Poetry Essay Assignment

Pre-Writing 5%


  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 complete 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 three main points from your list.
  2. Write an introduction, following the guidelines in Basic Essay Structure.
  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

Complete Draft 5%

Once your outline and introduction have been approved, you will write your complete five-paragraph essay of 750 words, using the essay-checklist handout as a guideline.

You must make sure you can check each item on the essay checklist and submit it with your essay. The essay with the completed checklist is due on Monday, November 28.

Final Draft 5%

Once you have seen me to go over your essay draft, you will write your final draft. This must be typed, double-spaced, in MLA format (guidelines here: e1-0-mla-term-paper-format-1) and submitted without a cover page.

Self-Assessment 5%

Write a reflective self-assessment of your essay process. Be sure to note both strengths and challenges. What was easy for you? What did you already know? What have you learned about analyzing poetry? What did you learn from the checklist and blog notes about essay structure? What did you learn from your individual meetings with the teacher? Did you work hard enough to be proud of the work you submitted?