America by Neil Diamond

American Dream Song Choices:
Level 1: "American Dream" by Switchfoot
Level 2: "The River" by Bruce Springsteen
Level 3:"Sam's Town" by The Killers

Mini-Commentary Practice
DIRECTIONS: Reread your chosen lyrics and think about the TONE that the songwriter creates in each individual scene. Write a mini-commentary which focuses on how the writer creates tone and ultimately theme. Refer to the checklist below. Also, think about plot vs. analysis and use strong, purposeful word choice.
  1. Include a topic sentence—no need for a formal intro paragraph.
  2. Structure your commentary logically—by idea, chronological, from negative to positive, etc…but NOT BY DEVICE!
  3. No "This song/quote. . ." but rather embed quoted material naturally within your analysis.
  4. Mention specific literary devices naturally within your analysis, but don't spend time defining them.
  5. Analysis does not mean that you are proving WHY something is personification or a simile, ect, but rather how these literary techniques create a structure that allows for THEME.
  6. Analysis should lead ultimately to a THEME statement—this should appear early, so pre-planning is crucial.
  7. Use present tense in analysis unless referring to something earlier in plot/history.
  8. Use 3rd person and formal voice
  9. Conclude your paragraph in some way.
  10. BY ALL MEANS, PROOFREAD CARELESS MISTAKES IN GENERAL.

Ms. Wrede's sample

LITERARY CHIT CHAT