Develop a thesis about your poet’s work by looking at the poems and comparing style, devices, subject matter, or themes. Sample thesis statements are listed below.

The author is Nikki Giovanni
Formal Essay 2 – Poetry Research Paper (1200 words min.)

There is a rubric attached to this assignment. If you’d like, you may view it.

Notice the due date above. Your paper is an analysis of a poet’s writing style or an analysis of similarities that you find in the poems. You will be focusing on the author you chose for the poetry discussion board assignment. Most of the work from your paper will come from your actual analysis of the poems. You will use critical analysis to help prove your points. You are doing the research, using poems, which are your primary sources, and finding critical analysis, which are considered secondary sources. The first step is to gather poems and critical analysis on these poems. Then you will read through them and highlight key items that stand out. You’re free to use the points of analysis in week 10’s discussion board assignment. From there you will be able to construct a thesis statement.

Develop a thesis about your poet’s work by looking at the poems and comparing style, devices, subject matter, or themes. Sample thesis statements are listed below. (These are ONLY examples. You must write about the author you chose for the discussion board assignment.)

– Frost uses the idea of opposites to show how the seemingly simplistic and compelling images of nature represent a deeper meaning about human experiences.

– Gwendolyn Brooks’ simple diction and style help her characters’ perceptions of themselves and illustrate people’s common everyday experiences.

– In his poems, Langston Hughes uses simple yet vivid imagery to express his views of the African-American world and the discrimination against his fellow people.

Once you have developed your thesis, you can continue to research and take notes on the sources you locate.

Requirements for Paper

– 1200 words, Typed/double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font using MLA 8 formatting

– Quotations from 3+ secondary sources (criticism) and 2+ primary sources (poems) incorporated into your paper. NO HOMEWORK SITES!!! See CLASS RULES under Preliminary Handouts.

– MLA 8 Works Cited page that lists all sources used in your paper

– Parenthetical documentation of secondary source material (incorporating secondary sources).

– Quotes from poems that support your major points.

Poetry Research Paper Reminders

– Review CLASS RULES under Preliminary Handouts.

– Your paper should be about the style of your poet. Combine your own thoughts about the selected poems with the ideas you found in the criticism you researched. Your thesis statement should define the style and make an assertion that you can defend using your critical analysis.

– Look for similarities in the poems you chose. Are there any prevalent themes? Figurative language? Symbolism? Sound devices? What do these devices or components help the poet achieve? Why are they important?

– You should use either directly quote, paraphrase, or summarize material from at least THREE pieces of criticism. Be sure to properly document your sources so that you are not plagiarizing. USE MORE OF YOUR OWN ANALYSIS THAN INFORMATION FROM THE CRITICISM. Do not just string together quotations.

– Remember that you must effectively integrate quotations into your paper instead of just dumping them into your work. Be sure to explain quotations and relate the information to your thesis.

– When you do quote, quote accurately. DO NOT BEGIN OR END A PARAGRAPH WITH A QUOTATION.

Purdue OWL : Writing About Poetry / Purdue OWL: MLA Formatting Quotations / Citing Poetry in MLA 8

Must use these poems as 2 as primary sources for works cited. You Came Too By Nikki Giovanni ( and Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day by Nikki Giovanni (

You will be required to incorporate research and quotations from 3+ secondary sources. A secondary source is any source that ISN’T one of the poems. Your secondary sources may be related to the author’s background, criticism of the author’s work, or any research dealing with themes or ideas expressed in the poems.