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Herein lies a poorly written essay with marginal and hypertext glosses. I hope that you may find the format amusing; the entire document useful.
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Many literary critics are partial to essay titles with colons. They employ a catchy initial title followed by a more informative subtitle.

Notice that the final punctuation comes within the quotation marks that emphasize "lifelike," not outside. Periods and commas are formatted in this way; formatting around question marks and exclamation points depends on whether the point is part of the original quotation. The following does not conform to American usage: "lifelike".



Semi-colons are grammatical equal signs. What goes on one side of a semi-colon must be grammatically equal to what goes on the other side. Typically they join two independent clauses. To the right see incorrect usage: a semi-colon is trying to join an independent clause and a phrase.

So many words; so little said. This paragraph asserts many things in perhaps a loosely coherent way, but there is too much here for one paragraph. Focus your ideas around an aspect of the literary work you wish to explain or discuss. Don't tell your readers what happens, show them! Provide logical, in-depth explanations.


This paragraph is not too bad. It has some good ideas about narrative theory and ties them with Boswell's work. It should be followed by a clear explication of these ideas with examples drawn from various texts to make specific points.




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Capturing Life in Print:
James Boswell´s Verisimilitude


In his biographies of Samuel Johnson--Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785) and The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791)--James Boswell has presented a portrait of Samuel Johnson that contemporary audiences found compellingly realistic and that modern audiences continue to find "lifelike." I propose in this current study to study the narrative structure of Boswell's work, examining the elements of story and discourse that make up his his florid yet mild, his outdated but effective, in short, his successful technique. In a careful, comparitive analysis of several works, fiction and non-fictional, I will search for the elusive ingredient that makes Boswell's work "real." The works to be discussed including three by Boswell and one by Henry Fielding.

Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785);
The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. (1791);
The London Journal: 1762-63 (1950);

Joseph Andrews, by Henry Fielding (1742).

These four works present a serviceable cross-section of fiction vs. non-fiction; biography for an audience vs. autobiography for self.Joseph Andrews is a work that contains enjoyable plotting, edifying moralizing, plenty of raucus fun, some chilling moments pus some less chilling, and characters who are round but static, and characters who are round and dynamic. It also makes use of a witty, overt narrator. All of these aspects of narrative detail dovetail well with aspects of narrative used by Boswell. In the Tour and the Life, there is episodic potting, which can be usefully contrasted with Fielding's work; there is much moralizing (centering around the sayings of Samuel Johnson); and there is certainly round characters. Whether these characters are presented dynamically or statically will be one of the foci of this study. Boswell, of course, is the overt narrator. His view of Johnson is almost always palpable, serving as the lens through which we seed and understand Johnson. I am concerned to view differences between Fielding's fictional novel and Boswell's non-fiction biographies. I am interested to discover whether events dominate the fictional while existents (specifically characters) dominate biography. One might guess as much, but then one might guess any number of erroneous things. We must not jump to conclusions, and we won't.

Comparison between autobiographical and biographical technique a second focus of this essay. How does the autobiographical London Journal differ from Boswell's later biographical works? One might guess that Boswell's narrative voice would be most overt in autobiography. Alternatively, perhaps there is a deeper concern with audience in his biographical works. Is an implied audience more readily identifiable in Boswell's biographical works? Who is the implied audience (if any) in Boswell's autobiography?

There are different differences among the works that need to be examined. Boswell was a young man when he wrote The London Journal, he was a mature lawyer and frequently-published author by the time he wrote his biographies of Johnson. Fielding's novel, is written a generation before Boswell's first work. These details of eighteenth century liturature must be carefully considered. The overriding concern of this study; remains the difference between biography (non-fiction) and fiction.

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Works Cited

Boswell, James. Boswell's London Journal: 1762- 1763. Ed. Frederick A. Pottle. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1950.

Boswell, James. Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL.D.. Ed. Peter Levi. New York: Penguin, 1985

Boswell, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Ed. G. B. Hill, rev. L. F. Powell. 6 vols. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1934-64
Titles need to be properly formatted. Italics or bold is standard for novels or book-length works: for example, Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides.

"I propose in this current study . . . in short, his successful technique." O ho, what a wordy sentence. Don't bother to propose in this pompous, self-evident way. Simply introduce your assertions clearly and then begin to develop your ideas.

Correct the fragment to the left and then close it with a colon, which introduces the list. Format these titles by italicising and indenting.

Again, watch your formatting. Space after a period ending a sentence. And don't forget to properly format titles.




Read this paragraph carefully. It's the type that is guaranteed to lose a reader. It's repetitive. It lacks clear development. And it's very wordy. After reading it, can you summarize what it's trying to say?



Check out the final two sentences. Wow!







In general, when two words modify a noun, such as in the phrase "eighteenth-century literature" the two words are hyphenated. Consider the following examples: 1) Orange cannot eat enough eighteenth-century poetry; 2) He would prefer to have lived during the eighteenth century.

Don't miss the period link at the end of the first, correctly formatted citation.



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