The Academy of American Poets


The last paper you write for this class will be the paper on Poetry.  Use either “The Academy of American Poets” ( or “The Poetry Foundation”  ( ) to choose five individual poems to discuss and analyze using the materials outlined in the text in the Introductions to the chapters on poetry (chapters 11-19).   The paper should have a central idea, a focus, an introduction and a thesis that ties the works together in a meaningful way.  Please try to organize your paper around the a central theme or some interesting poetic technique and draw in examples for the points you make. Do not go poem by poem separately. Include an introduction and conclusion and shape your paper into a coherent essay using the five poems as examples and illustrations to support your ideas.  Your essay will be around 4-5 pages (at least 1000-1200 words total) of analysis of the linked poems where you investigate the major characteristics or techniques or “elements” of poetry discussed in the anthology’s chapters on poetry NOTE:  There is ample information about most poems on the internet and in other sources, but if you use information, ideas, and particular language from one of these sources, you MUST footnote and document where the information comes from. You must quote language you borrow, and you must make it clear when an idea or concept or interpretation comes from somewhere outside your own head.   It’s ok to research what others have said about some of these works, but if you do not document the information correctly, you run the risk of plagiarism.  It’s easy to find Sparknotes, or Gradesaver or some other place, but without the documentation, I will be obliged to fail the paper and it cannot be made up.  I am more interested in your own insights into the poems anyway, so please be careful.  You do not need to document where the poems themselves come from, only if you use written material ABOUT the poems from some outside source. Also: Go to the Poetry Section of the Course Content Page and scroll through the materials there.  In the “Poetry” folder, one page called “Writing About Poetry” is a brief description of the elements of poetry which I know you will find helpful and it includes some of the things that I will expect you to discuss in your essay. Finally, I have attached a sample poetry paper written by a student in a previous class.  Please review that paper to get an idea what an excellent paper might look like.

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