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The Poetry Essay To understand the text and analyze those techniques the poet uses to achieve his or her purpose.

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Presentation on theme: "The Poetry Essay To understand the text and analyze those techniques the poet uses to achieve his or her purpose."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Poetry Essay To understand the text and analyze those techniques the poet uses to achieve his or her purpose.

2 Kinds of questions asked: How does the language of the poem reflect the speaker’s perceptions, and how does that language determine the reader’s perceptions? How does the poet reveal character? (i.e., diction, sound devices, imagery) Discuss the similarities and differences between the two poems. Consider style and theme. Contrast a speaker’s views toward a subject in two poems. Refer to form, tone, and imagery. Discuss how poetic elements, such as language, structure, imagery, and point of view, convey meaning in a poem.

3 Planning Your Time 1-3 minutes reading and “working the prompt” 5 minutes reading and making marginal notes – try to isolate two references that strike you. 10 minutes preparing to write Highlight, underline, circle 20 minutes to write your essay 3 minutes to proofread.

4 Working the Prompt Once you know what is expected, you will read in a more directed manner. Once you internalize the question, you will be sensitive to the details that will apply as you read the poem. Once you know all the facets that need to be addressed, you will be able to write a complete essay that demonstrates adherence to the topic. Highlight, circle, or underline essential terms and elements used in the poem(s).(refer to handouts)

5 Writing the Opening Paragraph Sets the tone and raises the expectations of the reader. Make certain your topic is clear Include the poet and title Address the portraits, contrasts, insights Specifically mention the techniques you will refer to in your essay

6 Sample Opening The observer and the observed. One has control over the other. In her poem, “On the Subway,” Sharon Olds asks her readers to enter the mind of a white woman who observes a young, black man as they travel together, neither knowing the other. Using poetic devices, imagery, and organization, Olds takes the reader on a ride through the contrasts and images that spark the imagination of the white onlooker.

7 Analysis of Sample Immediately reveals the writer’s confidence and mature writing style. The prompt is addressed in an interesting manner, letting the reader know the tone of the essay.

8 Sample Opening Two “And he is black and I am white” establishes the basic content and conflict in Sharon Old’s poem, “On the Subway.” Through imagery, organization, and poetic devices, Olds creates two contrasting portraits. The narrator’s confrontation becomes the reader’s also as she reveals her troubling fears and insights through her images and comments concerning her encounter with the black youth.

9 Writing the Body Present your interpretation and the points you wish to make that are related to the prompt Use specific references and details from the poem (refer directly to the original – don’t always paraphrase; place quotation marks around those words and phrases that you extract) Use “connective tissue” to establish adherence to the question (use repetition of key ideas from opening; try using “echo words” – insight = inference/observation/perception – fear = apprehension/insecurity; create transitions from one paragraph to the next **See Handout

10 Rapid Review Review terms and techniques Become familiar with types of poetry prompts (questions) Highlight the prompt to make certain you are aware of required tasks Time your essay carefully Read the poem a couple of times Spend sufficient time “working the poem” before writing Mark up the poem

11 Rapid Review continued Create a strong opening paragraph, including prompt information Refer often to the poem for concrete details and quotes to support your ideas Always stay on topic Avoid simply paraphrasing Include transitions and echo words Practice – vary the prompt and your response Consult models and rubrics for self- evaluation

12 The Prose Passage Essay Generally, this is a one-page excerpt from a work of fiction or nonfiction. More often than not, the selection will be from a novel or short story. The nonfiction selection may include essays, biographies, autobiographies, and articles from periodicals. Be aware that the exam may also present an excerpt from a drama.

13 First, the purpose of this essay is for the College Board to determine your facility in reading and interpreting a sustained piece of literature. It requires you to understand the text and to analyze those techniques and devices the author uses to achieve his or her purpose. Second, it allows you to demonstrate your ease and fluency with terminology, interpretation, and criticism.

14 Third, it determines your ability to make connections between analysis and interpretation. For example, when you find a metaphor, you should identify and connect it to the author’s intended purpose or meaning. You should connect everything to your interpretation.

15 Types of Prose Passage Essay Questions: Analyze narrative and literary techniques and other resources of language used for characterization. How does narrator reveal character? (i.e., tone, diction, syntax, point of view) Analyze style and tone and how they are used to explore the author’s attitudes toward his or her subject.

16 Don’t be thrown by the complexity of the passage. Remember, you choose the references you wish to incorporate into your essay. So, even if you haven’t understood everything, you are still able to write an intelligent essay – as long as you address the prompt and refer to the parts of the passage you do understand.

17 Reading and Notating the Prose Passage Read quickly to get the gist of the passage (1-3 min.) Reread, using the visual and marginal notes (annotation - 5 min.) 10 min. to plan 20 min. to write 3 min. to proofread

18 Prose Passage Practice Read “The Dead”. Look for ways Joyce reveals Gabriel’s character. Annotate. Use this method next: Concept: Technique/Device: Words/Phrases from the text: Conclusion:

19 Types of Free-Response Prompts The journey as a major force in a work (Gulliver’s Travels, The Kite Runner) Descent into madness/hell (Medea, Heart of Darkness) An ironic reversal in a character’s beliefs or actions (Heart of Darkness, Oedipus) The role of the fool, comic character, or wise servant who reveals _____ (King Lear)

20 How a minor character is used to develop a major character. How time is a major factor. The analysis of a villain with regard to the meaning of the work. Parent/child or sibling relationships and their significance. The conflict between character and society.

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