essay 4 poetry 4

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.

Paper Submission. Upload your paper to the Turnitin assignment link in the appropriate Learning Modules folders.You must submit your papers electronically through CANVAS on or before the due date. No late papers will be accepted. If you do not turn your assignment in by the deadline, then you will not get credit for the assignment. You will not be allowed to make up or redo essays for any reason.

All essays must be submitted in Canvas by 11:59 PM on the Sunday of the week they are due. All submissions are final, so allow yourself plenty of time to draft, revise, edit and upload. Be sure that you upload the correct document. If you upload the wrong document, then the essay is considered late and you will not receive credit. Allow spare time for unforeseen circumstances. If you wait until 11:55 PM to upload your paper, and you have technical difficulties that cannot be resolved by 11:59 PM, then your essay will be considered late and you will not be able to submit the assignment. I will not accept any essays emailed to me for any reason. Even if you email it to me at 12:00 AM on Monday, I will not accept it. I will not accept any document attached to a comment on the assignment.

If you would like to write on a topic other than those provided, you may do so, but you must have the instructor’s approval. You might want to look at the questions at the end of the works in the textbook for ideas.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is defined as submitting anything for credit in one course that has already been submitted for credit in another course, or copying any part of someone else’s intellectual work – their ideas and/or words – published or unpublished, including that of other students, and portraying it as one’s own. Proper quoting, using strict MLA formatting, is required, as described by the instructor.

  • Students must properly cite any quoted material. No term paper, business plan, term project, case analysis, or assignment may have more than 20% of its content quoted from another source. Students who need assistance in learning to paraphrase should ask the instructor for guidance and consult the links at the Online Writing Center.
  • This university employs plagiarism-detection software, through which all written student assignments are processed for comparison with material published in traditional sources (books, journals, magazines), on the internet (to include essays for sale), and papers turned in by students in the same and other classes in this and all previous terms. The penalty for plagiarism may range from zero credit on the assignment, to zero in the course, to expulsion from the university with appropriate notation in the student’s permanent file.


Poetry Essay Rubric (1)

Poetry Essay Rubric (1)

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIntroductionYou establish a context for the significance of your thesis in regards to the literary work as a whole. How does your argument contribute to understanding the author’s major literary/thematic concerns? What can other readers learn from your analysis? How does your analysis/critique fit in with other critical responses of the author/literary work?

15.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThesisYou state your main point (or argument) in 1-2 sentences. The thesis is the culmination of your introduction.

15.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganizationYour essay should follow that of typical literary critiques:

Since your focus must be on analyzing some literary motif, theme, or a combination of literary elements (such as symbolism, character, setting, etc.), your essay must contain well-structured supporting paragraphs that contain a topic sentence, quotes from the primary text, at least one quote from three different sources, an explanation/discussion of the significance of each quote you use in relation to your thesis, and a concluding sentence or two that situates the entire paragraph in relation to the thesis. Your thesis will focus on some kind of critical analysis of the primary text, so your supporting paragraphs should contain quotes from the text that illustrate your thesis/argument; in addition, you should include at least one quote from three different secondary sources to support your argument. Do not simply sprinkle random quotes into your paper and then ignore them; your supporting paragraphs should be organized around each of the quotes you use, explaining the significance of the quotes and why (or how) they illustrate your main point, but you also need to make sure that your paragraphs contain strong transitions and at least six (or more) sentences.

30.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeConclusionRegardless of the argument you make, you want a conclusion that avoids summarizing what you’ve just said, and please avoid writing, “In conclusion.…” Your aim in a conclusion is to place the discussion in a larger context. For example, how might your critical analysis of a literary character relate to the other characters in a work? How might your thesis be applied to other aspects of the text, say for example, setting or symbolism?

10.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeGrammar/MechanicsYour paper avoids basic grammar mistakes, such as dropped apostrophes in possessives, subject/verb disagreement, arbitrary tense switches, etc. The paper demonstrates a commitment to proofreading by avoiding easy-to-catch typos and word mistakes (effect for affect, for example). The paper adheres to MLA formatting style for in-text and bibliographic citations.

15.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePresentationYour paper meets the minimum length criteria of 1000 words, is typed with a title and your name on it. You follow your individual professor’s instructions for formatting (margins, placement of the name, etc).

15.0 pts

Total Points: 100.0