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Mit Shah 11R04S

Unseen Advice
Best advice is, since you cant really revise the text that you're going to be given, know the structure well
and know how to lay out your essay so you include everything!

When you get the poem, there's going to be a couple sentences explaining it briefly at the top. Make
sure you read this well, because some people don't bother and therefore miss out on crucial details!

1st paragraph - introduction. state your thesis and, briefly, what the poem is about
2nd paragraph - write about the title of the poem and what it means, its significance etc.
(alternatively you could do this in the conclusion)
3rd paragraph - look only at the form of the poem on the page and what it looks like. How is it
laid out? Look for things like number of stanzas, free verse, line lengths, rhyming structures etc.
write about why the poet might have chosen this structure. Could it have an effect on the
poem's speed, its rhythm, the tone etc?
4th paragraph - write about sound devices (for example, onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance
etc.), what effect they create etc. when you annotate the poem and look for examples,
underline the sound devices in black (or any color that represents sound devices. you choose)
5th paragraph (or more, if you wish) - write about diction choice. highlight all the verbs that are
in the poem, look at them carefully and choose the most interesting ones or the ones that stand
out the most and write about why they might have been chosen, since verbs are the most
important part of language - they're the building blocks of English. The verbs will tell you what
tense the poem is in - why might the poet have used past/present/future simple/continuous etc.
tense? Then look for any specific words that might stand out, and USE
DENOTATION/CONNOTATION - what the word literally means, then what it could represent or
mean on a deeper level. Throughout the entire essay, always refer back to what the poem's
meaning is, and how your analysis of techniques relates to that.
6th paragraph (or more, if you wish) - write about images and imagery (don't be fooled, they
aren't the same thing, so you should learn the difference). Examples of image devices are
metaphor and personification. Underline these with a red pen (again, any color of your
choosing) and analyze them; why might have they been used, what do they represent etc?
7th paragraph - write about the overall tone. Is it somber? Bitter? Delighted? Why? Refrain from
using words like "sad" or "happy" and try to go a level deeper. Think about the POV it's in and
what effect it might have on the tone.
Last paragraph - conclusion. ***MOST IMPORTANT THING: AUTHOR INTENTION***; why was
this poem written? What message does it convey, what is the writer trying to say about humans,
etc.. Remember that literature is the study of human beings, so think about what the writer is
saying about the human race. Sum it up with a personal reflection.