Authors will purposefully add or neglect punctuation in forming the syntax of their sentences in order to create a desired effect. How is that effect different than if the author wrote everything out explicitly? Does it indicate an interruption or a clarification?
Be on the lookout for whenever there is a form of punctuation other than a period or a comma. How could it have structured differently and why did the author make that specific choice of punctuation?
In a passage look for how an author uses syntax to push forward a particular meaning of the text.
Graders on the AP English Literature exam typically award higher scores to those test takers who delve into the deeper, more complex meanings of a piece of literature.
In fact, most of the most quoted lines of books are the first or the last.
They’re important, because they tell us what’s important. They guide us in the direction the author wants to lead us.
See if there are any patterns in how an author starts sentences or ends them.
Have you ever heard the saying you need to know the rules to break them?
While we learn proper punctuation and grammar throughout school and lose points for erring from the dictated path, the opposite is often true of great pieces of literature.
Repetition can build up a feeling of anger or lust or passion.
An abrupt change in syntax, say from long sentences to one short one, can show confusion or betrayal.