ENG 1213:  Analyzing a Text



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-Essay Handout (this document)

-"Cherries" Assignment

-MLA Documentation PowerPoint

-Essay Development Packet

-The Rhetorical Triangle

-Lucien Stryk, “Cherries”

-John Donne, “XVII Meditation”

-Robert Frost, “Mending Wall


All readings plus supplemental materials are available on CampusCruiser or on my website.



Use outside, credible sources where required. If your argument is based on common knowledge, you may not need outside support.




Your paper must be a minimum of 2 pages (@ 600 words) following correct MLA style formatting. Read the guidelines for in-text citations for poems. Also, remember that any reference to the poem, other than to the name of it alone, will require some kind of documentation.




Read John Donne’s “XVII Meditation” and Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” in our anthology/online. Choose one of these to work with, and identify one abstract principle in the text you choose. Explain it to the reader, and then argue for or against that view, arguing your case by giving your reader at least 3 points (topic sentences) to support your position. You must also bring in examples to help clarify your position and provide backing for your stance. Use current events to do so.  This is an expanded version of the “Cherries” assignment. If we were still using that poem, I would identify an abstract concept in the poem such as insensitivity. I would explain how the author uses insensitivity, defining it clearly to my audience. If I agreed that many people are insensitive to the plight of others not only in other parts of the world but just down the street, as Stryk argues in his poem, I would then need to prove it to my reader by showing them examples and explaining why this is so. I would not stop there, for I have to have a reason for bringing this to the reader’s attention. I would then want to offer some cautionary note about what the repercussions for such actions may be. This cautionary note usually goes in the conclusion, though there may be bits of it in each body paragraph tied specifically to the example I am using in those separate paragraphs.  See example at the end of this document.



·         The essay should follow the guidelines for essay writing in course readings.

·         You must support your position with at least three well-developed and well-supported claims.  These main discussion points will become the topics of your body.

·         In your thesis statement, you must make your position clear with a clearly defined subject and attitude.

·         You must:

o   use Standard Academic English with strong verbs and specific words to convey your meaning.

o   follow page format guidelines and proper MLA documentation.

·         assume that your audience for this assignment consists of intelligent, college-level readers.