As English teachers, we often get frustrated when our students turn in literary analysis essays that are weak and surface based. But how often do they lack the necessary tools to succeed in this challenge? We prepare them with outlines, sample body paragraphs and thesis statements, and use the writing process, but often we overlook the vocabulary they need to write compelling assertions and commentary. Here, I provide a list of strong verbs that can assist in driving analytical thought -- verbs that go beyond "shows" and "says." I start with a list, one that is grouped according to the function each verb holds. Also provided is an annotations activity and homework assignment that gets students defining and using the verbs in their own sentences and using the verbs with a passage from "Tell-Tale Heart." Finally, there are samples of how to use the verbs in sentences that reflect a more analytical, literary analysis mode of writing.
Mike (Lit Monster)
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