Essay #1: Analysis of a Poem

Essay #1: Analysis of a Poem


For this essay, you must select a poem from Poems for the Millenium, Volume 1 that has not been discussed thoroughly in class. In addition to performing detailed analyses of your chosen poem, this essay assignment will require you to analyze this poem in the context of the poetic traditions that inform it. Your essay must have a clearly stated interpretation of the poem in the context of the poetic/artistic movement as its thesis and detailed analyses of the text for support.


  • The essay should be 500-750 words in MLA format (2-3 pages typed, double-spaced, with 1” margins, and a 12-point font).
  • Turn in your essay in this folder and bring a printout to class on Monday, March 28.


Your essay will be evaluated in the following areas, with areas 1-3 carrying most of the weight of the grade:

  • Assignment (fulfilling requirements, quality of thesis, and depth of analysis),
  • Organization (clarity of thesis, thorough paragraphing, overall organization),
  • Development (relevance of claims, adequacy of support, and textual evidence),
  • Sentence Structure, Word Choice, and Grammar (weaknesses will be identified in these areas, but they will not affect grade significantly unless they get in the way of understanding the essay).

An essay that satisfies all the requirements of the assignment with a clear sense of organization and adequate development earns a “C” in this class. An essay that achieves the goals at an above average level of proficiency, with only minor problems in one or two areas earns a “B.” The “A” is reserved for nearly flawless, elegant essays that excel in all the criteria described above. Essays that do not fulfill the minimum requirements for the assignment earn a “D.” Only essays that are not turned in, are plagiarized, or are not a serious effort to meet the assignment earn an “F” in this class.