Now it’s time to use a step-by-step process to help you revise an essay of your own. You will do the highlighting this time, and then you will write a revision.

Download the graphic organizer and print this file. When you are finished, return to the lesson and follow the instructions below.

Read the essay “Pebunny, Shorty, Free Tail, and the Egg Man” in the printed version of the graphic organizer. Then, highlight all the diction that indicates tone and all the figurative language. Use a blue highlighter for diction and a yellow highlighter for figurative language. When you are finished, check your understanding to see the text you should have highlighted. Graphic Organizer Instructions

Check Your Understanding
Sample Responses:

Text you should have highlighted blue as examples of diction:
“sweetie names”
Sweet Pete
sweetie names
insult names
then on
going with
That’s all I’ll say
confused with “sweetie”
I’ve ever had
let things work out the way they naturally work out
lots of names to go

Text you should have highlighted yellow as examples of figurative language:
stick with you
fall away
have control
badges of friendship
brands of humiliation
death blow
get on board
like the military


Now, let’s imagine you get this essay back from a teacher with a comment suggesting that you revise the essay so it has a more formal tone. You have already marked diction and examples of figures of speech that indicate tone; now you can use the marked words and phrases to revise the essay’s tone. Go through the essay and change at least half of the highlighted diction and half of the highlighted figures of speech so that they contribute to a more formal tone for the essay. Rewrite the essay on the computer or on paper. When you are finished, read the sample response below.

Click on the bold revisions to diction or figurative language for a comment on how the revision is an improvement on the previous draft.

icon for an interactive exercise

Remember: As a writer, you have an implicit obligation to use diction and figures of speech that indicate the tone you want your readers to “hear” in your writing.

To put it another way, don’t let your readers be bugged by the tone of your diction or your figures of speech. LOL.