Essay 1

Robinson Jeffers’s “Where I?” and Tom Sleigh’s “The Very End” address the same theme: mortality. In both poems, the speaker reflects on another person’s—a woman’s—death. For this essay, you will choose ONE of these two poems (“Where I?” or “The Very End”) and make an argument about what exactly the speaker learns—about death or the woman—through his reflection on mortality and observation of the woman.

 

In your essay, you are required to quote specific words, phrases, and/or lines from the poem that are relevant to your argument. You must also close read the language in those quotations. Your analysis of those quotations must clearly support and connect to your overall argument.

 

“Where I?” and “The Very End” are sonnets, and, as we discussed in class, the sonnet is a specific poetic form; you may want to consider how the poem’s form relates to the speaker’s reflection on death. Additionally, use some of the following erms: metaphor, simile, alliteration, assonance, imagery, rhyme, personification, etc..

 

STRUCTURING ESSAY 1

 

Paragraph 1:

  • Your introductory paragraph must introduce the text and the key ideas of your paper. It must include the title and author of the text you are writing on. It must lead up to a clear thesis statement, which offers a specific argument about the text and not just a plot summary. It must also end with a strong transition to your next paragraph.

 

Paragraph 2, 3, etc. (body paragraphs—as many as needed)

  • Each body paragraph must begin with a clear topic sentence forecasting the content of the paragraph. Each paragraph must include textual evidence that supports your thesis and close reading of that textual evidence that also supports your thesis.

 

Conclusion

  • Your conclusion must link the various parts of your argument into one cohesive whole. Reassert and restate your argument in new words. Because essay 1 is so short, your conclusion may be 2-3 sentences at the end of your final body paragraph.

 

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR ESSAY 1

 

  • Academic Honesty Statement: Essay must include the academic honesty statement at the top of the first page

o   Here is that statement: “I have read, understand, and am in compliance with the Academic Honesty policy. In particular, I have not committed any kind of plagiarism. There are no un-attributed direct or indirect quotations or paraphrases from printed materials, websites, other students’ papers, or any other sources in my essay.”

  • Length: Essay must be a minimum of 500 words in length, not including the heading/title, academic honesty statement, and works cited page; essay must not be longer than 750 words in length
  • Content: Essay must offer a clear argument (not just a summary or description of the poem) and must provide close reading analysis of the text
  • Format: Essay must have an interesting and original title; include a works cited page; and be typed, double-spaced, written in 12-point Times or Times New Roman font, and formatted according to standard MLA style

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