Poetry/ lyric essay Research Paper
November 6, 2015
Note: All the due dates are at the end of this handout.
Use the enclosed sample as a model for the format including the heading and pagination.
Laura L. Josephson
8 May 2008
Text note (Barton 3).
Consult the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers see how to do text notes and works cited citations, and specific examples of different types of citations. Do not do a title page. Essays must be a minimum of six pages (5 whole pages of text and a works cited page), and they must cite at least five sources. Acceptable sources include web pages, books, recordings, periodicals, newspapers, CDs, downloads, relevant personal interviews, and films. Encyclopedias will not count as sources because they are common knowledge; however, specialized reference books will be acceptable. One of the sources must be a text and one should be a website and one should be the actual song or poem
Students need to pick a poem or a favorite song. Each student must pick a different lyricist or poet and sign up for him or her on the suggested author list. They should use the literary resources discussed during the library orientation (we will meet in the library on that day). Students will discuss their authors and works for a minimum of 5 minutes. They may use notes for the presentation, but I prefer that they not read the entire presentations (eye contact is encouraged). The presentations must touch upon the important aspects of the author’s life and how these events influenced his or her work. Students must also intelligently discuss and interpret their poem or song. They should also either steer students towards the online page that work is on or provide copies for the class. If a student is analyzing a song, he or she must discuss the literary elements in the song (such as metaphor, simile, foreshadowing, alliteration, rhyme scheme, hyperbole, and slant rhyme), and the song or at least a part of it should be played in class. Students will be graded on content, organization, and their ability to answer questions intelligently. In short, students should become experts on their authors and works: they should also be prepared to answer questions on their author and work. They must also turn in their symposium preparation handout sheets after they do their presentations. Oral presentations will begin on Friday, November 20. We will not get to everyone, but all students should be prepared on that day.
Whenever you use another person’s thoughts or ideas, make sure that you either paraphrase or use quotes. Always use MLA guidelines for documenting sources. Students must use parenthetical documentation (also known as textnotes) rather than footnotes, which are cumbersome and outdated.
Students need to apply some of the terms on the poetry definition sheet to the work.
Students should pick sophisticated and/or lengthy and challenging works to analyze. In addition, the prospectus should tell what the student is trying to do and in the paper, and it should summarize some of his or her thoughts on the poem (s) or song (s). It must also name two potential sources of information in MLA works cited format at the bottom of the page.
Each student must also complete a typed proposal or prospectus that tells which author and poem(s) or song(s) with poetic elements that the student is covering. No papers on short stories, novels, or plays will be accepted for this assignment.
You need to bring in the typed one-paragraph proposal on Tuesday, November 17. The proposal must tell which song or poem you are using, and it should state some basic info on the song or poem. It should also mention a few sources.
Rough drafts are due for peer editing on Tuesday, November 19. You need to bring the rough draft and the essay itself in a manila folder on Thursday December 3.
Oral Presentation/Speech assignment
Directions: Put together a short (5 minute minimum) speech that uses several reputable sources. You may use note cards during the speech, but no one should read the whole text to the class.
Your speech will be judged on the following criteria. Is the speech informative enough? Is it well supported? Is it communicated clearly? Is it meaningful and interesting to the audience?
Everyone will be evaluated on eye contact, body language, length, voice, enthusiasm, delivery, poise, use of language, grammar, and pronunciation.
5 guidelines to make your speech more effective
1.) Don’t underestimate or overestimate the audience.
2.) When possible, relate the material to the audience and personalize the speech with experiential or anecdotal examples.
3.) Explain or define terms that may be new to the audience.
4.) Avoid being overly pedantic or overly technical.
5.) Practice your speech beforehand in front of a mirror or on a recording so you can get an idea how you are doing.
Note: We will not get through all the speeches on the first day, but everyone is expected to be prepared on that day anyway. Students who missed the class must make up the speeches on the next class.
Poetry definitions (many can also be applied to songs)
Allusion-A reference to something outside the text (often it is literary or historical)
Theme-What the poem is about (usually it tends to be a bigger subject like love or death)
Narrator-The speaker of or in a poem
Persona-The identity that the poet assumes to “tell” the poem
Metaphor-An expressed relationship between two things often using “is”
Simile- An expressed relationship between two things often using “like” or “as”
Symbol-a word, image etc. that represents two things
Allegory-A work in which almost everything is symbolic including characters. An example would be “Young Goodman Brown” or The Truman Show.
Stanza-In poetry, groups of lines separated by space (prose generally has paragraphs instead of stanzas)
Enjambment- a situation in which the sense of one line or stanza runs over into the following line, or stanza
End-stopped line-a situation in which the sense of a line of poetry is logically, grammatically concluded,
often with end punctuation, such as a period, exclamation point, or question mark
Denotation-the dictionary definition of the word
Connotation-what words, through their use within culture, imply
Rhyme scheme-patterns of recurring sounds at the end of lines
Lyric-a short songlike poem, often about love
Lyre-A tortoise shell with strings that was used as an instrument. The ancient Greeks chanted or read
memorized poems while they played lyres.
Epic- A long poem, often telling a story
Alliteration –Repetition of initial consonant sounds within a poem
Assonance-Repetition of initial vowel sounds within a poem