Writing Piece: Task 3 English Regents Essay

Here are the notes on how to write the Task 3 Essay for the New York State English Regents Exam.

Directions: Closely read the text provided and write a well-developed, text based response of two to three paragraphs. In your response, identify the central idea of the author and analyze how the author’s use of one writing strategy (literary element or literary technique or rhetorical device) advances this idea. Use strong and thorough evidence from the text to support your analysis. Do not simply summarize the text.

Readings we will use:

Read Stupid Stupid on page 130 of Speak.

FDR Pearl Harbor Speech

MLK Jr’s I Have a Dream Speech

Common Literary Devices to Look For

  • Non Fiction: Ethos, Logos, Pathos, Tone
  • Fiction: Setting, Characterization, Narrator’s Point of View, Sensory Imagery

Central Idea is very similar to main idea, main point, the lesson the author wants readers to learn, the theme.

My advice: look for a literary device first, then ask yourself why the author used it. What point is he/she trying to make by using this literary device. That will often lead you to the author’s main idea/central idea/lesson.

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