How to Write a Poem Analysis Essay Take Notes!

How to Write a
Poem Analysis Essay
Take Notes!
What is analysis?
• We use this method to respond to complex
• 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
• How does the author communicate his or her
purpose through this device?
• Why do readers have this response to the poetic
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
• 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
5. Write in third person!!!
Essay Outline
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?
• 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
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
• Chose ONE poetic device and discuss THREE
examples from the poem.
• Explain how the device signifies/expresses
Body Paragraph
Topic Sentence
First Example
Supporting Quote
Second Example
Supporting Quote
Third Example
Supporting Quote
Wrap Up Sentence
• Restate your main points.
• Explain why you think the author felt
the topic discussed in the poem was
• Explain how the topic/main idea of
the poem relates to the outside

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