Question Description

Essay #4 (Poetry)

Essay #4 (Poetry)

Major Essays: The majority of your grade in this course comes from a sequence of papers based on the assigned literature. This assignment should use at least 3 sources. Two sources should be scholarly books or articles (secondary sources) published within the last ten years. One source will be your textbook (primary source). Use quotes from the textbook (if you’re using a work in the textbook as your primary source) and your secondary sources to support your thesis. Refer to the video in the week 5 module on the difference between primary and secondary sources if need be. Your Works Cited page should have at least 3 sources altogether. Note: you may not use online sources such as Wikipedia, Gradesaver, Shmoop, eNotes, 123helpme, and etc.


Write a short essay (1000 words) that defends a thesis you developed through a close critical reading/analysis of a literary work listed in the Week 5 and 6 modules. This essay still relies on textual support from the primary text, but includes at least 2 secondary sources that support/sustain the student’s argument. Do not confuse “critical analysis” with “plot summary”; the goal is to develop, sustain, and advance a thesis based on a critique of the primary text where your thesis is also supported by at least two secondary sources. A list of possible topics is below:

  1. Compare and contrast the imagery and metaphors in 3-4 different poems used to represent childhood, death, friendship, betrayal, or other theme that might interest you.
  1. Write a comparison/contrast essay on any two or more poems by a single poet. Look for two poems that share a characteristic thematic concern. Here are some examples:
  • Mortality in the work of John Keats
  • Nature in the poems of William Wordsworth
  • How Emily Dickinson’t lyric poems resemble hymns

Format. In an academic community that communicates effectively, proper formatting is a mark both of one’s ability to follow instructions and of one’s willingness to interact with one’s colleagues in an accepted, mutually understandable manner. Therefore, it is important that you follow proper MLA format in producing your texts, particularly as you cite your sources. Failure to do so will lower your grade.

Grading Criteria. I’ll be looking for a clearly defined, arguable thesis and a logical organization of paragraph structures in each paper. I’ll also look at grammar, usage, mechanics, and so forth, as well as at your use of secondary material. See the rubric for specific percentage breakdowns.