Analyze poem essay

 

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In this third essay, you are being asked analyze a poem from our textbook. You may choose to write about a poem that you were assigned to read, or you can choose any other poem from our textbook. 

Tip for choosing a poem: the more popular a poem/poet is, the more likely you are to find multiple good literary criticisms about that poem on the online database.

Once you’ve chosen a poem to analyze in your Paper 3, decide which elements from the poem you’d like to discuss in your paper. Consider choosing two or three of the following elements: speaker, conflict, word choice, tone, figures of speech, biography of the poet.
Create a thesis statement addressing the elements of the poem you’ll be analyzing. Below is a sample thesis:

By examining the life of poet Langston Hughes, one can better analyze the imagery found in his famous poem, Harlem.

Once you’ve written your thesis statement, you’ll want to organize your essay according to the literary elements you’ve decided to analyze. Below is a sample outline of how you might want to organize your paper:

I. Intro: includes thesis statement, poem title, poet’s name
II. Poet’s bio: gives background on the poet’s life and inspirations
III. Imagery: uses details from the poem to express the poem’s theme or subject
IV. Conclusion: restates the purpose of paper 

After you’ve selected a poem and decided which elements of that poem you’d like to analyze, it’s time to do some research! Head over to the UA – PTC online database (just like you did for Paper 2) and find an article that focuses on your chosen poem (see Lecture notes for Unit Seven: Finding outside sources). 

Citing your poetry analysis: 

Per usual: EVERY DIRECT QUOTE (from your poem or from your outside source) MUST BE CORRECTLY DOCUMENTED WITH QUOTATION MARKS AND A PARENTHETICAL CITATION. 

To cite a line (or more) or poetry within your essay, remember to cite the LINE NUMBER as opposed to the page number. See my example below. 

Hughes begins his poem Harlem by asking his readers, “What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up/ Like a raisin in the sun?” (ll. 1-3). 

Within my citation, notice I’ve included “ll.” — two lowercase Ls — that mean “lines.”

Also remember: your Works Cited page should be on a separate page at the end of your paper, and it should include citations for both your primary source (the poem) and your outside source (the article). 

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