example introduction

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Write an analysis (or explication) on Tiara by Mark Doty. you may choose to present an alternative view of the poem in your analysis.

You may discuss any of the following:


Rhyme scheme/ sounds


Point of view (speaker)

Metaphor/simile or allusion



the essay must have a clear introduction and thesis.

The essay must reference specific words, lines, or poetic devices.

The paper should be 1,000-1,500 words (3-5 pages). If you exceed the maximum word count but with good quality writing, that is not a problem. However, do not write fewer than 1,000 words.

Outside research is not required; however, if you use outside sources, you MUST cite them using MLA format. Do NOT use blogs or other student essays as your sources

Be sure to cite the poem that you analyze.

Double-space and use 12 pt. Times New Roman font.

Tips for writing and organizing your paper:

Write an introduction that identifies the poem by author and title right away (within the first few sentences) and end the introduction with your thesis statement.

Your thesis should make some sort of statement about the theme of the poem, and the body of the paper should support that thesis by discussing particular words, lines, images, and figures of speech (that is, how they communicate the theme through imagery, denotation, connotation and, if applicable, symbolism, irony and so on).

In your introduction, and a body paragraph, you may present a short bio of the poet, if you wish, but make sure that you cite this biographical information correctly.

As in any paper, each body paragraph should begin with a topic sentence identifying the topic of that paragraph, and the topic sentence should clearly link back to the thesis.

Each body paragraph should contain explanations of specific aspects of the poem (as stated above), including quotes from the poem itself. You will have to introduce and quote the words, lines, images, and figures of speech you intend to use as evidence of your thesis before you discuss them in your own words.

Be sure to quote from your poem in every body paragraph of your paper.

When planning your essay, keep the following basics in mind:

The author of the poem is not necessarily the speaker of the poem. Use the term “speaker.”

Don’t refer to an author by his or her first name only. Use the full name or last name only. Identify the poem by the title and the author’s full name in your first sentence. Then you may use the last name only.

Don’t use any form of the first person (I, me, my) or any form of “you” anywhere in the essay. The essay must focus on explaining the poem. Do not include comparisons to personal examples; use only evidence from the poem itself. Avoid phrases such as “I think” or “I believe”

Do not plagiarize. If you do research, you MUST cite your sources of unique ideas, exact words, or paraphrases. Again, research is not required for this essay. But, if you do research, you must properly integrate and cite your source

Your conclusion must be a separate paragraph that drives your point home and offers insight into the poem and what you have learned.

Example Introduction

Moral questions are rarely black and white. Often the options available to a person are limited by his or her life circumstances. Written in 1987, “lost baby poem,” by Lucille Clifton, details the speaker’s difficult choice to abort her unborn child. Using direct address, sound repetition, and water imagery, Clifton explores the ways race and class intermingle to complicate the speaker’s moral dilemma.

Section 1: summarize the poem.

Section 2: discuss the effect of direct address

Section 3: Discuss the effect of sound repetition

Section 3: Discuss the water imagery

Conclusion: Theme- race and class intermingle to complicate the moral dilemmas.


Section 1: direct address, sound repetition, and water imagery in stanza 1

Section 2: direct address, sound repetition, and water imagery in stanza 2

Section 3: direct address, sound repetition, and water imagery in stanza 3

Section 3: Discuss the theme–Race and class intermingle to complicate the moral dilemmas.

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