Objective: A literary analysis interprets one or more aspects of a literary work. An analysis does not summarize the work; it takes a position on some aspect of the work and is supported with documented evidence from both the primary and secondary sources
The Assignment: After a careful examination of your reading, look for a perspective or position that reflects your understanding of some aspect of the work. Develop an original thesis regarding 1 or 2 theme(s) in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost from book Backpack Literature, X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia (your primary source): Write a 3-page critical analysis of how the poet develops the theme that you think is in the poem. To do this, select one or more poetic techniques (symbolism, imagery, sound, point of view, speaker, figurative language, rhythm, meter, etc) and demonstrate how that technique is used to develop the theme you are analyzing. Before you begin writing, compose a detailed list of critical observations about the poem. Include significant details, descriptions, and relevant/important quotations that advance the poem’s theme. Then find at least one secondary source from the library’s databases and utilize pertinent information from it to support your analysis.
• Introduction: Include an attention statement to engage your reader. Include the poet’s name, title of poem, and relevant background information necessary to establish a meaningful context for the reader to understand your argument.
• Thesis Statement: In “title of work,” [name of author] uses such-and-such technique(s) to develop the themes of such-and-such.
o In “A Worn Path,” Eudora Welty employs symbolism and characterization to develop Phoenix Jackson’s immortality and love for her grandson.
• Argument: Analyze and explain HOW the technique(s) used by the poet develop(s) the theme in each body paragraph.
• DO NOT Summarize. Assume an intelligent audience. Summary should only be used to support claims in your argument.
• QUOTE the primary source often.
• Validate your argument with information/quotations from your secondary source.
• Support your thesis throughout your essay — Simultaneously employ analysis and explanation.
• Your essay must be documented correctly and carefully. Be sure that you handle all the mechanics of quoting and documenting material correctly.
Paper Formatting: MLA documentation style: 12 pt, Times New Roman font, 1” margins, typed, double-spaced, stapled, numbered pages, name as a header, original title, properly document sources (in-text and works cited page), works cited page