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Taking your first steps into higher education
Taking your first steps into higher education

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4.2 Techniques

You are encountering some of the specific techniques used in texts from poetry and the visual arts as you study this course. But the following general points should be considered:

It is important, as far as possible, to try to describe the effects that these techniques achieve as you identify them. For example, one technique commonly used in poetry is rhyme. In the sonnet, the rhyming of ‘height’ and ‘sight’ (line ends 2 and 3), seems significant – but why? In your study of poetry, other techniques will quickly become apparent to you. If you identify a technique such as rhyme, it may not be immediately clear what effects this technique can create. You can always come back to this point, so simply note the technique used and where in the text it is found, and move on. Can you see that one effect of the rhyming words is to draw attention to these words and thus emphasise them? One might argue that this use of rhyme makes the poem as a whole more striking, and perhaps more memorable.

As you read and reread a text, stay on the lookout for the techniques used in it. It will probably take several readings of a longer text for all the techniques to become apparent.