Read each selection assigned for the week, and then select one poem to respond to by typing a 2-3 page précis (part summary/part critical response). (600-750 words) *You can write over the maximum word count, but make sure you make it to the minimum!
Respond on two levels of discourse: 1) literal: what is specifically said? What happens in the course of the poem, play, story; what is the plot? and 2) figurative: what are the devices of language—poetic devices like imagery, meter, rhyme, symbolism, metaphor, simile, anaphora, etc., and how do they affect your thematic reading of the piece?
Overall, your responses should be expositional in nature. That is: make assertions about the text, cite the text, and explain your point in reference to the citation. Sometimes I will ask specific questions for you to consider. Remember, each quote should appear in one of your own sentences, so use meaningful quotes that you can explain and interpret.
The following is a checklist for each précis assignment. Be sure to address each:
- Name the author and title, giving a brief literal summary (explain the plot) of the poem.
- Identify 2 elements of language (use the vocabulary list: metaphor, imagery, symbolism, etc.)
- Cite an example of both elements as you name them.
- Explain and interpret the relevance of each citation.
- Discuss how these citations relate to one thematic idea (pick only ONE abstraction you think this poem is "about": Grief; Victory; Nature; Solitude; Family; etc.)
- Be sure to cite from at least one scholarly source (use the databases).
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