Using 2 poems from Unit 2, analyze a chosen theme (examples include: feminism, gend

Unit 2: “Suicide Note,” “Not Waving but Drowning,” “Hope is the Thing with Feathers,” and “The Peace of Wild Things”

Instructions:
Compose a critical analysis essay on one of the topics below. Your essay should be well developed, unified, coherent, and grammatically correct. Refer to the Grading Criteria for MCC English Classes in the First Day Handout for this course. Required length: 2 full pages. Follow MLA format: Use size 12, Times New Roman font and 1-inch margins; double space. Include a Work Cited page. It is not included in the 2-page length requirement; it should appear on a separate page at the end of your paper.

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Create a thesis statement, and back up your claim with support/evidence from the text. Support should contain clear, specific examples from the poem or poems you are analyzing, as well as documentation for all text references. Include at least two- three quotations from each poem in each body paragraph of your essay, for a total of 6 quotations from the poems. Also, quoting poetry is a bit different from quoting lines from a story. You will cite line numbers rather than pages, and you will put a slash (/) between lines if quoting more than one line. *Do not use more than 2 lines at a time; otherwise, you must use a block quote and you are NOT to use block quotes in a paper this short.

Example for quoting poetry:

The speaker vividly portrays his father’s hands, describing “cracked hands that ached/ from labor in the weekday weather” (lines 3-4). [The first time you quote from a poem, you use the word “line” or “lines” in citation, but you do not have to continue that in the rest of the essay; you may put just the numbers.]

*Note: If you use two poems by the same author, your citations and works cited will be a little different. (hint this is on your final exam as well, so learn it).

If you were writing about two stories by the same author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, this is how you would have your WC set up: (notice the second time the author is used, his name is not given).

Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Minister’s Black Veil.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Edited by

Nina Baym. 8th ed. Vol. B, Norton, 2012, pp 691-695.

— . “Young Goodman Brown.” The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Edited by Nina Baym. 8th ed.

Vol. B, Norton, 2012, pp 696-709.

If you were quoting from these two works within the paper, you would need to distinguish which story you are talking about.

Example:

As the road is described, it is really a metaphor for Brown’s own sinful heart: “The road grew wilder and drearier, and more faintly traced, and vanished at length, leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness…” (Hawthorne, “Young” 703). [This shows that this quote is from the story “Young Goodman Brown” and not

from “The Minister’s Black Veil.” In the citation you can shorten the title; just make sure it’s clear

which story/poem you are talking about.

Notes about POETRY

Writing about poetry is not much different from writing about fiction. You will still choose particular literary elements (symbols, imagery, themes, etc.), and you will still cite passages from the text although you are more likely to quote single words and short phrases than entire sentences. See Ch. 2 and 23 (See p. 672-74 for example essay on poetry- 9th edition )
Unlike fiction, poetry does not always tell a story; some poets simply express emotion or focus on a certain theme, like death and/or aging, sadness, joy, hardships, relationships, the comforts of nature, etc.
Also, quoting poetry is a bit different from quoting lines from a story. You will cite line numbers rather than pages, and you will put a slash (/) between lines if quoting more than one line. Brackets and ellipsis points still apply if you change or omit words, and quotations of more than four lines still need to be blocked. If you quote 3 or more lines of poetry, you must follow a whole other set of rules and indent the lines 10 spaces from the left, with no quotation marks, a period after the last line used, parenthetical citation, and no period after the parenthesis. If this hasn’t completely confused you, look at p. 49 in your text book. Here’s an example: The final stanza ends with a line that is an awkward metrical departure from the rest of the poem:
I shall be telling this with a sigh (spaced ten spaces from the margins)

Somewhere ages and ages hence: (Notice there’s no quotation marks)

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by, And

That has made all the difference. (16-20) (period after text and no period after parenthesis)

In your Compact Literature text, read the sample student essay on pp. 44-47 about Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Notice how the poem is listed on the Work Cited page just as you would list a story. Of course, if you discuss more than one poem in your essay, you will need to list both on the Works Cited, alphabetizing as usual. There are additional model student essays in Ch. 23 and Ch. 32.* Please note that the Works cited info in the textbook is outdated. Use updated MLA – found in my handouts.
As you read the poems listed on your syllabus, look for similar or contrasting themes, symbols, images, etc., so that you can write about two or more poems, most likely by the same poet, in your essay.

Essay Outline

(No title is needed until you complete an actual draft of your essay.)

NOTE: With the exception of the thesis, you do not have to write complete sentences in your outline.

Introduction (Fill in the boxes)
A. Story title, author, brief overview and/or background information

Remember to Stay in PRESENT tense when writing about Literature!

B. Transition/general statements leading to thesis

C. Thesis statement- (Controlling idea of your essay: the most important sentence in here)

Body Paragraph 1 –
A. First point of discussion- Topic Sentence is the first sentence of each paragraph. It should relate to the first point of the thesis. You should NOT just start telling what the story was about (that’s plot summary) or just start with a detail). This sentence tells the reader what the entire paragraph will prove/explore/discuss. Do NOT start a paragraph or sentence with a quote.

B. Specific support 1

1. Quote(s) and/or text reference(s) to support point one

2. Follow-up/explanation of support

C. Specific support 2

3. Quote(s) and/or text reference(s) to support point one

4. Follow-up/explanation of support

D. Concluding Sentence- do not end a paragraph with a quote. The last sentence of the paragraph should act as the first one does: it should sum up what the paragraph discussed (but do not say: “This paragraphed proved…” or any type of announcement that states the obvious (that you are writing an essay).

Body Paragraph 2 –
A. Second point of discussion Topic Sentence

B. Specific support 1

1. Evidence – quote(s) and/or text reference(s)

2. Follow-up/explanation of evidence

C. Specific support 2

1. Evidence – quote(s) and/or text reference(s)

2. Follow-up/explanation of evidence

D. Concluding Sentence- do not end a paragraph with a quote. The last sentence of the paragraph should act as the first one does: it should sum up what the paragraph discussed (but do not say: “This paragraphed proved…” or any type of announcement that states the obvious (that you are writing an essay).

Body Paragraph 3 (optional) –
A. Third point of discussion

B. Specific support 1

1. Quote(s) and/or text reference(s) to support point one

2. Follow-up/explanation of evidence

C. Specific support 2

1. Evidence – quote(s) and/or text reference(s)

2. Follow-up/explanation of evidence

D. Concluding Sentence- do not end a paragraph with a quote. The last sentence of the paragraph should act as the first one does: it should sum up what the paragraph discussed (but do not say: “This paragraphed proved…” or any type of announcement that states the obvious (that you are writing an essay).

Conclusion
A. Reworded thesis

B. Concluding statements

Analysis

C. Clincher (Give readers something to think about.)

It is okay if you cannot fit your points into this form exactly. This is just a general guide for organizing your paper.

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