page numbers [( line 6 W r i t i n g

page numbers [( line 6 W r i t i n g

Essential Elements:

meaning: What do you see as the primary purpose of the poem?

literary devices: Although there is some crossover in terminology, the list is different from the short story list. The terms for poetry are diction (word choice), syntax (word order), imagery, metaphor, personification, figurative language, symbol, allegory, irony, and form (includes open or closed form, rhythm, meter, and rhyme).

specific references to the text: These support your statement of the theme. Use specific quotes and cite details that the author includes, explaining how they demonstrate the term and relate to the theme.


Your introduction should identify the author and the story and state the meaning of the poem as you see it. Also mention the literary devices you intend to discuss. Keep it simple.

Use the literary devices you choose to organize your paper. You don’t have to limit yourself to a paragraph for each one, but keep your discussion of each element separate and put them in a logical order. As you explore each device, giving specific examples from the text, demonstrate and explain how this device serves the meaning of the poem.

Technical Aspects:

Include a Works Cited page, citing the poem. I don’t expect you to use secondary sources, but if you do get outside help, be sure to cite that too. Getting information from a website or other source is perfectly fine; using those ideas without acknowledging them is not. The correct format for this is on p. 2092 of your book under “a work in a collection by different writers.” Use the Robert Frost example, but be sure to replace the pertinent information, including the page number.

Use parenthetical citations to identify quotations in the body of the paper, but use the poem’s line numbers instead of page numbers [(line 6) or (l. 6); for more than one line number use (lines 6–8) or (ll. 6–8)]. For secondary sources, use conventional citations.

When citing more than one line of poetry, put a forward slash (/) where the line break occurs. Be sure to maintain the punctuation, spacing, and capitalization exactly as they appear in the poem:

The last three lines of the poem suggest hesitation and uncertainty, not confidence: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—/I took the one less travelled by,/And that has made all the difference” (ll. 18–20).