Description of Assignment:
A literary analysis essay pulls apart a piece of writing to examine its technique and
understand its themes and ideas. For this assignment, you will write an analytical essay,
no less than 1000 words (with an additional works cited page that includes your two
poems as primary sources and at least two secondary sources), that analyzes,
compares and contrasts how the poems use two or more of the poetic devices on the
Poetic Devices Glossary worksheet (we will address this soon). It will be important to
use appropriate terminology in your analysis.
The introduction should focus on the poetic device you will be analyzing in the
poems, not necessarily the poets or history of the poems, although a little background
on the authors can be helpful in the introduction. Your thesis should focus on the
poetic devices you will analyze in the poems.
The body should examine different ways the poetic devices show up in the
poems; for instance, if you were focusing on theme, then you may look at the way the
theme is expressed in symbols, imagery, structure, tone, etc. In addition, the body
should help us see what is to be gained by comparing and contrasting the poems’ unique
take on your chosen poetic devices. Spend less time on the historical context of the poem
or the author. Avoid analyzing one poem separately from the other. Organize the paper
point-by-point (more on that in class).
The conclusion should restate your thesis and examine any new
understandings that arise from analyzing the poems. What should we take with us about
the themes? What have you uncovered in these texts that is worth remembering? What
do we gain by analyzing the same poetic devices in two different poems?
MLA formatted with in-text citations and a works cited page
atleast 1000 words
Two sources in addition to your two poems
EMILY DICKINSON Because I Could Not Stop For Death
PABLO NERUDA Nothing But Death
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