used in poetry, speeches, songs, and in literature.

Read the rule.

Don’t use similes or other figures of speech in formal writing, such as essays. If comparisons are used to provide better understanding or analysis, the objects of comparisons should be similar.

Practice

Write the following sentences and [bracket] the similes.

  1. Her best friend seemed as wise as an owl, but he really was as dumb as an ox.
  2. Those roommates were like two peas in a pod. They both had the same interests, like music and video games.
  3. Anything he loses is as if he could care less about finding. Plus, he is as blind as a bat.
  4. As amazing as this price seems, an additional discount would bring in customers like wildfire.
  5. Like a cold drink to a thirsty man, so is a good book to a reader. True readers are like ships in a storm, never finding rest in a safe harbor.

Revise the sentence to eliminate the simile and provide a like comparison.

Avoid similes like the plague.

Answers

  1. Her best friend seemed [as wise as an owl], but he really was [as dumb as an ox].
  2. Those roommates were [like two peas in a pod]. They both had the same interests, like music and video games.
  3. Anything he loses is as if he could care less about finding. Plus, he is [as blind as a bat].
  4. As amazing as this price seems, an additional discount would bring in customers [like wildfire].
  5. Like a cold drink to a thirsty man, so is a good book to a reader. True readers are [like ships in a storm], never finding rest in a safe harbor.

Pennington Publishing's Teaching Essay Strategies

Teaching Essay Strategies

For more essay rules and practice, check out the author’s Teaching Essay Strategies. This curriculum includes 42 essay strategy worksheets corresponding to teach the Common Core State Writing Standards, 8 on-demand writing fluencies, 8 writing process essays (4 argumentative and 4 informative/explanatory), 64  sentence revision and 64 rhetorical stance “openers,” writing posters, and helpful editing resources. 

Differentiate your essay instruction in this comprehensive writing curriculum with remedial writing worksheets, including sentence structure, grammar, thesis statements, errors in reasoning, and transitions.

Plus, get an e-comment bank of 438 prescriptive writing responses with an link to insert into Microsoft Word® for easy e-grading (works great with Google Docs),

Download the following 24 FREE Writing Style Posters to help your students learn the essay rules. Each has a funny or ironic statement (akin to “Let’s eat Grandma) to teach the memorable rule. 

Get the Writing Style Posters FREE Resource:

 

Literacy Centers, Study Skills, Writing , , , , ,