Understanding Rhetorical Strategies for AP English Language
Definition: Example is a specific event, person, or detail of an idea cited and/or developed to support or illustrate a thesis or topic.
Here is an excerpt from Jane Jacobs's "A Good Neighborhood" that uses examples.
Perhaps I can best explain this subtle but all-important balance between people's desire for essential privacy and their wish to have differing degrees of contact with people in terms of the stores where people leave keys for their friends. In our family, we tell friends to pick up the key at the delicatessen across the street. Joe Cornacchia, who keeps the delicatessen, usually has a dozen or so keys at a time for handing out like this. He has a special drawer for them.
Around on the other side of our block, people leave their keys at a Spanish grocery. On the other side of Joe's block, people leave them at a candy store. Down a block they leave them at the coffee shop, and a few hundred feet around the corner from that, in a barber shop. Around one corner from two fashionable blocks of town houses and apartments in the Upper East Side, people leave their keys in a butcher shop and a bookshop; around another corner they leave them in a cleaner's and a drug store. In unfashionable East Harlem, keys are left with at least one fl orist, in bakeries, in luncheonettes, in Spanish and Italian groceries.
Practice with Analysis
- Underline the thesis statement.
- The topic/subject of the passage is __________
- The purpose of the passage is to ___inform ___ persuade ___ entertain.
- Does the passage contain an extended example? _____
- The passage contains how many examples? _____
- Briefly list the examples. _________
- The organization is ___ chronological ___ spatial ___ least to most important ___ most to least important.
Remarks About the Passage
This informative passage uses a lengthy list of examples to indicate in formally the relationship between people and businesses in a neighborhood. There is no single extended example, but rather a series of more than eight examples.
Definition: Contrast/comparison is a method of presenting similarities and differences between or among at least two persons, places, things, ideas, etc. The contrast/comparison essay may be organized in several ways including:
- Subject by subject — Subject A is discussed in its entirety and is followed by a full discus-sion of Subject B.
- Point by point — A major point related to A is examined and is immediately followed with a corresponding point in Subject B.
- Combination — In a longer essay, the writer may employ both of the preceding strategies.
Here is an example of a passage that uses contrast/comparison from W. H. Auden's "Work, Labor, and Play."
Between labor and play stands work. A man is a worker if he is personally interested in the job which society pays him to do; and that which society views as necessary labor, is from his own point of view voluntary play. Whether a job is to be classified as labor or work depends, not on the job itself, but on the tastes of the individual who undertakes it. The difference does not, for example, co incide with the difference between a manual and a mental job; a gardener or a cobbler may be a worker; a bank clerk, a laborer. Which a man is can be seen from his attitude toward leisure. To a worker, leisure means simply the hours he needs to relax and rest in order to work efficiently. He is therefore more likely to take too little leisure than too much; workers die of coronaries and forget their wives' birthdays. To the laborer, on the other hand, leisure means freedom from compulsion, so that it is natural for him to imagine that the fewer hours he has to spend laboring, the more hours he is free to play, the better.
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