essay on your chosen poem 2

Utilizing the tips for interpreting poetry and the notes on Literary Analysis, Write a 500 word literary analysis essay on Your chosen Poem

Essay on Analyzing Poetry

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The essay on evaluating the poem you have chosen should be written in the Traditional College Essay format of five paragraphs. Your title for the essay would not be the title of the poem, as that is not your own title. Your title may contain the title of the poem or a variation of the title, but you must enclose the title of the poem within quotation marks (See the handout on “Conventions”–under quotation Marks) for clarification. Your title can be written as a statement, a question, or a two part title with a colon. It must be original.

How to Structure your Paper

Your essay should be 500 words divided into five paragraphs. Your introduction must end with a thesis and a thesis support. Your thesis should answer the question posed by your title; it could interpret the title or make an assertion or claim on it. (Review your notes on the “Functions of the Introduction,” and “How to Write a Good Thesis Statement.”)

Please utilize Cornel notes or any other format; you may utilize your notes on “Questions for interpreting Poetry.” Each of your three body paragraphs must begin with a topic sentence derived from your thesis support in the order that you listed them. You are to provide details and examples from the poem to justify your position. You are not allowed to use “I” authority. If you must refer to yourself, address yourself in the third person as this writer, or this reviewer.

Conventions for Quoting and Citing Poetry

There are conventions for quoting and citing poetry: Poetry is cited by lines. When you quote a line of poetry, you should enclose it within quotation marks. At the end of your quotation in parenthesis indicate the line number that you are quoting. Your period should appear after the parenthesis when you utilize quotation marks. For two lines from the poem, use a slash at the end of the first line to indicate the end of that line. For three lines or more lines of poetry, use block style quotation: You will use tab or ten spaces, and you do not need quotation marks. You will need to provide a parenthetical citation at the end of the quoted material indicating the lines of the poem. In block style quotation, your period goes before the parenthesis.

After you have exhausted your topics in the body paragraphs. (Be sure to adhere to the word count.), you would need to write a conclusion. Review your notes on “The Functions of the Conclusion.” In the conclusion, you can utilize any of the techniques to gain your readers attention to remind him/her of what you have stated in the paper. You should revisit all the important aspects of your paper. You may include predictions or recommendations.

Avoiding Plagiarism:

To avoid both accidental plagiarism and plagiarism proper, you must provide citation for all borrowed materials in your paper. Whether you quote, paraphrase, or summarize information from any source, you must provide citation indicating to whom the idea belongs. (See your Handout on MLA style.)

Along with the quotations and citations you have within the paper, known as in-text citations, you should provide a works cited page. Please see the handout on MLA Style.

We Wear the Mask


Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

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