In your first paragraph, introduce the passage to someone unfamiliar with Whitman’s work. Explain where it comes in the poem, and a little about what leads up to it. Then present your thesis. Your thesis should answer this question: Why is this an important passage? How does it help us understand Whitman’s poetry?
– In your body paragraphs, support your thesis by making specific observations about your passage. Refer back to specific lines, phrases or words from the passage. Refer to other passages and poems in order to show how the relationship between this passage and the whole.
Use at least four terms from this list: repetition, anaphora, exaggeration, list, narrator, reader, juxtaposition, negation, metaphor, rhythm, sound, apostrophe, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs
And use at least one of these verbs to talk about what this passage does: Celebrate, praise, condemn, lament, announce, sing.
Do NOT use any of these words: Descriptive, Flowing/”it flows”/fluid, Poetic, Beautiful, Pretty, Confusing, Old-fashioned
– In your conclusion, ask at least one question you still have about the passage. What more do you want to know, and how would you go about finding it? (This could include knowing more about Whitman’s life and times – think about the kinds of sources you’d want to look at.) This is not a research paper, but think about what you’d research if it were.
Guideline for quoting poetry:
As noted above, you’ll start your essay by quoting your passage. When doing this, match the line breaks and give the poem title and line numbers at the end. For example:
“I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end,
But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.”
Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself” (38-9).
In the course of your essay, you’ll want to refer back to specific lines within the passage. When doing this, incorporate them into your paragraphs. You can quote these lines in the way described above, or you can use line breaks like this “I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end,/ But I do not talk of the beginning or the end” (38-9).