Poetry Essay Pre-Writing


  1. Do a full page of think-writing about what this poem means and what the poet’s deepest message is. This should take 10 – 15 minutes only.
  2. Write your idea of the poem’s theme in a sentence across the top of a blank page.


  1. Beneath the theme make a list of all the poetic devices used in the poem. Try to find imagery, figurative devices, sound patterns, and structural elements.
  2. Find examples of these in the poem and note them clearly on your list.
  3. Highlight the ones that most support the theme.


  1. Prepare an essay outline, choosing the best points from your list.
  2. Write an introduction.
  3. Make sure you have a clear and correctly formulated thesis statement at the end of the introduction.


  • 5 marks: think-writing and theme
  • 5 marks: brainstorm list and outline
  • 5 marks: introduction with thesis statement

About susanbriscoe

English teacher, writer
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