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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:

 

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