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For this assignment, you’ll be asked to select a poem to analyze and write a clear, well-organized essay outlining the various elements the poet uses in order to establish a theme. You should clearly state what you believe that theme to be, and discuss how the theme is developed by means of the literary devices we discussed in class. (See yournotes!)Your thesis statement might look something like this:“The poem __________ by _______ develops the theme of _______ by means of literary devices including ______, ______, and ______.”or, to be more specific…Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” develops the themes of misery and melancholy by means of devices including symbolism, repetition, and allusion.Your essay must meet the following formatting and length requirements:

  • Structured like a formal essay with an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion
  • Times New Roman font, 12 pt, double spaced, 1 inch margins all around
  • Full header at top of page (Name, Class, Date, Professor’s name)
  • 4 full pages minimum (no maximum; feel free to write as much as you like.)
  • Title should include the name of the poem AND reference the point you plan to make about the poem. (Example title: Misery and Melancholy in “The Raven.”)

Your essay must also contain the following important elements:

  • A clear introduction and thesis statement.
  • Thesis clearly states the point you plan to make about the poem (What is its theme, and which devices do you believe prove this?)
  • Introduction includes author’s name and poem’s title
  • Is presented in formal essay style (avoids use of “I,” “me,” etc., and contractions)
  • Identifies the type of poem (narrative, didactic, etc.), and summarizes its literal meaning (do this in the introduction!)
  • Discusses at least 3 major devices for literary analysis (lyric devices, tone, mood, imagery/sensory details, symbolism, irony, allusion, personification, simile, metaphor, etc.)
  • Concludes by clearly stating what the author means to convey through the poem, and how the various elements you discussed combined to make this meaning clear.
  • Quotes directly from the poem to make points, using proper punctuation (quotation marks, specific line numbers, parenthesis, etc.)
  • Properly introduces and explains quotes
  • Thoroughly edited and revised to check for spelling/grammar/syntax errors

As always, not understanding the assignment or being unable to use the dropbox correctly are not excuses for failing to turn in the essay or turning it in late. If you have trouble with the dropbox, you can always email your essay to me. And, if you have trouble understanding the assignment, you can email me at any time.

Poetry Analysis Essay Assignment
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