This lesson is designed to encourage students to write with greater profundity when analyzing an author’s diction choices.
Traditionally, students are asked to write about diction coupled with other literary stylistic choices a writer employs. However, when students master writing in depth about one element at a time, their work becomes more detailed and sophisticated.
Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” is an appropriately rich text selection to discuss Twain’s diction and how his word choice achieves his purpose.
Students will show mastery of the standards at the end of the lesson through a written timed essay scored on an AP style rubric.
Included in the packet: the complete lesson, essential questions, Common Core Standards, links to multimedia and AP style rubric, two student sample essays with commentary, the prompt and the original text.
Key words: Mark Twain, Realism, The War Prayer, AP Language, diction analysis, imperialism, Spanish-American War, seminal American text, informational text, argument