1. Essay should be approximately 2 1/2 - 3 double spaced pages, 700 – 800 words.
2. Follow MLA format for essays. There are links to both the rules for MLA and sample essays in MLA format in the First Essay folder on the course homepage. (Note: Unfortunately, the sample essays in the textbook do NOT follow MLA format as far as having a proper heading. Again, use the samples found in the Essay 1 folder.)
3. Be sure to have a clear thesis at the end of your introduction. You will prove this thesis in the body of the essay. (Review the handout "1302 Overview of the Essay and Rules for the Thesis" in Module 2 for more information on thesis statements. One key point I would like to emphasize is that the thesis should not "announce"; it should not have phrases like "In this essay I will prove..." or "We will examine such and such... .")
4. Do not use any outside/secondary sources. (But, if for whatever reason an outside source IS used, you must properly cite that source in the body of the paper AND provide a correct list of Works Cited.)
5. You do need to use brief, relevant quotes from the poems to support your points.
6. Avoid using first person “I” and second person “you.” (You may use first person plural “we” to refer to the audience or the readers.)
7. Since this is the first paper and no secondary sources are to be used (and since we have not had time to cover format and other related issues) you do not need a Works Cited for this paper. (See item #4 for the exception to this.)
8. The final essay will be turned in directly to Turnitin.com by the due date. (For more information on Turnitin.com, please see the Turnitin Instructions in the Essay folder.)
Select ONLY ONE of the following topics. For each topic, you are to select 2 poems for discussion, so each of these is essentially a comparison/contrast topic. These poems are connected by the central theme of the chapter in which they are found, so they almost by default have some essential point of comparison. Use the questions I provide with each topic to generate ideas. You should also look to the questions that follow each of your poems in the textbook for additional ideas. Finally, you might also look to the questions at the end of the chapter. Reminder: This is not a research assignment. Avoid the temptation to “just get some ideas” via Google.
Again, all of the topics below are suggestions to get you writing. The key to this topic (and all of the topics) is that you select two poems from the same section and come up with a thesis to guide your writing. I don't particularly need you to answer any or all of the specific questions/points I bring up. You might also look to the questions that follow each poem for additional ideas.
When I grade this essay, I will look for:
A strong, clear thesis. This thesis will be at the end of the introduction. An introduction paragraph that introduces both poem titles and authors as well as the central issues of the paper. This introduction paragraph should end with the thesis. A good balance in the comparison/discussion of both poems. Good use of quotes from/specific references to the poems. Logical paragraphing. Each paragraph should have a unique issue as its focus. Each of these "issues" should, of course, be related to the thesis.
I discuss each essay assignment in detail in the Module Notes and Comments found in each module. Be sure to review these.
1. Select two poems (sonnets) from the section of the book, "Album: The Sonnet" (p. 889-901) and use these as the basis for a comparative essay. You might start by considering how the ideas and themes in each poem are either enhanced or detracted by the seemingly constrictive requirements of the sonnet in terms of structure and form. Does one poem seem to "work" with the form better than the other? Why? The following are some specific ideas that you might use (at least as a starting