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ANALYZING POETRY AND PROSE

WAYS TO INTRODUCE A STANDARD LITERARY RESPONSE

NOTE: Titles are either underlined or encased in quotation marks – not both!

Standard Intro:

Cite the story/poem and author/poet and reword the question. Be certain to mention the poem/story by name and perhaps the poet/author. Titles of poems/stories must be underlined or encased in quotation marks.

Throughout the poem “Death Over Water,” Elizabeth Rhett Woods effectively employs the metaphor of ice dancing to help the reader understand the relationship between the gull and eagle.

In The Halloween Party by Miriam Waddington, Mr. Luria, the father, can be described as traditional, proud and loving.

Using a quotation:

Find an appropriate quote related to the question. Then make certain that the quote is explicitly linked to the question.

“Spreading his dark arms above his partner’s every move, . . . the eagle shadows the gull.” This vivid image from Elizabeth Rhett Woods’ poem “Death Over Water” illustrates the poet’s effective use of metaphor.

Or

You can offset a quote that relates to a theme in a story or poem and then begin your paper. This provides style, reveals your worldliness and knowledge and is probably different than most other papers.

“This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”Polonius in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

The protagonist in William Bligh’s short story “The Lost Man” fails to understand this basic precept and becomes so confused that his values continually change to accommodate those around him.

Thematic Introductions:

If a poem or story states a clear theme (a statement about life or people), it is possible to begin your paragraph by stating the theme as a segue into the discussion.

Sometimes it is difficult for people to recognize the characteristics they despise in others in themselves. This theme is examined in Joan Smith’s poem...
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