English 207: Studies in Poetry
Tompkins G115. M, W 3:00-4:15
First Paper Assignment
start of class,
Wednesday Jan. 23
LENGTH:: at least 2 and
no more than 4 full pages, double-spaced computer-printed texts,
standard margins : 1.25" left and right margins; 1" bottom and
No handwritten papers accepted.
To see how you are able to read and interpret a poem before
this class, I need a good writing sample from you.
Choose any one of the poems we've read in the Seagull Reader thus far that you found most
interesting.. Locate the poem in the Seagull Reader, and read it
carefully. Your assignment is to write a brief essay in the form of
an argument for what you think this poem is about and why. Try not to
simply summarize or paraphrase the poem; rather, explain what you think
it is about and what it means using some specific examples from the
poem to support your claims. You need only your wits about you and the
poem to write this paper.
I know that there are hundreds of places in cribs like Cliff Notes, books, and online
where you might find somebody else's opinions about this poem, but I am
NOT interested in seeing those from you. It is pointless for you to
borrow from any of these for three reasons: first, if you do, I'll be
measuring your later improvement against someone else's baseline
ability as a reader of poetry, and that does neither of us any good;
second, you needn't fear a bad grade on this, since it is graded pass
fail--turn it in and show sincere effort and you pass; third,
plagiarism is cheating, is the
absolute antithesis of critical thinking, and can get you in big
This may well be hard for you. All I ask is that you do your best and
be honest. Say what YOU think the poem's about.
English 207 Syllabus