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How To Write A Poem Analysis Essay: Follow These 4 Steps

Writing a poem analysis essay is something many students dread, especially if they’ve read over the poem they’ve been assigned and no ideas come to mind. However, it’s actually a fairly easy assignment, so long as one follows some simple steps. Here are four easy steps guaranteed to make writing a poem analysis essay a breeze:

Step One

The first step is to read the poem and make notes. The notes should concern:

  • Ideas: concepts and ideas the poem presents that the reader finds intriguing, interesting, or wishes to criticize
  • Feelings: the reader’s feelings about each part of the poem
  • Language: observations on the way the author of the poem uses language, their choice of words, the structure of the poem, and so on.

Step Two

The second step is to create a thesis statement for the essay. The student should look over their notes and choose the idea or statement from their notes that they feel most strongly about. This can be the main idea of the essay. The thesis statement should restate this idea clearly, and mention one or two other points that support it.

Step Three

Create an outline for the essay. This step is very important, because it will make writing the final essay far easier if the essay outline is clear and detailed. First, the student should outline the introduction. The introduction of the poem analysis essay must include:

  • The poem being analyzed as well as the author
  • Any pertinent background information on the poem or the author
  • The student’s thesis statement
  • An overview of the ideas which will support this statement

Next, the student will outline the body paragraphs. Each body paragraph should have a main idea which supports the thesis statement, and then present evidence from the poem itself that supports this idea. This evidence should cover the things the student took notes on (ideas, feelings, and language). If there is historical information to support the idea, that can be used as well.

The conclusion should be outlined, but it is basically a rewording of the introduction, so this is fairly straightforward.

Step Four

Finally the student writes the essay, while following the outline they’ve already created. With a detailed outline, this can be done very quickly. Once the rough draft is written, it should be proofread and any mistakes corrected before turning in.