poetry with research 3

Compose a formal essay interpreting the themes of a narrative song. You will need a song that has a primary theme and one or two secondary themes.


Typed in the basic MLA format

1-2 scholarly sources if you can find them; if you cannot find scholarly sources, you may use other sources such as interviews, podcasts, etc. as well as the primary source.

Includes a Works Cited page

750-1000 words in length


15% Introduction: You establish a context for the significance of your thesis in regards to the literary work as a whole. How does your argument contribute to understanding the author’s major literary/thematic concerns? What can other readers learn from your analysis? How does your analysis/critique fit in with other critical responses of the author/literary work?

15% Thesis: You state in 1-2 sentences your main idea. The thesis is the culmination of your introduction.

30% Organization: Your essay should follow that of a typical literary critique:

Since your focus must be on analyzing some literary motif, theme, or a combination of a literary elements (such as symbolism, character, setting, etc.), your essay must contain well-structured supporting paragraphs that contain a topic sentence, quotes from the primary text, an explanation/discussion of the significance of the quotes you use in relation to your thesis, quotes from secondary sources, and a concluding sentence or two that situates the entire paragraph in relation to the thesis. Your thesis will focus on some kind of critical analysis of the primary text, so your supporting paragraphs should be organized around each of the quotes you use, explaining the significance of the quotes and why (or how) transitions and at least six (or more) sentences.

10% Conclusion: No matter which option you choose, you want a conclusion that avoids summarizing what you’ve just said. You also don’t want to say, “In conclusion…” Your aim in a conclusion is to place the discussion in a larger context. For example, how might your critical analysis of a literary character relate to the other characters in a work? How might your thesis be applied to other aspects of the text, say for example, the setting or symbolism?

20% Grammar and Mechanics: Your paper avoids basic grammar mistakes, such as dropped fragments, run-ons, dropped apostrophes in possessives, subject/verb agreement, arbitrary tense switches, etc. The paper demonstrates a commitment to proofreading by avoiding easy-to-catch typos and word mistakes (effect for affect, for example).

10% Presentation: Your paper meets the minimum length criteria of 750 words and typed with a creative title. The paper is required to be in the MLA format, using the primary source, 1-2 scholarly secondary sources, in-text citations, and a works cited page.

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