School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Clarifications: Each clarification provides an explanation of an indicator/objective to help teachers better understand the skills and/or concepts.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 5. Analyze purposeful use of language


To show proficiency of the skills stated in this indicator, a reader will be able to identify, explain, and analyze an author's use of language, specific words or phrases that contribute to the meaning of a text or to the creation of an author's style. Author's style is the way an author uses language to express his/her thoughts. This may include word choice and figurative language. These words are purposeful and give clues to readers about the meaning and tone of a text or portion of a text. Used in conjunction with other text elements, the author's use of language assists readers in constructing meaning.

To identify, explain and analyze specific words or phrases, a reader must distinguish among the different types of word choices in texts or portions of texts. Word choice can make a point, set a tone, or reveal an author's style. By recognizing the different types of word choices, clarifying their purpose, and examining their implications, readers are better able to construct meaning from text.

Significant Words
words that are necessary to a reader's understanding of a text
Figurative Language
language that relays a meaning beyond a literal meaning

Simile: stated comparison of two things that have some quality in common using the words like or as

Metaphor: stated comparison of two things that have some quality in common not using the words like or as

Personification: stating that an inanimate object has lifelike characteristics

phrase/expressions whose meaning cannot be understood from the literal meaning of the words in it Hold your tongue is an English idiom meaning keep quiet.
familiar, informal, everyday talk Movies is an informal term for the more formal term cinema.
idea or feeling associated with a word in addition to its literal meaning
Technical or Content Vocabulary
words that are specific to an area of study
literal, dictionary meaning of a word
Discernible Word Style
words associated with persuasive, formal, or informal writing

To identify, explain, and analyze language that creates tone a reader must first know that tone expresses the author's attitude toward his or her subject. The language, punctuation, and details a writer chooses help create the tone which could be serious, playful, angry, sad, etc… In addition to specific word choices the inclusion of specific punctuation helps relay an author's attitude. A reader identifies words or phrases in a text that, in conjunction with the content of the text, signal the author's attitude toward the subject of that text. Once those words have been identified, a reader can tell how those words create a specific tone. Ultimately a reader can examine the specific words an author uses to create a specific tone. A critical reader examines word choice, punctuation, and content to determine if a particular tone is appropriate to a subject. For example, in an editorial that addresses the aftermath of a natural disaster, the tone would be serious or thoughtful.

To identify, explain, and analyze the effects of repetition in a text, a reader becomes aware of the repeated use of words and phrases in a text. A critical reader notes the portion of a text where repetition occurs and determines why an author draws attention to and what is important about that portion of text. An author may slightly change the repeated words and phrases to draw continued emphasis to the ideas in that portion of text. Finally, a critical reader uses repetition or altered repetition to focus on those ideas that help a reader construct meaning of an entire text.