Category Archives: Paper #1

Advice for Revising Paper #1

If you are opting to revise paper #1, the due date for the revised paper is Monday, November 5th.

When you hand in your revised paper, you must hand in your original (with the grading rubric attached) and write a one-paragraph summary of changes you’ve made to your paper.

The most important area to focus on in revising Paper #1 is adding specific details, both to your analysis of the poem and to the section of the paper about a specific course or person. 

Below is a handout that should give you a sense of the level of detail Paper #1 really needs.  This paper needs to be more than 5 paragraphs in order to provide specific details. Adding details can mean being more specific in your analysis of the poem, or it can mean being more specific when you write about the person in your life you are connecting to this poem.

Questions to consider:

  • Have I quoted from the poem in each body paragraph where I’ve discussed it?  Where would adding a key word, phrase, or line be helpful to my reader?  Are there images from the poem that would flesh out a key point I’m trying to make?
  • Have I given strong details about the specific person I have written about?  Have I explained how I know them, how long I’ve known them?  Have I thought about who, what, where, why, how? 
  • Have I given examples of specific, concrete experiences?  Have I illustrated and explained?


Revising Paper 1 with details

Work on Paper #1 for Monday’s class

Hi everyone,

For Monday, October 1st, you should do the following:

  • decide on your topic (which poem you’re writing about and which person/college course) and begin working on your thesis (hand in topic and/or thesis at beginning of class on Monday)
  • fill out the worksheet I handed out and bring it on Monday
  • read the two model essays by former students that are now posted on Open Lab
  • read the essay “Writing a Short Paper About a Poem” in the textbook, pp.310-315

We’ll also continuing to discuss “Persephone, Falling,” “Found Sonnet: The Wig,” and “Instructions on Giving Up”–please print out the Rita Dove poems so you can annotate your copy!

On Wednesday, we’ll be working on drafts of Paper #1 which will be due on Wed, October 10th.

Handout on Organizing Paper #1

Student Model for Paper #1

Below are two student papers from fall 2017 responding to the same assignment (Paper #1).  Both papers did a great job following the assignment guidelines, providing thoughtful connections between the poem and the college course.  The first paper responds to Option 1 and is about William Wordsworth’s sonnet “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802”:


sample paper 1 Wordsworth

The second sample paper responded to Option 2 and is about the Countee Cullen poem:

Sample Student paper option 2 fall 2017

Paper #1 assignment sheet

Hi everyone,

Below are the guidelines for paper #1 which is due on Wednesday, October 10 .

We’ll be working on this paper in stages:

–identifying which option you’ll be writing about and which poem

–handing in a tentative thesis statement

–spending one class session working on a draft

–revising the paper (an option for everyone who hands it in on time) once you’ve received a grade on it

Paper 1 poetry fall 2018