Select an author or authors from any of the poems that we have read this semester and write a literary analysis of one or two of their poems. Focus on one to three literary elements (language, tone, point of view, form, imagery, figures of speech…) and explain how these elements connect to a larger theme of the poem.
Below are some possible suggestions for thesis topics. In options #1-4, there are questions to help guide your thinking. You
to the question is your thesis. Select an author or authors from any of the poems that we have read this semester and write a literary analysis of one or two of their poems.
- What is the theme of the poem? State the theme and identify one element that expresses the theme and give three examples. (Example – What is the theme of “Evolution”? How does Sherman Alexie’s use of word choice help readers understand the theme of “Evolution?”)
- Examine the imagery of a poem, explaining how the images convey the poem’s theme. (Example – How does the imagery in Langston Hughes’ “Negro” contribute to the poem’s theme that exploitation of Africans and African descendants has occurred throughout history?)
- Analyze the speaker of a poem, discussing how the speaker’s persona contributes to the theme(s) of the poem. (Example: How does the speaker’s persona in Percy Shelley’s “Ozymandias” affect the poem itself?)
- Compare one author’s poems: “Author X uses poetic devices A, B, and C, in ‘Poem 1’ and ‘Poem 2’ to express the theme of ________”.
- Compare two authors’ poems: “Author X’s poem A and Author Y’s poem B use poetic devices A, B, and C to express the theme of ________”.
- What is the theme of the poem? Identify three elements used to express a theme. State the theme and give an example for each element. (Example: Countee Cullen’s “Incident” employs rhyme, imagery, and word choice to express the theme that a racist incident can deeply affect a person.) 3-5 pages. All essays must provide textual evidence from the poem in the form of direct quotes, which must be properly cited according to MLA style (refer to your textbook Chapter 2 and 3 for example essays and Chapter 2 for MLA documentation).
- STRUCTURE & ORGANIZATION REQUIREMENTS: Following the Literary Analysis Outline structure, an introductory paragraph leads to a thesis statement, at least three body paragraphs prove/support the thesis, a conclusion paragraph finishes the paper, and a Works Cited list with the poem(s) and research is on a separate page. Each body paragraph must have a topic sentence, context, quote, analysis, and conclusion.RESEARCH REQUIREMENT: You must find ONE SOURCE from the PGCC LIBRARY DATABASE to support one of your points. The Gale Literature Database is the most helpful for literary analysis.
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