English 1B: Writing Assignment #2: Poetry
As you can imagine, based on the readings, your second writing assignment will focus on poetry. Specifically, you are to write an explication of a poem of your own choosing. You are free to use any poem from our book. For a detailed explanation of what an explication writing assignment is, and what such a paper looks like, read the section “Types of Writing Assignments” – Explication – on pages 1393-97 of your text.
While the term explication may sound a bit foreign to you, it really isn’t. It is what we are doing in class – examining and interpreting a poem, often line by line, to provide a detailed explanation of the poem. As noted in your text, “an explication pays careful attention to language – the connotations of words, allusions, figurative language, irony, symbol, rhythm, sound, and so on” (Meyer 1393). You will want to use these elements of poetry to support the interpretation you present in your essay. For more help go to bedfordstmartins.com/meyercompact and click on VitruaLit Interactive Poetry Tutorial.
The format is, as for all college writing, MLA. This, of course, means it will be in the written in the third person and all sources will be properly documented and cross referenced with a works cited page. Make sure you use the correct format when including lines of poetry in your text. Check a MLA manual for poetry format. The length of the paper is a minimum of four pages not including the Works Cited page. Two comprehensive rough drafts and an outline are required. Each draft must be three or more full pages and show significant revision. The final draft is due Sunday, 7/12. No paper will be accepted without two rough drafts, final draft, outline, and editing checklist.
(submitted outline MUST be typed)
Essay #___ Name_________________________
A. Hook (something to draw the reader in)
B. Necessary Background
D. Plan of Development
A. First supporting point ____________________________________________
1. Details__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
B. Second support point ____________________________________________
C. Third support point __________________________________________
III. Conclusion (a predominant feeling, impression, or message – usually related to the thesis – I want to leave my reader with about this topic is:) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
English 1B – Editing Check List
Writer’s Name ___________________________
_____1. Look for awkward or confusing sentences. Is there any slang? Are there any
contractions? Mark these problem areas in the text with AWK for
“awkward,” CNF” for confusing, “S” for slang, and “CON” for contraction
_____2. Look for changes in point-of-view. What “person” does the essay start in? Does
it remain in the same “person?” Remember your essay is supposed to be in the
Third Person. Also, do you use the second person “you” at all? Find and circle
all second person pronouns: you, you’re, your, and unless there is a
compelling reason to use second person eliminate it.
_____3. Find each “they,” “their,” “they’re” and “them” in the text. Use your finger to
trace the pronoun back to what it is agreeing with. Is the noun or pronoun it’s
replacing singular or plural? If the original noun or pronoun is singular, a singular
pronoun is needed, so circle the incorrect pronoun and mark it with a “PA”
for pronoun agreement.
_____4. Keep an eye out for all other pronouns and their references (continue tracing
pronouns back to their antecedents). If the pronoun’s reference is unclear,
circle it and mark it with a “PR” for pronoun reference.
_____5. Is the essay the required page length not including the works cited page? Is it
formatted correctly? Do the introduction and conclusion make sense?
_____6. Do the quotes and other outside sources support the points you are making?
Are they formatted correctly? Do you have the required number of in-text
citations? Have you double-checked the quotes for accuracy?
_____7. Are the works cited entries correctly formatted? Do the works cited entries
match the in-text citations?
_____8. Is there a clearly stated thesis? Is it logically placed and easily recognizable in
_____9. Finally, reread the essay for any other grammatical errors in punctuation –
commas, semi-colons, periods, apostrophes, and subject-verb agreement,
consistent verb tense. Circle any errors in these areas and correct them before
printing out your final draft.
This checklist must be attached to your final draft for full credit.
English 1B: Writing Assignment: The Process
Writing is a process, and as we move through the writing assignments we will incorporate this process to arrive at a well-written final draft. Here are the steps we will use:
1. Decide on your interpretation of the main idea of the short story, poem, or play you have selected. This will be your analysis. Do not confuse your interpretation/analysis with what the story is “about.” This is a persuasive/argumentative essay in which you attempt to convince the reader your interpretation is valid.
2. Create an outline. A form is attached for your use. Your submitted outline must be typed. The outline serves as your plan for writing the essay.
3. Write the first rough draft, a minimum of four pages. Then:
A. Ask someone to read your essay and underline anything they liked and place a question mark next to anything that was unclear to them. Doing this tells you, the writer, what is working, the underlines, and what needs work, the question marks. Do not think of this as good or bad, right, or wrong,
it is what works and what needs work.
B. Review the underlines and question marks with your reader. Make notes. Use this feedback to revise your essay into a second rough draft for editing.
4. Use the editing checklist, found on the “Assignment” page, to edit your essay for readability following the instructions on the editing checklist. Do not try to edit for all the issues in a single reading. Take it step by step, one item at a time, check it off the list and move to the item on the list until you have completed the entire checklist. Editing is not rushed process; it is slow, deliberate, and methodical.
5. Use the edited second rough draft to make any necessary changes to your essay and make those changes. The edited draft is your final draft.
Note: Editing is not the same as proofing. You may want to proof your essay for minor issues like spelling, grammar, and punctuation before submission.
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