Thursday, October 29, 2015

Analyzing poetry: Advice and keywords for writing a better essay


1. Always give a title to your essay; underline it.
2. Read the poem carefully, in order to identify: the theme, the narrative voice, the receiver, the message, the tone and the purpose.
3. Underline in the poem: the words, phrases or verses that are significant for identifying the things mentioned above.
4. Identify the literary language and select two of them that are significant for establishing the theme, etc.
5. Observe the structure and find two elements of the structure that emphasize the topic, etc.
6. Don’t talk about everything; be selective, and only choose the things that you can explain well.
7. When giving direct quotes (either words, phrases, verses etc. of the text), you have to use quotation marks (“ “).
8. Try to write a personal conclusion. For example, explain how you or somebody you know would have reacted if put in the situation or atmosphere of the poem.
9. Avoid analyzing bibliographical aspects of the author, unless they are highly relevant for the poem.
10. Do not say that the poem is good or bad, or whether you like it or not.
11. Try to write at least four paragraphs: Introduction, Literary Langugae, Structure, Conclusion.
12. Verbs that you may find useful: establish, formulate, communicate, present, highlight, project, emphasize, repeat, reiterate, insist, conclude, make it clear that…

“Generally, the discourse should consist of three diferent parts:
- the introduction, to adopt a perspective from which you analyze the theme;
- then, the main body, containing a logical, coherent analysis of the poem and the theme, having a certain level of profoundness, with concrete examples that support the ideas being demonstrated or refuted;
- finally, the conclusion, that can present the effect that the message of the poem has on the reader; this can also be applied when analyzing dramatic works, narrations or critical literature.”

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