Tone and Theme of a Poem

Requirement and Guidelines for Essay 2

Your second analytical essay is based on one of the poems from the Poetry Foundation You’ll need to analyze theme, tone, symbol, and/or style.  A few words from the assigned topics may be tweaked. Just make sure you show the teacher your changes. Your essay must have these components:

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(1) an introduction

(2) body

(3) conclusion

(4) thesis statement

(5) good development

(6) topic sentences

(7) transition words.

Your paper must be double-spaced, three full pages (about 800 words), and written in 12 point font. You must cite your main source (primary source), and adhere to MLA style formatting. You must incorporate a minimum of three secondary sources. Your similarity score on Turn-It-In should not be higher than 30%. 

You may also use any symbolism or literary dictionary, or The Literary Reference Center in Galileo to help you gain a deeper meaning of the text.

Sample thesis statements:

1. In “Title,” the symbols in the poem are used to reveal A, B, and C.

2. In “Title” the tone and symbols are used to reflect the theme.

3. In “Title,” the style tone is used to display the theme.

4. In (title of work), (author) uses (literary device) to (accomplish, develop, illustrate, strengthen) (element of work).

25 In (title of work), (author) uses (one aspect) to (define, strengthen, illustrate) the (element of work).


Introduction (at least 5-6 sentences)

___Your introduction should be about five to six sentences long (including your thesis).

___Preferably, your thesis should have three clear points. You may have a two-point thesis, but you still need to have three body paragraphs.

___Mention the name of the author and the author’s work.

Body Paragraphs (at least 9-10 sentences)

A standard essay has three body paragraphs. YOU MUST ANALYZE SOMETHING!! DON’T SUMMARIZE!!

___Each body paragraph should start with a transition word and have a topic sentence. Most paragraphs are about nine-10 lines long.

___ All body paragraphs should have well-developed examples. Write precise, thorough examples to prove your thesis.

___Transition words (meanwhile, furthermore, therefore, finally, first, second, in conclusion)

___Topic sentences

___ You must have at least one in-text citation per body paragraph (no more than two in-text citations per body paragraph, including blended or direct with signal phrases, quotation marks, and parentheticals).

Conclusion (at 5-6 sentences)

___Your conclusion should restate the main idea of your essay in an interesting way.

Grammar and Mechanics

___ No glaring grammar mistakes (fragments, agreement issues, verb tense shifts, run-ons, comma splices, wordiness, awkward sentence structures, no comma errors or punctuation errors, misspelled, no grammar and mechanics related errors)

___ Mature vocabulary, diction, and syntax are evident.

___ Sentence structure shows control and some variety

Audience and Tone

___ Academic papers require the use of formal language.

___ Avoid slang language (no text message language).

___Use the third person point of view (he, she, one, a person, etc.), not the first person point of view (I), or the second person point of view (you).

Works Cited Page

___You must have a works cited page.


Be aware that when you submit your essay to Turn-It-In, your document will be automatically checked for plagiarism. You have access to the originality reports that Turn-It-In generates for your papers, so use them to your advantage. If a report shows issues with plagiarism, you need to correct and resubmit your work before the assignment deadline.

-Secondary Sources:  The literary criticism found in the Library is the secondary source.  You may use more than two secondary sources. 3 secondary sources are required for this assignment.

– Use MLA FORMAT (Times New Roman 12; double spaced; 1 inch margin; heading; header with last name page number inserted using header function).

– You must use quotations from both the literature selection you are analyzing AND from at least 2 of your 3 secondary sources (minimum). Use correct in-text formatting. Remember that quotations must connect to your words and cannot stand alone in the essay.

– When quoting from a story, you use the author and page number in the parentheses. When quoting poetry, you must use the space/space format between lines of the poem and put the line number in the parentheses. For more information on Tone and Theme of a Poem see this:

Tone and Theme of a Poem

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