Analyze the two poems you have read in this unit. Read about analysis here; analysis is very different from writing a summary or describing a plot.
Compare and contrast.
Within the analysis, discuss how at least three poetic elements are similar or alike in each poem. You should give equal time to both poems, but please do not feel that you have to discuss both the similarities and differences of each element within both poems. For example, in one paragraph, you may discuss that one poem has stronger symbolism than the other and, therefore, makes the first poem more meaningful. Likewise, in another paragraph, you may discuss how the two poems are virtually similar in their rhyme scheme and that in both rhyme schemes, for example, the reader finds a rhythm like a war drum, which mimics both poems’ war-like themes.
Your thesis and the paper itself should have an element of persuasion. Your claims do not have to be ardent, such as: ’’Howl by Allen Ginsberg is the single greatest transformative literary work of the Beatnik generation.”
Your thesis and paper, however, does need to have elements that can be critically explored, examined, and/or researched. You can definitely say which element of the poem or poem as a whole is better but remember you have to say why; that is the persuasive part.
Although you are comparing and contrasting, your thesis and your introduction should not directly address the actual mode of comparison and contrast. That is, you should not say something like this:“ This paper will compare and contrast William Blake’s two poems, both entitled Chimney Sweeper.” Instead, you should be more subtle and use transition words to set up your comparisons and contrasts. See here for a list of comparison/contrast transitions words
This paper should be written as if addressing educated individuals ages 16+. You should assume the reader has read the poems, so you only need to give a very brief synopsis, if any, in the introduction. Your diction should be sophisticated; however, that does not mean that you thesaurize several words, but it does mean that slang/biased language/informal language should be avoided. Read more about diction here. You should ONLY write in the third-person point of view. Your paper should not contain any pronouns, such as I, me, my, you, your, we, us, or our.
If you are unsure of point of view and pronouns, see here.
Research and Citation.
You need to have at least two sources cited in your paper, using MLA style. That includes in-text citations (AKA the stuff in parenthesis) and the Works Cited page (AKA the stuff that goes at the end of the paper). See MLA for more details.
Works Cited pages are at the very end of the document and all sources should be alphabetized by the first word of the citation unless a, an, or the, in which case you use the first letter of the next word.
Paraphrasing vs. Quoting.
This paper is relatively short. Please keep quotes to a minimum of two lines, and no more than two quotes maximum. You only need to have two different in-text citations in the paper from sources besides your textbook. Paraphrase sources instead of quoting. You still have to give credit when paraphrasing or else that is considered plagiarism, but paraphrasing cuts down on extra wordage that adds little or no value to one’s work. Remember, economical writing is a good goal. Find out more about paraphrasing and quoting here.