St. = strengthen

Tr. = transition

Awk. = awkward

Rep. = repetitive

IT. = italicize

     = strong diction

Sample 1: Developing the significance of quotes:

Your analysis should be rooted in the language

Suspense is a key element used to entice readers and viewers of the Sherlock Holmes series. Not knowing what’s going to happen next keeps the reader at the edge of their seat. This is especially evident in detective fiction, since the mystery is typically solved during a suspense scene. For example, in “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, Sherlock and Watson are waiting in a bedroom within the mansion of Dr. Roylott of Stoke Moran to find out the purpose of the low whistle at night: “I could not hear a sound, not even the drawing of a breath, and yet I knew that my companion sat open-eyed, within a few feet of me, in the same state of nervous tension in which I was myself” (“Band” 10). This is where the suspense builds in a direct and steep incline towards that climax. The reader feels the suspense from terms like ‘not even drawing a breath’ and ‘nervous tension’. Little details and phrases such as these stretch the tension in the plot out until the very culminating scene of the climax. In the “Adventures of the Speckled Band”, after Sherlock and Watson settle down in the dangerous bedroom, the two detectives hear a sound. Sherlock reacts instantly: “He sprang from the bed, struck a match, and lashed furiously with his cane at the bell-pull. ‘You see it, Watson?’ he yelled. ‘You see it?’” (“Band” 10). Here, the suspense is even more intense. By saying he ‘sprang’, Doyle is using connotation to make the actions sound more urgent. Then, the term ‘lashed furiously with his cane’ helps to add to the suspense. The term ‘lashed furiously’ is very suspenseful. The way Sherlock said ‘You see it, Watson?’, the reader can’t wait to know what ‘it’ is. Therefore, suspense in Sherlock Holmes is a key element to the appeal of the genre.

--Jake Lawrence

Sample 2: Connecting the quote to the topic (appeal)

Another element that engages readers to read Sherlock novels is the odd relationship between Holmes and Watson. Fans find their peculiar relationship hilarious and entertaining. In The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock and Watson argue with each other. While disputing, Sherlock fears for their friendship and desperately tries to persuade Watson to continue being his companion by saying, “I don’t have friends. I’ve just got one,” and John comically replies, “Right.” As Watson confidently strides away from Sherlock, Holmes follows him and hysterically shouts, “John! You are amazing! You are fantastic!” (BBC). People enjoy the comical relations between Sherlock and Watson similar to this example. They find it humorous that Watson is kind and selfless, and Sherlock is extremely egocentric, yet the two are such great friends. It is also amusing to watch their frequent arguments, as they are immensely angered, but always remember that they need one another and become overly frantic to make up. Fans call their friendship a “bromance”, as, despite their differences, they often seem desperate to continue their relationship. Overall, the strange relationship between Sherlock and Watson is appealing because it is humorous.

--Lauren Clar

Sample 3: Connecting all the evidence to the same appeal

One particular element that the audience enjoys is the humor weaved into each Sherlock adventure. Throughout the popular The Hound of the Baskervilles, “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, and the BBC show Sherlock, humor is inserted into the series in a number of different ways. One example can be found in the beginning of The Hound of the Baskervilles, when Sherlock critiques Watson’s observation skills, describing Watson as “not [himself] luminous,” but still “a conductor of light” (Doyle 3). This is a memorable and hilarious scene, especially since Watson takes Sherlock’s words as compliments when in fact Sherlock meant them to be an indirect insult. Humor is also used in “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, when an unknown figure appears and frightens Sherlock and Watson. However, this turns out to just be a baboon. Another example is shown in BBC’s Sherlock, when Henry Knight tells Sherlock of his story, and Sherlock cuts him off by saying, “Yes, if I wanted poetry, I'd read John's emails to his girlfriends. Much funnier” (BBC). Sherlock subtly insulting Watson, a mere baboon scaring the most iconic characters of detective fiction, and Sherlock’s sarcasm all contribute to the series’s humor. This constant appearance of comic relief and playful jokes makes the audience laugh a little instead of being so focused on the gruesome crime. In Sherlock’s dark and mysterious stories, light always seems to come through in the form of humorous scenes and chuckling faces, appealing to the audience and reminding them that it’s okay to laugh a little even in serious situations.

--Amy Chen

Sample 4: Strong, clear evidence and strong syntax and diction

Possibly the most captivating element of the Sherlock Holmes books and movies is the amusing characterizations of Holmes and Watson. Between the original stories and the movies, the natures of characters is doubtlessly among the most prominent changes. It is a change great enough to capture the attention of audience expecting a somewhat different character, but similar enough to retain the classic feel of Doyle’s initial works. In the stories and books alike, Sherlock Holmes was portrayed as an extremely observant and intelligent man with a hint of lovable arrogance, and Watson as the ordinary but revering helper of the great detective. In BBC’s TV adaptation The Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock is depicted as much more arrogant and Watson far more intelligent that in Doyle’s original books. In addition, although in the BBC movie The Hounds of Baskerville and the original book The Hound of the Baskervilles there are contrasting Sherlock and Watson characters, those different attributes allow the detective and his companion to cooperate and achieve great success. An example of different protagonist attributes playing a role in cooperation is shown in the scene where a client rings the doorbell to Sherlock and Watson’s apartment. Watsons simply exclaims a simple fact, “single ring”. Sherlock analyzes further than Watson and asserts excitedly, “maximum pressure just under the half-second”. Despite their different approaches to the situation, they simultaneously deduce the same conclusion, “client” (BBC). As much as the characters’ attributes in the movies and books vary, somehow the protagonists work together and the ultimate goals are always achieved: the criminal dead or imprisoned, the crime solved, and the audience satisfied. It is even possible that the contrasting natures of characters appeal directly to the audience; the lovable arrogance and intelligence of Sherlock complimented by the ordinary but reverent Watson greatly enhances the plots of Sherlock Holmes literature. Therefore, the varying personalities of characters are an important aspect of the Sherlock Holmes books and movies continuing to appeal to audiences.