Syntax Practice 24/1/2022

  1. Analyse the writers’ use of passive verb construction and repetition in the following examples (italics mine):

a. We are made kind by being kind.
Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, 77

b. They sailed and trailed and flew and raced and crawled and walked and were carried, finally, home.
John Knowles, Indian Summer, 4

a. Repetition is used to achieve sentence focus. Usually, in short sentences writers tend to use key words to imply a certain idea. In this case the writer is repeating the use of the word "kind". It adds to the power of persuasion, and this sentence is arguable and people could have different perspectives of kindness; however, with the use of repetition the writer is persuading the reader to agree with this statement.

b. Passive verb construction tends to not have a clear subject which is paired with the verbs, in this case "they" would be the subject, but it is not emphasised who they are. They could be sailors, pilots, soldiers etc.. It creates space for the reader to create their own understanding of the sentence, this is called syntactical closure.


  1. Analyse the speaker’s use of parallelism and sentence length in the following example:

a. All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961

a. Parallelism is a technique which aims to balance the sentences written, this leads us to think that they are of equal importance. Sentence is fairly equal throughout the example; however, the last sentence is a short sentence. More importantly, the short sentence is put after a long sentence. This is relevant because it shifts the reader's attention but what is interesting about this sentence we do not know the subject, so when Kennedy said this we did not know what he was implying just that we have to begin now or it will never end, which is what is being said in the final sentence.

  1. Find an online advertisement containing visuals and 2-5 sentences. Copy the copy (see definition #3 here) to your blog and add a hyperlink to the full advertisement. Answer the following guiding question in 300 - 500 words:

How is syntax used to persuade the reader?

** The power of syntax is usually looked over when analysing language and literature, we usually turn to what we are comfortable with such as diction and tone. Syntax is the study of the way words are arranged and how this affects the reader. It affects us without noticing, the most noticeable technique is the use of a short sentence. This raises awareness in the reader’s mind that whatever has been said achieves focus and has importance. It is the most effective way to grab a reader’s attention and persuade them to agree with what the writer is trying to say. The power of persuasion is most famously used in repetition, when we hear a word said repeatedly, we assume that it is of some importance. “You”, when we read the pronoun once we do not assume that they are directly targeting us, but when we read it repeatedly we directly assume that the reader is trying to convey a message through targeting us repeatedly. This technique is usually used on an advertisement when they want you to donate, they target you many times when describing how we can help. This persuades the reader into thinking that change is in their hand. Punctuation plays a very big role in persuasion as well. Semicolons, colons, dashes etc… One connects two sentences of equal importance together; one directs the reader’s attention to the words that follow; one changes the tone of the writing. The easiest form of persuasion from these three would be the colon, this is because it is the clearest. A colon sets the expectation that closely and important information will follow. Overall, syntax is a very fluid technique that can be bent in any way a writer wants to bend it to persuade the reader.**

Grade 12 Experience

  • How do you feel about leaving and next year?

Is AIS really my comfort zone, or have I not yet found my new place of comfort? All the memories made, all the friends I’ve made - these will never be forgotten. Starting fresh seems very delightful yet terrifying, but it will force me to grow and learn new things about myself. Will this time alone lead me to try things I have never thought about doing before?

Being surrounded by people who have the same interests as me sounds very enjoyable, but surrounding myself with people who have others interests will also broaden my way of thinking.

High school has taught me many things about myself, such as the people I want to surround myself with, the subjects that interest me.

It is a very small step into making myself the person I want to be, but it is very crucial since this is where we learn the fundamentals of our personalities. These will not only grow but change as we make new experiences and I think that is what frightens me the most but also excites me the most.

Change is always good; especially, when you have chosen the journey you want to go on.

The God of Carnage (Ideas)

  1. I found it very interesting how they kept changing who's side they are on. For example page 62 when Annette and Veronique start arguing again about who's guilty,

    Veronique says: "Fuck off! I've had quite enough of you."

There was a change in tone between their relationship because on page 57 they were both laughing at Alain because of his phone which shows that they are getting alone. This scenario happens a lot throughout the play, but interestingly the only relationship that is rocky is Veronique's and Michel's. After a few scenes they start showing the nature of their relationship. However, they were already arguing at the beginning of the play.

  1. Throughout the play the true nature of Veronique and Michel's marriage is revealed. Michel explains how terrible married life is on page 49:

    "Children consume and fracture our lives. Children drag us towards

    disaster, it's unavoidable."

When we first read the description of the setting, we immediately think that they both have perfect lives and that they are both very happy.

Opinion Piece on Peter Boghissian's Letter of Resignation

When I first read the letter I was stunned. All the allegations that this man faced to the point where they got his wife and children involved. But the most shocking part about this letter was to find out who complained about this professor, it was the students. Our generation is known to be accepting and free minded. However, in this letter he is accusing them of calling him out just because he wants to do his job.

Boghissian humiliated the university board, which in my opinion is his right. He teaches pseudoscience and the philosophy of education, he is meant to introduce different perspectives of a topic even if he does not agree with them. This allows his students to think more critically because they know more than one side of a theory. The university is just trying to shelter the students of this university, which I find is absurd.

The students are 18-22 years old or older, they made the decision to take this course and looked at the syllabus. They have the option to change majors which suits them better, instead they are taking part of an "operation" that discourages different points of views and does not allow us to ask important questions. This also takes away the chance for students who have a passion to hear other people's opinions and ask these kinds of questions.

Paper 1 Practice Exercises

Page 59 from Voice Lessons

In the midst of poverty and want, Felix carried with pleasure to his sister the first little white flower that peeped out from beneath the snowy ground.

  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
  1. His character comes off as a kind and caring person, especially when the author uses the words: "pleasure". He comes off as a simplistic person and that he finds the joy in the small things in life and cherishes them.

  2. It would contradict the statement made before: "In the midst of poverty and want".


Page 64 from Voice Lessons

The rainy night had ushered in a misty morning - half frost, half drizzle - and temporary brooks crossed our path, gurgling from the uplands.

- Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

  1. The author uses visual elements to describe the environment that the place is set in. For example: "misty" creates an environment of vagueness and blur which entails that the day will become a mystery. Other words such as "frost" and "drizzle" create a cold environment.

She also uses auditory elements to catch the reader's attention. The words: "gurgling", "drizzle" and "ushered" are used to invoke a more vivid image of the scenario which draws the reader's attention to smaller details.

  1. The words "rain", "mist" and "frost" are usually associated with sadness and darkness. It would feel more lively and bright if the author used the words "brilliant" and "sunny morning".

What Interested Me This Summer?

All the hurt, disappointment, sadness. It was all covered up by going out and fake smiles. Everybody would always complain about the country’s economy but would not do anything to help it. They always complain about the situation and then say: “I love this country more than anything, I want to live here till I die.” Even though they have the option to go live a better life somewhere else.

I was very shocked by everyone’s attitude towards the situation, they would complain that there was no money available in the country but then proceeded to go out every single night, for dinners, drinks etc…

It really showed me the true nature of the people living there, there whole life revolved around being with other people and enjoying life no matter the circumstance. That is what was very beautiful, that no matter how terrible things can get, Lebanese people would always find the good aspects of life and appreciate them. What interested me the most was people’s passion towards the country. Certainly the costs out way the advantages but they still respect it as much as ever, which I will never understand. I did not live in Lebanon to experience what all my friends and family who still live there did and every time I ask them if they had a choice to leave, they would tell me that they would not take it. I was very shocked when I first heard this but then I realised how amazing it was as a country and how it kept people happy. Even though the people running it are not the most competent the country still manages to keep many people happy and me included.

Every time I would go out at night, I would notice how many people still go out and I would ask my friends who do not live there anymore what they thought about it and they also found it very interesting.

Overall, I think this experience really shocked me but also made me see Lebanon from a different point of view and appreciate it a lot more even though it has its troubles. It's people will always love and appreciate it no matter the circumstances and I find that very touching.