Short Paper# 1: Poetry Explication

by | Mar 4, 2021 | Analysis, College (1-2)

In order to write an effective literary analysis, you must first be clear on what the literature is actually saying. The key is to break the literature down into manageable parts so that you can first interpret and then analyze.


For this assignment, you will first log onto the Beltway Poetry archives and select a poem that is at least three stanzas long and has the “DC Places” tag. You will first perform an annotation of the poem similar to what we have done in class and use it to write a paper that offers an analysis of what the poem is about (this will be your thesis).

OPTION 2: Using lyrics from your favorite song (any genre), you will first perform an annotation of the song and then write a paper that offers an analysis on what the song is about and why it should be considered literary.

Poetry/Lyric Annotation

Once you have selected your poem you will have to complete an annotation similar to what we did in class. See the instructions below:

-Copy and paste the selected poem into a Word document.
-Using the comment function (click the “Review” tab in Word to find this function) in Word highlight the words or phrases that you are unfamiliar with and type in their meanings.
-Using the text box function (click the “Insert tab in Word to find this function), create a box for each stanza that includes your interpretation of its meaning.

-Once you have completed the annotation hit CTRL + Enter to start a new page and begin the paper.

Thesis Proposal

Post your completed essay proposal form. Use link located in the Short Paper #1 folder

First Draft Format:

  • Proper Heading (See Course Outline
  • Centered original title
  • 3rd person point of view (them, they, one)
  • 12-inch font, double-spaced
  • 1-inch margins all around
  • No extra spaces between paragraphs
  • 1-2 pages

Your final essay content should have:

  1. A suitable introduction that introduces the writer and the work and includes a brief 1-2 sentence summary and previews what will be discussed in the body. The thesis should be at the end of the introduction and reflect what you think the poem is about.
  2. At least 2-3 body paragraphs that showcase an analysis of the poem and include proper MLA citations for all of the quoted poetry lines. You should have at least two quotes to help support your point.
  3. Appropriate transitional words and phrases linking the ideas expressed in your sentences and paragraphs.
  4. A suitable conclusion that does not repeat, but reminds the reader of your initial point.

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