Poetry Analysis Essay Step-By-Step Guide

Poetry Analysis Essay Step-By-Step Guide

Poetry analysis essay is a form of literary analysis paper that requires you to read and dissect a poem. As most verses are rather short, compared to novels, poetry analysis papers are also modest in volume. Most students are required to submit essays 2 to 5 pages long. However, many students still struggle with this assignment and get humiliating grades, because they forget the main secret of poetry analysis essay. To get that much-needed A, you need to keep the poem‘s idea and literary devices at the forefront of your mind. Read on, if you want a detailed instruction to make your boring poetry analysis essay pop.

Understand The Poem

Once you know which poem you need to analyze, read it carefully a few times, both silently and out loud. When you are confident that you comprehend its meaning, try to summarize the verse in one or two short paragraphs. You won‘t be using this summary in your essay, but it always helps to solidify your understanding of the written work to retell it in your own words.

If you have trouble summarizing the poem, try rephrasing it line for line. This technique might be more straightforward for you. And exchanging the poet‘s words with synonyms might help you grasp the poem‘s meaning.

Identify The Theme

The theme is the poem‘s central idea, the essence of emotions and thoughts it is trying to convey to readers. To understand what the poet wanted to say, look for ideas and notions that pop up throughout the work several times. It is likely they are connected to the poem‘s central concept.

If the poem is too complicated, and you can‘t identify the theme, it helps to get some background information on the writer and the period during which the verse was written. Search literary analysis sources for inspiration. If your research is still fruitless, consult your instructor to help you pinpoint the poem‘s theme before you move forward.

Select Literary Devices

With the poem‘s theme in mind, identify literary devices that support it. There are dozens of elements you could study, but the most common include allegory, alliteration, hyperbole, metaphor, rhyme, meter, simile, and satire.

You don‘t have to identify all of these and more to write a poetry analysis essay. Instead, concentrate on 2 or 3 most prominent devices that support the theme. Print out the poem and highlight the chosen poetry devices the poet uses throughout the work. These notes will help you quickly find appropriate examples to quote in your paper.

Formulate The Thesis

If you have been following our blog, you already know, that a perfect thesis statement is an outline for the paper condensed into a single sentence. When you craft the thesis for your poetry analysis essay, you should include several essential elements: the poet, the poem‘s name and its theme, and the specific literary elements used.

Here is a simple template you can use to formulate the first draft of your essay‘s thesis statement:

In [poem‘s name], [poet] applies [literary device 1, literary device 2] to [demonstrate / highlight / expose] the [poem‘s theme].

Structure Your Analysis

While the thesis statement will serve as the critical point of your introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion also deserve careful planning. Divide your paper into several passages, and start each of them with a topic sentence. The bulk of each paragraph should be made up of examples of literary devices‘ usage and your analysis.

You can structure your poetry analysis essay in any logical way to support the main point of the paper. One way is to structure the writing chronologically, going from one stanza to the next, analyzing devices used in each of them separately. You can also structure the poetry analysis essay by the methods used, provide supporting quotes from different stanzas.

The conclusion should, as always, highlight the points of the thesis statement and include the final thoughts and ideas you wish to impart to the readers.

Poetry Analysis Essay Step-By-Step

Use Pro Secrets To Sound Smart

  • Always provide citations for the quotes you use. Pick a preferable style according to your professor‘s instructions.
  • Avoid summarizing the poem you are analyzing to inflate the essay‘s volume. Assume the reader is already familiar with it.
  • Do not include personal thoughts and feelings caused by the poem. Concentrate on analyzing the literary work, instead of your reaction to it.
  • Articulate the difference between the poet and narrator of the poem. Refer to the person the verse describes as ‘the speaker‘ or ‘the narrator‘.
  • Avoid words like ‘apparently‘, ‘self-evident‘ in your writing. If the points you are making are obvious, you should not include them in your essay.

Remember that poetry analysis essay is not a reaction paper, but a careful dissection of the literary work. Follow our step-by-step guide, and you will be fine. And if you need some help editing and proofreading the paper, our editors are always online and ready to assist.

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