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Your Favorite Poem

Paper 2: Close reading on your favorite poem. (3-5 pages)

Comment from previous close reading paper:

This paper is an improvement, because you focused on the text itself, and made your own observations, rather than pulling from other people’s research. I’d like you to work on narrowing down your overall argument.

Your thesis statement is way too broad, arguing that the focus on “time, space, place, conflict, etc.” in the text allows for the delivery of the experience of the narrator’s first encounter with the Axolotl. You don’t end up actually addressing conflict, and what you do cover surrounding time, and space, is mostly summary of the plot, rather than analysis.

Since you are not developing one argument throughout your paper, you are unable to naturally connect each paragraph. This is why the transition sentences are so abrupt and disconnected from the sentences previous to them. You also begin your paper with an interest in “writing academic essays,” rather than introducing your reader to your argument about “Axolotl.” This distracts from, rather than supports your analysis.

You tend to make observations but then stop short of arguing why those observations matter for an interpretation of the overall text. I recommend that for this upcoming paper you follow the “Six Steps” for close-reading that I sent out. I believe this will help you with your analysis of individual moments in the text (poem/song), which you then can organize into one cohesive argument about the overall text.


I must see improvement based on the comments I gave you on the first essay, you have to improve the problems that I pointed out (transition sentences…) cause I will compare the two paper and see what you’ve improved.

5 paragraph: Intro,3 x body-paragraph, conclusion. ( 3-5 pages )


1. I also attached a list of poetic devices. You do not need to include any of these in your paper, but when trying to understand what is happening at the level of form in the poem/song, it might be helpful to refer to these terms and see if they apply to your observation.

Six Steps:


 List of Poetic Devices:

2. The first is a webpage with information on writing a strong thesis statement.

The second is a webpage that explains what close-reading is, as I realize that this is a new process for many of you. And lastly, here is the website which provides information on MLA. You’ll find standards for formatting your paper under the tab “General Format.” Please use double spacing, 12 point font in Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, and include a header.

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