Best Strategies For Composing A Poem Response Essay


This short instructional article will help you begin planning and drafting a poem response essay in line with the thesis instructions or learning notes given to you. It does this well by proposing the best strategies for preparing a paper that responds directly to the poem being read, analyzed and critiqued.


  • Close reading and original thinking
  • Close reading is one of the most crucial aspects of performing a literary analysis of a poem. Fortunately, students do not need to be intimidated by the requirement to explain all the devices used in a poem. English language lecturers, professors, and scholars seek a balanced and independent approach from students. What this means is that students will be required to explain how the devices – such as metaphor, rhyme, verse – operate in the poem to foreground a particular meaning.


    Another advantage for students is that where the independent approach is concerned, evaluators will be looking out for own, original thinking during the analysis.


  • Poetry project has several stages
  • From the first reading of the poem to the final submission of the essay requires a structured, organizational and systematic approach to the entire project. Another intimidation for undergraduates has often been their high school learning experience where they had been required to learn by rote and memorize poems. Unless scholars had an excellent memory and/or above average love for poetry, this was never easy to do.


    Time and prioritization here does not leave room for memorizing. Rather, students need to focus on their close readings which require a process of several readings throughout the different stages of the project


  • Line for line note-taking
  • Structuring the final essay – beginning with clear note-taking and drafting – also requires both an organizational and independent approach. Here, while still observing academic conventions and rules, students have a great opportunity to extend their creative experience and stretch their critical thinking. Here’s a very useful tip; rather than work with penciled notes from a photocopy of the poem, use a separate sheet of paper to take down notes on each line and verse. This eliminates confusion entirely and also allows writers to improve their memorization techniques, if required, and their ability to think critically, expansively and independently.


There are numerous ways to go about preparing a poem response academic paper. What this guide has done in the meantime is highlight a few key areas of the process.