So, I'm in AP English Language, and we're going through the Norton Reader (11th edition). We have to analyze the text for different rhetorical strategies and syntactical patterns and we also discuss the content. Now, I'm not to good at this, so would anyone care to help me?
By the fact that you are in an Advanced Placement course, it would seem that you must have demonstrated an understanding of such literary strategies/devices such as characterization, narrators, and themes. Now, perhaps you need to reexamine the genres of satire, parody, rhetoric, and other more subtle writings. One way to do this is to research the authors of works of this kind and learn what issues they felt needed satirizing or arguing. [And, use the sites suggested above.]
Other rhetorical devices are imagery, metaphor, and symbolism, hyperbole--ones often present in poetry--flashback, foreshadowing, analogy, parallelism, and repetition of words.
Look again at the definitions of these literary terms and try to apply them to the texts. Trust your intuitive powers as you do this; sometimes trying to analyze a work of literature logically works against a person's understanding. (After reading a work, write first responses, for these are usually the intuitive ones.)
Sounds like you need more practice in close reading strategies. I've included a few links here for you to visit and get the hang of it. One of them is called the SOAPStone method. It stands for Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, and Tone. http://teacherweb.com/fl/venicehighschool/margaretparrett/SOAPSToneReadingStrategy.doc
There are other reading strategies located at apcentral.collegeboard.com to help you out. The more you practice looking beneath the surface of a piece, the better you will get. There is always a reason for strange spacing on the page, punctuation like italics, boldface, or other seemingly out of place attention-getters. You might also try reading Foster's How To Read Literature Like a Professor.
You'll need to be a little more specific. Are you reading the whole reader or working on specific structures right now? If you could specify which work you are currently analyzing, that will be more helpful.
One tip--you really need to know your sentence structure and rhetorical strategies well before you can begin proper analysis. I practice with my students by presenting them with 2-3 line quotes which they analyze for various strategies (zeugma, polysyndeton, etc.), and then for sentence structure. This helps them be able to identify and analyze authors' syntax and strategies more effectively when they get to longer pieces.
Well, we're going to be working through the whole thing throughout the year-we just did sonia charris and tight jeans, and more room