compare or contrast two poems we have read. You might, for example, select two that treat the same theme (love, death, family) differently, or you might show a similarity in message or style between two that seem quite different at first glanceYour essay needs to be in correct MLA format (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (header, heading, double-spacing and Works Cited page). You need a title that reflects the content of the essay (not “Poetry Essay”) .

compare or contrast two poems we have read. You might, for example, select two that treat the same theme (love, death, family) differently, or you might show a similarity in message or style between two that seem quite different at first glanceYour essay needs to be in correct MLA format (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (header, heading, double-spacing and Works Cited page).
You need a title that reflects the content of the essay (not “Poetry Essay”) .
Your introduction will identify the poems’ titles (in quotation marks) and authors and tell briefly what each is about. Please do not begin your introduction with a dictionary definition, with a sweeping statement like "Since the beginning of time, . . ." or with biographical information about the poets. Those leads are overused.
The last sentence of the introduction will be your thesis, your opinion about the two poems that the body of your essay will support with specific details from the poems. Although the thesis is your opinion, do not use phrases like "In my opinion"; just assert your thesis, e.g. "Although these poems are different in ____, they both show that _______." Your entire essay should be third person only, so no "I," "we," "you," etc.
You will base your paper only on the poems themselves. Do not include outside research; instead, search the poems themselves and present what you discover.
Do not quote large chunks of the poems. Use paraphrase or summary more than direct quotes. The originality index at turnitin should show that no more than 20% of your paper is not original (and the originality report should show that anything not original is in quotation marks).
When you paraphrase or quote, follow the paraphrase or quote with a parenthetical citation–the line number (or line numbers) in parentheses, e.g. Frost says that some people believe the world “will end in fire” (Line 1).
If you cite more than one line of poetry, use the slash to show where the line break is, e.g. Frost says that some people say “the world will end in fire / Some say in ice” (lines 1-2). Note that end punctuation goes outside the parentheses and not inside the quotation marks.
Make sure that you do not plop quotes in the middle of your paper. Use a signal phrase (“According to Frost,” “The poet show readers that . . .”) to introduce quotations. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Make sure also to explain the significance of each quote.
Make sure to quote exactly when you quote, and make sure that quotes flow grammatically from the rest of your paper. It is fine to change a word in order to make it flow with the rest of your sentence, but if you do, put the words you change (or insert) in square brackets (e.g. The speaker begins the poem saying that “[his] black face fades” (line 1) as he stares at the black granite.
Make sure to use present tense to discuss literature: “The poet says” rather than “The poet said.” Make sure also to keep your paper third person (e.g. “The poet shows readers that . . .” rather than “The poet shows us that . . .”)
The first time you mention the poet, give his or her first and last name. Subsequently, use the last name only (not Ms. Bishop or Mr. Frost or Elizabeth or Robert). Remember that there is a difference between the poet (the person who wrote the poem) and the speaker (the person talking in the poem).
Make sure you have a clear focus and that you don’t merely list similarities and differences.
Have a conclusion that really concludes something, that gives your reader a sense of closure–and please don’t begin the conclusion with "In conclusion." That is trite and unnecessary in a short paper. If you have proved the claim you made in your thesis, it will be clear that the paper is nearly finished.

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