Compose a well-crafted main statement: one or two sentences that explain what you want to say overall about the poem.

Outline for a Poetry Analysis


Choose one of the Poetry Selections from this Unit – you can certainly choose a poem you have already posted about in one of the Unit 2 forums, but you don’t have to.

Consider what you learned from Unit 2.1 Discussion – Poem Hypertexts and Semiotics when making this decision.

You will closely read (and reread) your chosen poem, considering its structural elements, patterns of figurative language, and other literary elements.

Use the page Starting Your Poetry Analysis to help guide your consideration of how and why the elements of a poem come together to create effect and meaning. Carefully read the example pages that use Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” as an example for explication (Close Reading, Sample Analysis and Key Elements).

Use this page as a framework for creating an analytical outline. Your finished outline should look something like this. Include the following elements:

First, an introductory paragraph that offers focused, key background information on the poem and what you are focusing on about it.

At the end of the Introduction section, compose a well-crafted main statement: one or two sentences that explain what you want to say overall about the poem. Ideally, this main should focus on the “how” and “why” of the effect of some of these choices.

Consult this page about main statements.
Next, include topic sentences that could be used for body paragraphs that focus on specific ideas and elements from the poem that provide evidence and support for your overall idea about the poem .

Under these topic sentences, include relevant, brief quotations from the poem, indicating the line numbers in parentheses.

Finally, include a brief conclusion that sums up what these ideas all add up to.

Compose a well-crafted main statement: one or two sentences that explain what you want to say overall about the poem.

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