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Analyze a sequence of sonnets, providing an explication of one of the sonnets, and demonstrating an understanding of key poetic terms that relate to the writing and reading of a sonnet. (Shakespeare: Sonnets 12, 15, 18, 19:)

ENGL 310 Paper One: Sonnet Analysis Paper

Overview of the Paper. Writing Assignment 1 is a literary analysis paper of four (but no more than five) pages (excluding the Works Cited page) focusing on the literary form of the sonnet in the Renaissance taken from one of the sequences below.

Part of this paper will provide a close reading of a sonnet. You do not have to use outside sources, but instead rely on the sonnets themselves in order to provide a close reading of the sonnet. If you need to review key literary terms, see the link below.

Topic: The Sonnet Sequence. As we have discovered, Renaissance poets often wrote a sequence of sonnets, developing a theme, even an underlying narrative at times. In a 1,000-1,250 word paper (four to five pages), you will be analyzing a sequence of sonnets, providing an explication of one of the sonnets, and demonstrating an understanding of key poetic terms that relate to the writing and reading of a sonnet.

Your choice of sequence:

Shakespeare: Sonnets 12, 15, 18, 19: http://www.bartleby.com/70/50012.html

OR

Sidney: Sonnets 5 (It is most true; 6 (Some lovers speak, when they their muses entertain); 7 (When Nature made her chief work, Stellas eyes); 9 (Queen Virtues court, which some call Stellas face).

Development: In your paper, your thesis should identify the theme of the sonnet sequence and how you are going to demonstrate the theme.

Then, in an explication of one of the sonnets (your choice of the four sonnets), explain how the sonnet develops the theme, both as a separate poem and a part of the sequence. Refer to the other sonnets as necessary, but you have to provide an explication for only one of them.

Within the content of your explication, demonstrate that you can work through a sonnet quatrain-by-quatrain and the final couplet by analyzing how the poet uses at least three of the following poetical devices: figures of speech, symbols, tone, diction, stanza form (such as the controlling argument in each stanza and the volta), enjambment or end-stopped, and rhyme (such as eye or historical rhyme or true rhyme). You should provide appropriate (and documented) references to the sonnet(s). You do not have to provide definitions of the terms within the paper, but if you need to review any of these terms, please use The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms, found in UMUCs databases: http://www.oxfordreference.com.ezproxy.umuc.edu/view/10.1093/acref/9780199208272.001.0001/acref-9780199208272

General Format for the Paper

MLA style of documentation and formatting must be used for formatting and documentation. A Works Cited page is required, including the documentation of the readings from the texts.

There are resources available to you on writing literary analysis and the MLA style found in the Webliography (Writing about Literature) and at the UMUC Librarys (http://www.umuc.edu/library/libhow/mla_examples.cfm).

Development of the Paper: Overall, the paper should have a strong thesis statement contained in an introductory paragraph; an organizational pattern that reflects control over the presentation of your ideas and information as you work through the sonnet; body paragraphs that develop the thesis by using strong topic sentences and appropriate references to the sonnets; a final paragraph that concludes the paper itself; strong control over sentence level concerns, including stylistics, documentation style, and grammatical concerns.

Helpful Hints: If you have not taken ENGL 303 (or its been awhile), you may want to review the concept of explication, which is a close reading of a poem. These two sites can help you if you need assistance in how to write this type of analysis:

From the Writing Center of the University of North Carolina: http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/poetry-explications/
From the Purdue OWL: Note that the sample uses a Shakespearean sonnet, but not one given in the topic of this paper. The sample provides NOTES ONLY, not the explication itself: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/751/1/
UMUCs Effective Writing Center is available to help you through the drafting of your paper. They will not advise on content, and you should allow at least 48 hours turn-around time for them to respond to you (so you cant submit it the night before a paper is due and expect to receive feedback): http://www.umuc.edu/writingcenter/writingadvising/guidelines.cfm

Submission of the Paper: By the due date in the Course Schedule. You will be attaching it in your Assignments Folder. Please submit only a .doc or .rtf file (no PDFs or .odts, please). Penalties for late papers are explained in the Syllabus.

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