Poetry Analysis – Rough Draft
The essay assignment for this week is to compose an essay of at least 750 words in which you offer your interpretation of a literary element (such as theme, imagery, symbolism, or characterization) in one of the assigned poems. You may choose any poem from our Week 1 or Week 2 poetry reading list. If you wish, you may base your paper on the analysis you began in this week’s discussion.
Tips for the Essay
Open your introduction with an engaging opener, such as a question, quote from the poem, or interesting idea. Then, connect to the poem and mention the title and the author. End your introduction with a thesis statement that interprets one literary element of the poem (such as theme, imagery, symbolism, or characterization).
The body paragraphs should support your thesis. Present specific aspects of the poem that help to illustrate your points. Make sure to quote from the poem and analyze specific lines that support your argument. Typically, body paragraphs will contain at least two short quotations each as supporting evidence.
Include a strong concluding paragraph that summarizes your main points and explains the significance of the thesis. Finish this paragraph with a strong and satisfying ending.
Use APA style for formatting the essay and for source citations. Begin with a title page and use proper font and spacing. End with a separate references page. Refer to the Week 1 lecture on avoiding plagiarism for an APA essay template and additional resources.
Important Note: Do not do any outside research for this essay. This analysis should be your own insights regarding the poem. If you need help, refer to the sample student paper shared in the lecture on themes, and contact your instructor with questions.
Peer responses are worth 20 points of this assignment’s grade, so do not miss out on this important portion of the assignment! Peer reviews are participation and must be completed by the end of Week 1. Remember that all peer responses must be posted by the end of the week to earn credit.
Peer Response Questions
By the end of the week, respond to two peers’ essays, using the following questions:
Does the introduction have an attention-getting opener? Does the introduction give the author and title of the poem? Does the introduction have a thesis statement as its final sentence? Does the thesis offer an interpretation that is clear and specific? What are your suggestions for the introduction and thesis?
Is each body paragraph organized around a key point? Do the paragraphs offer support with direct quotations from the poem? Are the quotes and examples analyzed and explained? Do you disagree with any parts of the analysis? What aspects of the poem are left unexplained? Do you have any suggestions for improving the body paragraphs?
Does the conclusion summarize the main points? Does it have a strong ending that leaves the reader satisfied? Do you have suggestions for improving the conclusion?
Alarcon, “’Mexican’ Is not a Noun”
Bradstreet, “To My Dear and Loving Husband”
Browning, “How Do I Love Thee”
Burns, “Oh, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose”
Cummings, “Buffalo Bill”
Cummings, “Next to of Course God America I”
Dunbar, “We Wear the Mask”
Halliday, “The Value of Education”
Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays”
Heaney, “Mid-Term Break”
Herrick, “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”
Jarrell, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner”
Komunyakaa, “Facing It
MacLeish, “Ars Poetica”
Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love”
Meredith, “Dreams of Suicide”
Mirikitani, “Suicide Note”
Randall, “Ballad of Birmingham”
Rich, “Living in Sin”
Robinson, “Richard Cory”
Roethke, “My Papa’s Waltz”
Shakespeare, “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds”
Shakespeare, “My Mistress’ Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun
Shakespeare, “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”
Smith, “Not Waving but Drowning”
Stevens, “Anecdote of the Jar”
Yeats, “The Second Coming”