How to Write a Poem Analysis Essay Take Notes! What is analysis? • We use this method to respond to complex matters. • We separate parts to understand the whole. Look for… 1. ideas that connect 2. significant patterns 3. relationships between the parts of a work Essential Analysis Questions • What purpose does this poetic/literary device serve? • How does the author communicate his or her purpose through this device? • Why do readers have this response to the poetic device? Essay Prompt How does the poet’s stylistic choices (rhyme scheme, figurative language, literary devices) contribute the overall structure, meaning, and impact of the poem? After reading poems by Bryant, Poe, Dickinson, and Frost, write an essay that describes how the author’s style and use of literary devices effect the presentation and meaning of the poem and addresses the question. Support your discussion with evidence from the text. Before You Write • Choose one poem to write about. • Make sure you have all of the notes you need. • Re-read the poem and write down additional comments. • Choose three literary devices you are going to discuss in your essay. Essay Tips 1. Your essay must have a central idea (stated in your thesis) that governs its development. 2. Your essay must be organized so that every part contributes something to the reader’s understanding of the central idea. 3. Assume that your reader is NOT familiar with the author or poem. 4. Tell your reader what the poem is about (not what happens, but what the happenings add up to). 5. Write in third person!!! Essay Outline 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Introduction (Background Info and Thesis) Body Paragraph One (First Poetic Device) Body Paragraph Two (Second Poetic Device) Body Paragraph Three (Third Poetic Device) Conclusion (Review of Main Points and So What? Factor) Introduction • Brief Summary – Write three to four sentences that provide background information about your poem (What is the poem about? When was it written?). Include the title and author of the poem. • Thesis statement – three part statement that presents the topic of your essay Thesis Statement *The thesis statement tells your reader what to expect. It is a restricted, precisely worded declarative sentence that states the purpose of your essay (the point you are trying to make). *The thesis statement is usually located at the end of the introduction paragraph. Basic Thesis Format (Insert author’s name) uses _______, _______, and _______, (insert three different poetic devices) in (insert name of “poem”) to (illustrate, convey, reveal, or another verb) (insert the main idea or purpose of the poem). Example Thesis Statement William Cullen Bryant uses personification, colorful imagery, and metaphors in “Thanatopsis” to discuss how nature mitigates one’s fears about death. Note: Use the author’s full name in the introduction, and then use the author’s last name for the rest of the essay. Body Paragraph • Use a topic sentence to begin your paragraph. • Chose ONE poetic device and discuss THREE examples from the poem. • Explain how the device signifies/expresses meaning. Body Paragraph • • • • • • • • • • • Topic Sentence First Example Supporting Quote Commentary/Connection Second Example Supporting Quote Commentary/Connection Third Example Supporting Quote Commentary/Connection Wrap Up Sentence Conclusion • Restate your main points. • Explain why you think the author felt the topic discussed in the poem was important. • Explain how the topic/main idea of the poem relates to the outside world.