• Poetry Research Paper Pre-results! Warnings!


          Don’t pick a non-poet. Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, etc.

          Speaker doesn’t necessarily equal the poet. Robert Browning is a murderer?

          Don’t research your poem. It will prejudice into thinking a certain way or it will direct you into simply summarizing what the poem is about—this paper requires your thinking!

          Don’t prove that a sonnet is a sonnet, or a poem about a dead child is about a dead child, or a war poem is a war poem. Your job is to find the not so obvious.

          No research (that matters / counts) should be intro. Conclusion okay, but iffy.

          Quote your research at least once…it shows you did it and they really said it.

          Have clear topic sentences (ones based on research not poem…then in body you bring in poem to prove the topic)

          Anything in the body should not be in the intro!

          Thesis: Something about external factors inadvertently influenced the poet.


          Your job is to make connections. If it doesn’t connect to poem or to researched item, don’t mention it. Rhyme scheme? So…unless she uses the same all the time.

          Let the poem mirror your findings.

          The poem is “characteristic of Smith’s style”… he always shifts early…here too (you need research of his style to support you) (TY Sedona)

          Least important is what the poem is about…save it for a timed write.

          Don’t rely on an experts poet analysis when the object is not to analyze…know the purpose…To make connections only only only (the analysis will happen from that)


          No Wikapedia / no student websites / don’t be afraid to step foot into actual libraries

          “Editors on Encyclopedia Brittanica” is not MLA Style

          Encyclopedias last resort