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Poetry Analysis Paper Assignment


2Your thesis and paper, however, does need to have elements that can becritically explored, examined, and/or researched, and you can definitelysay which element of the poem or poem as a whole is better, butremember you have to say


. That is the persuasive part. See Blakeexample in number 5 that is representative of a comparison/contrast modewith a persuasive element.5.


 Although you are comparing and contrasting, your thesisand your introduction should not directly address the actual mode of comparison and contrast. That is, you should not say something like this:“This paper will compare and contrast William Blake’s two poems, bothentitled ‘Chimney Sweeper.’” Instead, you should be more subtle and usetransition words

to set up your comparisons and contrasts. Seeherefor alist of comparison/contrast transitions words


A good example of a thesismight be as follows: Although William Blake's two poems "Chimney Sweeper" share the sametitle and discuss the theme of child labor, the "Chimney Sweeper" poemappearing in Blake's

Songs of Innocence

adopts a more hopeful or cheerful tone, possesses a greater number of stanzas, and uses a deeper level of symbolism in presenting its theme than "Chimney Sweeper" foundin Blake's

Songs of Experience



This paper should be written as if addressing educatedindividuals ages 16-60. You should assume the reader has read thepoems, so you should only have to give a very brief synopsis, if any, in theintroduction. Your diction should be sophisticated; however, that does notmean that you


several words, but it does mean thatslang/biased language/informal language should be avoided. Read moreabout dictionhere. You should ONLY write in the third-person point of view. Your paper should not contain any pronouns, such as

I, me, my,you, your, we, us,



If unsure of point of view and pronouns, seehere.7.

Research and Citation.

You are to have at least


sources (besidesthe textbook) cited in your paper, using MLA style. That includes in-textcitations (AKA the stuff in parenthesis) and the

Works Cited 

page (AKAthe stuff that goes at the end of the paper on a separate sheet of paper).SeeMLAfor more details. These sources need to come from SPC'sLibrary Online databases only. Please use theresearch guideand lookunder the Literary-Related resources column.Suggestions would be to use

Poetry for Students

(search at left) to findone source and

Literature Resource Center from Gale (LRC)

to findanother. While using these sources, don't forget to retrieve the MLAcitation from the database, using the

Citation Tools

link. Note:

Poetry for 


A. Jacobs F17

Poetry Analysis Essay Assignment

Introduction One of the most important skills a burgeoning college-level writer must accomplish is the art of analysis. Being able to understand the nature of a written work--what, how, why, and when--is important to developing critical thinking and critical writing sk 

ills. Now that you’ve completed a genre unit, it’s time

to put your analysis skills to the test. Every genre essay you write, including the critical approach essay, is designed to help you, not only analyze, but to practice the writing process, with a special emphasis on

revision. Each essay is one small step closer to creating the final portfolio, where you’ll be given the

chance to make revisions and make each essay stronger. Essay Parameters As a reminder, here are the poems you can analyze for this assignment:

“[I wandered lonely as a cloud]”

--William Wordsworth

“On Being Brought from Africa to America”

--Phillis Wheatley

“[I celebrate myself, and sing myself]”

--Walt Whitman

“Ballad of the Landlord”

--Langston Hughes

“I, Too”

--Langston Hughes

“We Real Cool”

--Gwendolyn Brooks


--Rita Dove

“Dover Beach”

-- Matthew Arnold

“Litany at the Tomb of Frederick Douglass”

--Martin Espada

“Leaving the Motel”

--W. D. Snodgrass


--Paul Laurence Dunbar

“[Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone]”

-- W. H. Auden

“Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”

-- Adrienne Rich

“On Writing”

--Adrienne Su


--Pat Mora

“Blackberry Eating”

-- Galway Kinnell

“Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night”

-- Dylan Thomas

“Still I Rise”

-- Maya Angelou (Blackboard) Here are the elements you can use to analyze your selected story:

Speaker (p. 509)

Situation (p. 525)

Setting (p. 530)

Tone (p. 546)

Theme (p. 548) or Theme and Conflict (p. 552)

Structure (p. 633-659) Essay Prompts

Option 1: Select one of the poems above and analyze it using two elements above, making sure that the elements relate in some way.

Option 2: Select two poems above and analyze them using one element that is related to both in some way.