Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2015
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Literary Analysis Guide

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Serviceable literary resource with examples and explanations

Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
9-12
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Pros: Examples from literature and example analysis paragraphs.

Cons: No search function and little contemporary literature.

Bottom Line: Some content and feature limitations aside, an excellent resource for AP lit.

The Literary Analysis Guide is a great tool for AP students to use as a review to prepare for the AP exam. AP lit teachers could recommend it to students for individual study or incorporate it into lessons to offer examples from literature for specific literary devices or use the model paragraphs to show students how to write a literary analysis.

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Explore literary devices and techniques for poetry, prose, rhetoric, and figures of speech. Each genre has its own wheel with spokes for different devices specific to that genre moving out of the core meaning and style. Poetry, for example, includes title, diction, syntax, meter, lines, and more, while prose includes conflict, setting, characterization, and dialogue. Each category is explained and includes sample questions to help better understand it in a piece of literature. Some include examples from literature or an annotated example.

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Classic literature doesn't need bells and whistles, and neither does this solid resource. The black-and-white, all-text interface has no audio, but it's packed with information. The breakdown of literary devices by genre looks cool and is significant, with the wheel showing how all the devices affect meaning. Students, especially those in AP lit courses, will appreciate the sample analysis and examples from literature for each device. It'd be nice to see more contemporary lit included, or at least some diversity in authors. A search feature would be helpful as well.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Black-and-white text with no images provides lots of information but little pizzazz.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Literary devices are explained, demonstrated, and analyzed through the interactive resource, but most works are older classics with little diversity.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Resource is cataloged well but has no way to search and no way to mark favorites for easy future reference.


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