– Remember to choose the poem that provides you with the most material to work with for your essay. This may not necessarily be the poem you relate to the most. Use your annotations to evaluate which poem you have the most to work with for a 34-page essay

I. Crafting a Title
A good working title both informs and interests. Capitalize appropriate letters.

a. A clear and engaging working title for your essay that is indicative of the papers analysis.

II. Introductory Information
A successful introduction will be specific and provide a focused framework for the subject matter or thematic choices evaluated in the essay. Avoid general statements about poetry and its function.

a. Captivating introductory sentences: Provide 2 sentences that engage the reader and characterize the subject matter or thematic choices.

b. Dramatic situation: In 1-2 sentences, summarize the who, what, when, where, why elements.

c. Characterization of the subject matter or a thematic choice: Provide 2 sentences that summarize the significance of the themes and subject matter.

d. List two literary devices you are interested in focusing on in your essay. In 1 sentence, explain how these devices are connected. (If you decide to write about two literary devices, they devices should have a strong relationship to one another so that the paper is cohesive.)

III. Identifying Features in the Poem
a. In 1-2 sentences, describe the poems structure. Free verse or fixed form? Narrative, dramatic, or lyrical form? Stanza structure?

b. In 1-2 sentences, describe the speaker. Who is the speaker? What sensibilities or qualities do they possess? Remember to differentiate between the speaker and the poet.

c. In 1-2 sentences, explain the relationship between the title and the poems contents.

d. In 1-2 sentences, explain what prevalent patterns you identified in the literary devices.

IV. Contextual Information
a. In 1-2 sentences, explain what the casual reader of this poem may understand about the poem.
b. In 1-2 sentences, provide a deeper understanding of the themes that are present in the poem.
c. The poet: In 1 sentence, provide relevant information about the poets literary background.
d. If applicable, provide the name of the poetry collection the poem comes from.
e. In 2-4 sentences, provide information about any historical, social, and biographical contexts depicted in the poem. Include information about any allusions that are central to your argument.
V. Thesis Statement
A working thesis statement should be focused and explain how a complex literary element so that the readers may gain a new a deeper understanding.

a. In 1-2 arguable sentences, present a cohesive summary of your interpretation based on your close reading of the poem.  

VI. Body Paragraphs Support
Each topic sentence, also known as a supporting claim, should have subtle but distinct differences in how they support the thesis. Your supporting claims should be a point-by-point breakdown organized in a manner that progresses your argument. Beware of chronology which can be helpful, but too often it leads to summary. (Think in terms of specifics, not vague ideas. What are your actual points going to be?) For this assignment, you do not have to fill in i and ii.

a. Supporting Claim #1: (1-2 sentences)
i. 1-2 pieces of evidence in the primary source
ii. 1 sentence analyzing the components within the evidence
b. Supporting Claim #2: (1-2 sentences)

i. 1-2 pieces of evidence in the primary source
ii. 1 sentence analyzing the components within the evidence
c. Supporting Claim #3: (1-2 sentences)  

i. 1-2 pieces of evidence in the primary source
ii. 1 sentence analyzing the components within the evidence
d. Supporting Claim #4: (1-2 sentences)

i. 1-2 pieces of evidence in the primary source
ii. 1 sentence analyzing the components within the evidence
VII. Concluding Information
Pushing the literary conversation forward. The conclusion should revisit the information from the introduction in a way that considers the analysis done in the body paragraphs.

a. Implication In 2 sentences, explain the importance or larger implications of the theme you will focus on. What picture of your authors work or worldview does your argument imply? Alternatively, what might your argument suggest about some real-world issue or situation? This can range in levels of severity and scope.

b. Evaluation Conclusions are a good place to move from interpretation to evaluation. Careful interpretation earns you the right to do some thoughtful evaluation. What might your specific interpretation of the text reveal about its literary quality or effectiveness? Alternatively, to what extent and how exactly do you agree or disagree with the authors conclusions about a particular issue? (at least 2 sentences)

c. Areas of ambiguity or unresolved questionsAre there any remaining puzzles or questions that your argument or the text itself doesnt resolve or answer? Or might your argument suggest a new question or puzzle worth investigating? (List two questions you have about the poem or the poems subject matter.)
Note: This essay is not a book review. Your goal is not to praise the poem or poet, but rather, to direct your reader to a more in-depth experience of the poem. Avoid evaluations of the speaker and poets mental and projections of biographical information. Your explication is not a translation or summary of the poem. Your explication should articulate and support your interpretation of the poems significance and subtext. If you focus on the language in the text, you will be able to construct a successful explication.