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DDIST: The Tools for Close Reading

DDIST: The Tools for Close Reading. By: Mark Afram. First, What’s a Close Reading?. According to Harvard’s Writing Center, a close reading is when a reader notes the “facts and details of the text, [including]…patterns [and]…repetitions.”. A different kind of close reading….

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DDIST: The Tools for Close Reading

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  1. DDIST: The Tools for Close Reading By: Mark Afram

  2. First, What’s a Close Reading? • According to Harvard’s Writing Center, a close reading is when a reader notes the “facts and details of the text, [including]…patterns [and]…repetitions.” A different kind of close reading…

  3. Now, What’s DDIST? • DDIST is an acronym popular amongst literature instructors • It stands for: • Diction • Detail • Imagery • Syntax • Tone Exhibit A: Brilliant Teacher

  4. Diction • Diction: the choice and use of words in speech or writing. • Diction affects the tone “attitude” of a passage. • ex. “playa” vs. “gentleman” Tupac is recognized for his precise use of diction.

  5. Diction, Con’d • Always consider language that is unique, specific, or “jumps out.” • Also, consider if the language is: • monosyllabic vs. polysyllabic • colloquial (slang) vs. formal • concrete (specific) vs. abstract (general, conceptual) Diction: words that “jump out”

  6. Details • Details: facts included or omitted • Key details greatly enhance the textual meaning or the overall tone of a passage. The details make this picture!

  7. Imagery • Imagery: vivid mental pictures that appeal to the senses • Not only does imagery affect the tone (“attitude”) of the passage, but it also affects the reader’s mood. How does this image appeal to your senses?

  8. Imagery, Con’d • Here are a few techniques that create vivid pictures: • Alliteration: repetition of an initial consonant sound • Ex. The giggling girl gave gum. • Onomatopoeia: writing sounds as words • Ex. The clock went tick tock. • Hyperbole: a deliberate exaggeration • Ex. I’d die for a piece of candy!

  9. Imagery, Con’d • Other techniques: • Simile: a comparison using “like” or “as” • Ex. His legs are like tree stumps. • Metaphor: a comparison • Ex. The man’s jacket is a rainbow • Personification: attributing human qualities to inhuman objects • Ex. The alarm clock shrieked.

  10. Syntax • Syntax: the way a sentence is structured • These sentences affect the tone: • Declarative: an assertive statement • Ex. He is guilty. • Imperative: makes a command • Ex. Leave this house! Declarative Imperative

  11. Syntax, Con’d • Sentence structure also includes: • Interrogative: asks a question, generally reflects uncertainty • Ex. Are you my friend? • Repetition: words or ideas used more than once • Ex. The little boy put his tiny hand in the glove.

  12. Tone • Tone: words that express the attitude of the passage or entire text; this also reflects how the writer interacts with the reader. Note: Analysis of tone is very subjective. • Always write tone in this way: _______ tone. What’s Hulk Hogan’s tone/attitude in this photograph?

  13. Tone, Con’d • Describe the tone of the following passage: My homeboy’s doing life Begging mama be stressing Shedding tears When her son finally ask that questions: Where my daddy at? Mama, Why we live so poor? Why you crying? -Tupac Shakur, “White Man’z World” Tupac Shakur

  14. Works Cited "D-I-D-L-S." D-I-D-L-S. 7 July 2008 <http://yhspatriot.yorktown.arlington.k12.va.us/~rsadaus/DIDLS.doc>. "Diction." Def. 1. Dictionary.com. 7 July 2008 <http://dictionary.reference.com/>. "DIDLS Breakdown." KHS English Department Homepage. 7 July 2008 <http://www.kisd.org/khs/english/help%20page/DIDLS%20Breakdown.htm>. Kain, Patricia. "How to Do a Close Reading." Harvard.edu. Writing Center at Harvard University, 1998. Web. 3 Sept. 2012. <http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/documents/CloseReading.html>.

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