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Poetry Essay Assignment Sheet
This essay will borrow the analytical approach of the previous essay while asking writers to incorporate selected research (posted on Canvas). The goal of including this selected research is to arrive at a fuller understanding of one of assigned WWI poems from either Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon. Remember that the focus of the essay needs to remain on the analysis of the selected poem.
Before explaining the assignment, it is necessary to define terms that will be used throughout.
“Types of Research
The research paper is generally based on primary research, secondary research, or a combination of the two. Primary research is the study of a subject through first-hand observation and investigation, such as analyzing a literary or historical text, a film, or a performance; conducting a survey or an interview; or carrying out a laboratory experiment. Primary sources include statistical data, historical documents, and works of literature or art.
Secondary research is the examination of studies that other researchers have made of a subject. Examples of secondary sources are books and articles about political issues, historical events, scientific debates, or literary works. Using Secondary Sources: Most academic papers depend at least partly on secondary research. No matter what your subject of study, learning to investigate, review, and productively use information, ideas, and opinions of other researchers will play a major role in your development as a student. The sorts of activities that constitute a research paper—identifying, locating, assessing, and assimilating others’ research and then developing and expressing you own ideas clearly and persuasively [according to Aristotle’s classical rhetoric]—are at the center of the educational experience.”
—from the MLA handbook for writers of research papers, 6th edition
I have provided research that should be included with the assignment. All of the research is meant to provide insights into the selected poetry. With this essay, I am asking that you select which research—of those provided—that will be used in the essay and how many pieces of research to include.
Write a 2-3 page research paper that focuses on the analysis of one of the assigned WWI poems (see below). The paper will present a controlling idea as a debatable claim to serve as the essay’s thesis. When developing your analysis, consider the situation, narrator, imagery/ symbolism, shifts in tone within the poem.
In order to analyze the poem, you as a writer must avoid recreating the entire poem through summarization; rather you will be isolating significant lines of the poem and interpreting them against your thesis—be selective. Resist the temptation to discuss each line of the poem: I would suggest only discussing 2-4 lines in any given confirmation paragraph.
The paper will inform the discussion of the poem through research posted in Canvas, yet this research will not serve as the focus of the paper. Only the research* assigned with each poem should be included for this essay. Further, papers must follow APA guidelines for format and documentation.
Poetry Selection (select one)
Owen: Dulce et decorum est
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