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Content 1. I have a thesis statement that makes a specific, arguable observation

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1. I have a thesis statement that makes a specific, arguable observation about the works I am writing on.
2. My thesis includes a theme (not just subject) of both texts and indicates the topics I plan to cover in body paragraphs (specific comparison points). I’ve applied lessons taught in class on this topic.
3. My interpretations of the works are supported by quoted textual evidence: specific words, phrases, images, symbols, etc. found in the work itself. These quotes have been chosen because they support my thesis or my topic sentence and I have limited the length of quotes as needed.
4. I have at least one quotation from each primary source (i.e. the poems I am analyzing) in each body paragraph where the poems are addressed, and additional textual evidence every time I make a new analytical claim.
5. I have followed every quotation or use of paraphrasing with analysis to show how it supports my interpretive argument [see PIE method lesson].
6. I have restricted use of pure plot summary to the introduction, and have built body paragraphs with critical analysis and detailed supporting evidence instead of summary.
7. I have included NO statements reflecting my views about whether or not the text or the author is a good/bad writer or if the poem is entertaining. I have also not made statements on my preference of one poem over the other.
8. I have not made any comparisons between the world of the story and the real world of today, as these are considered off-topic for the assignment.
9. I have not over-quoted. Roughly 70% of every paragraph consists of my own words / analysis.
10. If I took the research option, I’ve used only credible, on-topic academic sources to support my interpretation and I’ve applied lessons we’ve discussed in class on effective use of critical sources. 11. I have no factual errors (such as referring to these works as American or set in the wrong war).
12. I have followed assignment instructions, including meeting the minimum word count and analyzing TWO poems from the list on the assignment sheet.
Organization 1. The first sentence of every body paragraph states what interpretive argument the paragraph is about – which should be limited to one subject.
2. Every sentence in each body paragraph helps explain the main idea of that paragraph. There are no random sentences in the paragraphs.
3. Sophisticated transitions are used to connect ideas. 4. Every paragraph is a fully developed one. Typically, this means they are between 4-5 sentences long minimum.
5. There is a conclusion. This paragraph doesn’t introduce brand new evidence or arguments.
Grammar 1. I have fully proofread my essay for grammar and spelling errors.
2. My essay is in third person present tense. There is no use of “I” or “we” or “you” or “the reader” or any synonymous words unless it is in a quote from a source.
3. I use the literary present throughout (e.g. “Owen suggests,” rather than “Owen suggested”).
1. I have included in-text citations for all quoted and paraphrased material in my essay and they are formatted correctly. When moving between the two poems, I have clearly indicated which poem I’m talking about either in sentence or in parenthetical citation. If analyzing two poems by the same author, I use the title to indicate which text I’m talking about.
2. I have referred to the MLA style guide / handbook to confirm my citations are correct. I understand that line breaks must be indicated with the / symbol and that in-text citations give the line numbers quoted.
3. I have included a Works Cited list at the end of the essay and it has the correctly formatted entry for the poems I’m analyzing. For this essay, that means presenting entries with the poet’s name, the title of the work within quotation marks, and the date of publication (see the assignment guideline sheet for this info).
4. If I used research, I have entries for these sources and they are properly formatted.
5. My essay is double-spaced.
MINIMUM LENGTH: 1000 words
TOPIC: In this essay, you will provide comparative analytical argument about two poems
written about World War I, chosen from the list below:
 “Here Dead We Lie” – A.E. Housman, 1914
 “A Soldier’s Cemetery” – John William Streets, 1916
 “‘They’” – Siegfried Sassoon, 1917
 “Disabled” – Wilfred Owen, 1917
 “Mental Cases” – Wilfred Owen, 1917
 “Strange Meeting” – Wilfred Owen, 1918
 “Suicide in the Trenches” – Siegfried Sassoon, 1918
 “The Hero” – Siegfried Sassoon, 1918
Choose 2
GOAL: Keeping in mind that you may not simply replicate classroom discussion, the goal of
this assignment is to develop your comparative literary analysis skills. As discussed in
class, comparative analysis requires that you go beyond simply listing similarities and
differences in the poems! These poets were all writing on the same general subject, the
war, and were all critical of one or more aspect of it, but had varying specific messages,
different focal points, and different styles. As such, it’s up to you to analyze how these
similarities and differences are represented by various poetic elements, using well-chosen
and brief quotations from each poem in order to support your claims.
ORGANIZATION TIP: One popular approach to organizing this essay is to cover it in two
stages – propaganda vs. reality:
1) How, according to the poems, was the war “packaged” or sold to young men who hadn’t
yet enlisted or new recruits?
2) What was the reality of the war, and how did it compare to the packaging? For each
phase, you’d support your analysis with lines from the poem(s). You could organize by
other subjects, as well (such as types of injury

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