Using two outside sources of biographical background,
develop a 1,000- to 1,500-word paper analyzing the following
literary devices as demonstrated in the lyrics
of a song: irony,
metaphor, personification, simile, and/or symbolism.
Choose a meaningful song you frequently think about or hum
to yourself. Besides the music and beat, what makes particular
words stand out? Because of your experiences, the way you
interpret and take meaning from the song will be different
from others. It may even be different from what the song-
writer intended when choosing certain word combinations
to create an evocative, memorable experience. The same can
be said of the person who chose those lyrics
Using your choice of song, analyze the type and the effective-
ness of the literary devices used by the songwriter: irony,
metaphor, personification, simile, and/or symbolism. Apply
that analysis to explain the structure and meaning of the
song. Incorporate related biographical or autobiographical
information about the writer to provide further insight into
the meaning of the song. You must use a total of three
sources for this assignment: the song and two sources with
To express ideas and inform readers about the meaning of
one song based on its literary devices and applicable biogra-
phical information of the songwriter
Choose a song that you like because the words are memorable
and meaningful to you. Copy the lyrics
into a Word document,
provide the citation information in MLA format, and then
write a paragraph of five to eight sentences explaining why
you?ve chosen it. This represents the first part of your assign-
ment but isn?t part of the word count.
Start on page 705, ?Generating Ideas,? and work through
the steps for analyzing a poem, which you apply to the song
you?ve chosen. Use the knowledge you?ve gained about
poetic literary devices to analyze and explain the use of irony,
metaphor, personification, simile, and/or symbolism in the
song you?ve chosen. Stop at the bottom of page 708 after
completing a rough organizational plan for your analysis.
Don?t conduct any research at this point.
Judiciously choose the most suitable phrases from the song
to illustrate the poetic elements you?ve identified. Be sure
that you use the correct MLA format for quotes from poems
(including any line breaks). Since this is your primary source,
you don?t have to provide parenthetical citations each time
you quote, paraphrase, or summarize the song, but provide
line or stanza indicators as needed to guide your readers.
Although the primary purpose of your paper is to analyze the
literary elements of the song lyrics
, you must also incorporate
some biographical background about the writer related to the
meaning the artist intended for the song. First, search for
primary sources: What has the songwriter written about the
song? Then seek biographies of the lyricist you?ve chosen
(secondary sources). Investigate several different sources to
educate yourself about the songwriter.
Choose five sources that provided the most insight for you
into both the meaning of the song and the use of the literary
elements you?ve identified. Prepare an annotated bibliography
of those five sources (see pages 607?608). Each annotation
must contain two to four sentences explaining not only what
the source covered in relation to the song and/or writer, but
also what you found most interesting or unusual about the
information provided. (The annotated bibliography isn?t part
of the word count.) However, you?ll use information from only
two of your five sources for the actual paper.
Return to your organizational plan and look for places to
incorporate the illustrations you chose from the song and
relevant, reliable information from your two research sources.
This biographical support, as well as the direct quotations
from the song, must be appropriately incorporated into the
paper with MLA in-text citations and explanation.
Continue with the ?Guided Writing Assignment,? pages 709?712.
Use the third-person point of view for this academic essay.
Review your textbook as needed to apply appropriate writing
skills as you prewrite, research, and develop your essay. In
addition, ensure that your work displays good writing traits
and represents the characteristics described on the Course
Rubric (see Appendix).
Prepare the final draft of this research paper according to
the exam submission format assigned in the introductory
instructions of this guide. Be sure the paper itself meets the
word-count requirements. Place all required work in the same
document and in the following order, beginning a new page
for each part:
for the song, your reasons for choosing it, and
the source information
The actual research paper
MLA Works Cited page (three sources used in the
paper?the song and two research sources)
Annotated MLA Bibliography of four research sources
Written examinations must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard 12-point font and left justification. Use 1-inch margins at the top and bottom and 1.25-inch margins for the left and right
sides of the document.
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