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Instructions: Choose ONE of the topics below on the poems that have been assigned over the last several weeks and write a double-spaced essay (500 to 1,000 words) supporting an interpretation of the poem.  Use the sample essays in your Literature text, as well as the handouts as guides.  You can choose a formalist approach or any of the contextual approaches, but be sure to support your thesis with evidence from the poem itself.  Also, be sure that you explain how that evidence fits your interpretation.  You are trying to convince your reader that your way of approaching the poem is a reasonable one.Your essay should be between 500 and 1,000 words long and should be double-spaced.  Your essay should have a title, a relevant introduction, and a clear thesis statement.  Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that is a claim about the poem that is related to your thesis statement.  You should use carefully selected words, phrases, images, figures of speech, etc. as evidence to support your claims.  All evidence should be supported by explanation and argument as well.   Quoted material should be placed in quotation marks and followed by the line number or numbers in parentheses.  Your paper should also contain a conclusion and a Works Cited page.  You might also check out the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University for help in writing about poetry (type OWL and Purdue into Google and, if prompted, choose the link that says “Non Purdue instructors and students).  Finally, check out the numerous examples of student essays in your anthology.  Good luck.


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