Intro to Literary Study (2005)

14 March 2005


Well every person you can know,
And every place that you can go,
And any thing that you can show,
You know they're nouns.
A noun's a special kind of word,
It's any name you ever heard.
I find it quite interesting,
A noun's a person, place or thing.

Excerpts from "Schoolhouse Rock" taken from

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Hey, every sentence has a subject. (Noun: person, place or thing!)
Find that subject, where's the action? (Verb can make the subject zing!)
Take the subject, what is it? (What?)
What's done to it? ( What?
What does it say? ( Verb! You're what's happenin'!)
I can question like, "What is it?" ( Verb! You're so demanding!)
I can order like, "Go get it!" ( Verb! You're so commanding!)
When I hit, I need an object! ( Verb, hit! Hit the ball!)

Beyond Grammar Rock:

Active: (Subject performs the action.)
Present: The superhero hits the ball.
Future: The superhero will hit the ball.
Past: The superhero hit the ball.

Passive: (Something else acts on the subject.)
Present: The ball is hit by the superhero.
Future: The ball will be hit by the superhero.
Past: The ball was hit by the superhero.

Linking: (The only action is existing.)
Present: The superhero is strong. The ball is gone.
Future: The superhero will be strong. The ball will be gone.
Past: The superhero was strong. The ball was gone.

Excerpts from "Schoolhouse Rock" taken from

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Adjectives are words you use to really describe things,
Handy words to carry around.
Days are sunny or they're rainy
Boys are dumb or else they're brainy
Adjectives can show you which way.

Adjectives are often used to help us compare things,
To say how thin, how fat, how short, how tall.
Girls who are tall can get taller,
Boys who are small can get smaller,
Till one is the tallest
And the other's the smallest of all.

(You can even make adjectives out of the other parts of speech, like
verbs or nouns. All you have to do is tack on an ending, like "ic"
or "ish" or "ary". For example, this boy can grow up to be a huge
man, but still have a boyish face. "Boy" is a noun, but the ending
"ish" makes it an adjective. "Boyish": that describes the huge
man's face. Get it?)

Excerpts from "Schoolhouse Rock" taken from

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An adverb is a word... {That's all it is, and there's a lot of 'em!}
That modifies a verb... {Sometimes a verb! Sometimes...}
It modifies an adjective,
Or else another adverb.
And so you see that it's positively, very, very, necessary.


Use it with an adjective, it says much more.
Anything described can be described some more.
Anything you'd ever need is in the store,
And so you choose very carefully
Every word you use.

Use it with a verb it tells us how you did.
Where it happened, where you're going, where you've been.
Use it with another adverb at the end, and even more...
How, where, or when, condition or reason...
These questions are answered
When you use an adverb.

Beyond Schoolhouse Rock: Donít overuse adverbs.

I examine.
I carefully examine.
I very carefully examine.
I thoroughly examine.
I scrutinize. (Find the right verb -- donít layer on the adverbs.)

The desk was big.
The desk was very big.
The desk was damn big.
The desk was high. (More informative, but still not precise.)
The desk was too high. (How high? Too high.)
The desk was 45 inches high. (Precise, but not informative.)
At 45 inches, the desk was 33% higher than the industry standard.

Excerpts from "Schoolhouse Rock" taken from

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Seeking some help (simplifying Trackbacks... maybe)

Can you help me out?

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Grammar Review

A little bit of what you didn't get in "grammar school".

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Ex 1-6: Tempest Critical Essay

(Delayed from 04 Mar.)

Present the finished version of the literary research essay you started in Ex 1-5. (3-4 pages, not including the works cited list.)

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Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves 2


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