Anna sits at her desk waiting for the homeroom period to be over. She takes out her notebook and writes the date at the top of the page. Then she writes out the following journal entry:

A row of schoolroom desks with attached chairs

Source: Lunch, Wolfyy, Flickr

It’s 8:32 now. We’re supposed to be quiet for the announcements, but everyone is talking about all sorts of different topics. No one is paying attention. It’s hard to get people to listen when they are more interested in their own topics.

Ahmad looks over at her. Wanting to impress her, he also makes a journal entry:

The hands of the clock click to 8:32, telling us all to be quiet and listen to the announcements. No one pays any attention. They all just keep on talking, about last night’s date, today’s homework, next Friday’s game, Bianca’s new tattoo, the baby squirrels in the tree outside the classroom, a new YouTube of a dog dancing with a cat to an old disco classic, Nick’s new Jordans. The announcements are like a trainer at a kennel saying to all the puppies playing in the yard, “Sit!”

When he finishes, he looks at Anna and smiles. He asks to see what she has written. She smiles back and says, “Yes, Ahmad, if I can see what you wrote.”

They exchange journals. Ahmad looks up from Anna’s entry and says, “We wrote exactly the same thing! Isn’t that amazing!”

Anna, who is not such a great writer, but is still a very smart cookie says, “No, Ahmad. What I wrote is just information. What you wrote expresses information in language that creates imagery to evoke sensory perception. In other words, your writing has an aesthetic effect on me: it’s beautiful!”

They hand back the journals. Anna wipes a tear of aesthetic appreciation from her eye. Ahmad says, “I don’t know what to say. I guess I’m just an aesthetic type of guy.”

In this lesson, you are going to learn to be like Anna. You are going to learn to comment on writing composed by writers who are aesthetic types, writers who use language to bring images to our minds as we read. After completing this lesson, you should be able to write an essay that analyzes an author’s use of stylistic or rhetorical devices.