Analyzing Work of Literature
Instructions: Choose a poem that you like and write an analysis of it through one of the approaches listed in Strategies for Analyzing Literature and the Arts and further explain in "Four Ways to Talk about Literature". Follow the Writing Guidelines and in the APA Style Guide as you write your essay. Use the APA Style template and use as many of the terms in Poetry Terms as apply.
Select a topic. Choose a work of literature or another artwork with which you are familiar or about which you are willing to learn. For poems, examine diction, tone, sound patterns, figures of speech (e.g., metaphors), symbolism, irony, structure, genre, and theme. (See "Poetry Terms".)
• Develop a focus and approach. Take notes on what you experience, using the list above to guide you. Seek to understand the whole work before you analyze the parts, exploring your ideas and digging deeply through freewriting and annotating. Select a dimension of the work as a focus, considering what approach to analyzing that element might work. (See “Four Ways to Talk About Literature”.)
• Organize your thoughts. Review the notes that you took as you analyzed the work. What key insights has your analysis led you to see? Make a key insight your thesis, and then organize supporting points logically in an outline.