Children's Lit vs. Adult Literature

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As a future elementary teacher, comparing different levels of literature seemed like a very interesting and applicable exercise for myself. I thought that looking at the differences in grammatical structure and sentence complexity in different levels of literature would be a fairly simple task, that the different levels of literature would supply very different sentences. In hopes of still having a similar writing style, I chose books from the same genre though they are on different reading levels. As a child I enjoyed mystery novels such as Nancy Drew and the Secret of Red Gate Farm, and now that I am older I enjoy Agatha Christie novels such as And Then There Were None. By choosing books that I enjoy, I was able to make this project even more applicable by spanning my own reading lifetime while still allowing myself to treat this project as a test of differences in the different levels of literature. In order to make certain that passages differed, I chose a climatic passage in each work so that I could see how differently a more advanced literary work held and composed climatic elements. Though I expected the differences in grammatical structure and, thus, sentence complexity to be much different and easily distinguishable for their reading level, my original thoughts did not prove to be entirely correct. Even my expectations for proper grammatical construction in both works of literature were mistaken. Instead of finding more advanced sentence complexity and grammatical structure in Agatha Christie’s work than in the Nancy Drew book, I found the sentence complexity to be rather similar. In fact, the passage from Nancy Drew held and larger number of complex and compound sentences than the passage from Agatha Chri... ... middle of paper ... ...per sentences full of descriptive language in the literature for older readers that easily put some of the apparent descriptive sentences in the early literature to shame. Still, I feel that what I did find is not enough to form a complete basis for the reason that more advanced literature is assumed to be and even seems to truly be more complex and fuller because the complexity of sentence structure was relatively the same in the end. Yet, at the same time, there is growth to be seen from one level to the next in simple the amount of descriptive words and grammatical liberties taken which can be seen in the diagramming of the different passages. This growth which provides a difference helps me to see how readers grow as they travel through literature levels, adjusting to more words and more liberties as they become more confident in their own abilities as well.

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