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Sonnet Essays and Research Papers

Instructions for Sonnet College Essay Examples

Title: sonnets

Total Pages: 5 Words: 1648 Works Cited: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Essay

Essay Instructions: In a five-page essay, consider what differentiates songs from sonnets. Clearly there are major differences in the forms, but why would a poet choose to write a song rather than a sonnet, or vice versa? What are the differences between the forms' poetic histories? What are the social or artistic differences between the forms - that is, how does a poet hope to present her/himself through choosing one or the other form? Focus your analysis on two poems that best illustrate your argument.

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Title: Sonnets

Total Pages: 2 Words: 674 Bibliography: 0 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper

Essay Instructions: Write a detailed description of the sonnet form. Your
description should include the traditional formal
aspects (meter, rhyme, stanza, line, etc.) of the
Petrarchan sonnet, the Spenserian sonnet, and the
English (or Shakespearean) sonnet and any variants of
which you may be or become aware. Your description
should also include a brief history of the sonnet -- how
it evolved from a sort of "Italian" love poem often
written in long, complex "sequences" to the "occasional"
sonnet we have seen from Milton's time onward.

2) Pick one of Sydney's or Spenser's or Shakespeare's
sonnets that you like, and tell us in
detail why you like it. What is its appeal both
thematically and formally? (You don't need to type out
the whole poem, but please do give us the title and text
page number so we can read what you're talking about.)

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Essay Instructions: #94, "They that have power to hurt and will do none," Analyze it thoroughly as a sonnet. Look at the form, look at the rhyme scheme, at the content, at the figures of speech. In short, explicate the poem and discuss how form helps to echo the content

Text from The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Eighth Edition, Volume 1
Sonnets Pages 1061-1077
Specific Quote #94, on page 1070
Pages will be Faxed

Please send me a private e-mail with your thesis statement (this is always a complete sentence) and a brief overview of your plan for the essay’s organization.

This essay should be analyses of literature: in short, papers which use details from a work (or works) you have read to provide support for your thesis. Every paper will be a word-processed argument that cites at least one source: the work(s) you are writing about. I expect both internal (parenthetical) references and external (source cited list).

When analyzing fiction, you may discuss theme, character, style, or some other literary subject, but your thesis should focus the reader’s attention on one aspect of the work and/or one section of the work. You are writing a literary analysis (it should not retell the plot).

MLA documentation. The work you are referring to should be documented according to the current standards of the Modern Language Association. This includes parenthetical references and a sources cited list. No outside sources are required.

Formal outline. I expect a formal topic outline to follow the sources cited page. Your grammar handbook should have samples. If you are using the Simon and Schuster Handbook, refer to chapter 2. This should be a topic outline (no complete sentences except for the thesis at the top of the page).

Roman numerals should indicate the topic ideas of the body paragraphs (there should be no mention of the introduction or conclusion).

The outline should at least be so detailed as to show the sublevel A, B.

See your grammar handbook for details.

Vocabulary. The essay should refer to literary terms and use them correctly. It should follow the conventions of writing about literature.

It should define any unfamiliar terms for the reader. It should avoid the word use, as in “The Pearl Poet uses references to the color green to underscorethe pagan origin of his challenge.” Instead, say, "The Pearl Poet's references to the color green underscore the pagan origin of his challenge."

The paper throughout should discuss the work in the literary present tense, as though the action in the work were taking place as you write. For example, rather than saying, "The Wife of Bath was looking for another husband," which is past tense, a writer should say, "The Wife of Bath is looking for another husband."

Detail. See the Survival Guide for more information, but the essay should contain paraphrases and quotations, correctly cited according to MLA standards, from the primary source. If the detail is so specific that a classmate could point out the particular passage the paper's referring to, it's a good example. For instance, saying that "The Pardoner is guilty of avarice" doesn't point us to a specific instance in The Canterbury Tales--it's vague. But saying, "After he preaches his sermon on avarice, the Pardoner attempts to sell fake relics to the Pilgrims to enrich himself" is much more concrete.

There are faxes for this order.

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Essay Instructions: Essay #2: Write a 500 word, thesis-driven and specific-example supported essay. Your essay should analyze the use of allusion in the poem ?Sonnet? by Billy Collins, shown below. You will have to create an entry format for this poem on the Works Cited page: author, title, publication information. In your parenthetical documentation, just refer to the line number. On the Works Cited page you should have four additional sources that relate somehow to the sonnet form and/or to Billy Collins. You probably will not find specific criticism about this poem. You can also use material about the sonnet form from your textbook as one of your sources.


By Billy Collins

All we need is fourteen lines, well, thirteen now
and after this one just a dozen
to launch a little ship on love?s storm-tossed seas,
then only ten more left like rows of beans.
How easily it goes unless you get Elizabethan
and insist the iambic bongos must be played
and rhymes positioned at the ends of lines,
one for every station of the cross.
But hang on here while we make the turn
into the final six where all will be resolved,
where longing and heartache will find an end,
where Laura will tell Petrarch to put down his pen,
take off those crazy medieval tights,
blow out the lights, and come at last to bed

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