The Road Not Taken Academic Essay

The poem, “The Road Not Taken”

  • This essay should be a 750-1000 word essay focusing on the poetry we have read during Weeks three and four. This essay will be the first in which you will use some sources. While it should primarily use passages from the poem to discuss as evidence, it should also reference 1-2 scholarly sources.
  • The essay should be in MLA essay format (see the sample essay for an example of an MLA formatted essay).
  • The essay must have an MLA format works cited list that cites all sources used. Use literary present and third person in your essay, as discussed in lesson two.

Assignment: Analyze one poem from the assigned readings using one of the following critical approaches (NOT reader response or biographical criticism) we discussed in the Week four forum, using one to two secondary sources to help support your argument. This source must be peer-reviewed and scholarly. Please read lesson four for an explanation about scholarly sources. Make sure that the essay has a strong thesis related to the approach–do not argue that “this poem is best analyzed with this approach.”

Again the allowed critical approach choices are: feminist criticism historical criticism Marxist and social criticism New Historicism psychological criticism structuralism

Your required secondary, scholarly source(s) should come from outside of the assigned readings; the Online Library is a good first stop.

Writing Format: All essays should be written in Times New Roman 12 point plain font. Essays are double spaced, include indented paragraphs with no extra space between paragraphs, and 1 inch margins on all (4) sides. Essays should be MLA formatted and submitted as MS Word documents/attachments.

Write in the third person objective voice, and prove/illustrate points with quotes and paraphrases from your primary and secondary sources, followed by the corresponding in-text and Works Cited citation. Avoid the first person “I” subjective voice in college level scholarly writing. Secondary Sources: Use only scholarly articles and books found through databases in the APUS and other research libraries.

As a general rule, keep quotes to 2-3 lines maximum in these relatively short papers, and no more than 10-15% of the total paper. Focus first on your primary source(s) to prove your thesis and related points, and never allow a secondary source to make your argument for you. Avoid using introductory, encyclopedic, and editorial material as a source.

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