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Essay Directions:

Student will choose two poems from the ones we have studied in class. For example, a student can select a Shakespearean sonnet and a contemporary poem to compare and contrast the similarities and differences.

Student’s thesis will make an assertion about these two poems (an insight you see between the two poems), using textual evidence to support claims, and then explaining what that evidence means in relation to the poems.

Students must take the following into consideration: themes, symbolism, diction, patterns, and literary devices between the two. In taking these elements into perspective, a student is able to analyze the poems and see how the two poems fit together, how they complement each other, how they show differences/similarities in writing style, or how very different they are from one another.

Compare & Contrast Poems

Compare & Contrast Poems
Criteria Ratings Pts
Purpose & Thesis 30.0 to >20.0 pts ExcellentThe author’s purpose is clear, and the central argument is compelling, well articulated, and supported with evidence and logical reasoning. 20.0 to >12.0 pts Pretty GoodThe author’s purpose is implicit; a central argument is provided; claims are usually supported. 12.0 to >5.0 pts Needs WorkThe author’s purpose is unclear; the central argument is unclear, vague, and/or not stated. Claims are not clearly supported. 5.0 to >0 pts PoorNo thesis or direction for paper evident. 30.0 pts
Engagement with Sources 30.0 to >20.0 pts ExcellentCritical understanding of both texts is demonstrated. The author examines consonances and dissonances between the texts, with clear connections to the focusing question. 20.0 to >12.0 pts Pretty GoodAccurate understanding of both texts is demonstrated.The author discusses similarities and differences between the texts in relation to the focusing question. 12.0 to >5.0 pts Needs WorkSuperficial understanding is demonstrated. The author notes some similarities or differences between the texts. 5.0 to >0 pts PoorThe author demonstrates poor understanding of the texts and does not effectively engage the relationships between texts. 30.0 pts
Development of Ideas 30.0 to >20.0 pts ExcellentThe analysis provides fresh insights of the texts. The analysis uses the sources to both support and complicate their argument. The writer challenges readers to look at the texts and their relationship in a new way. 20.0 to >12.0 pts Pretty GoodThe writer uses the sources to support their argument, the writer guides readers to a deeper understanding of the texts and their relationship. 12.0 to >5.0 pts Needs WorkThe analysis is unfocused and/or offers only superficial discussions of the texts. 5.0 to >0 pts PoorThe analysis is poor because discussion is entirely summative, unfocused, or tangential in nature. 30.0 pts
Academic Writing Style 20.0 to >16.0 pts ExcellentThe writing is appropriately academic in tone/style and is virtually free of grammatical and mechanical errors. 16.0 to >12.0 pts Pretty GoodThe writing is academic in style and contains only a few grammatical and mechanical errors. 12.0 to >5.0 pts Needs WorkThe writing style may not be appropriate to academic contexts; it contains numerous, repeated errors. 5.0 to >0 pts PoorThe writing style is inappropriate and contains numerous distracting errors. 20.0 pts
Paragraphs & Organization 20.0 to >15.0 pts ExcellentThe paragraphs are structured according to a logical trajectory, clarified by explicit transitions. Sentences build logically and are coherent. 15.0 to >10.0 pts Pretty GoodParagraphs are generally cohesive and coherent, with minor lapses. Some paragraphs may lack clear transitions to pull it together. 10.0 to >5.0 pts Needs WorkParagraphs are not quite cohesive and coherent. There are major gaps and weak or unclear transitions make the essay difficult to follow at times. 5.0 to >0 pts PoorThe essay’s structure jumps around, leaving the audience confused. 20.0 pts
MLA 20.0 pts Full MarksStudent follows all MLA guidelines for citation and references with no virtually errors. 15.0 pts Pretty GoodStudent follows MLA guidelines for citation and references with few major errors. 10.0 pts Needs WorkStudent neglects MLA guidelines for citation and references. There are numerous errors. 5.0 pts PoorStudent fails to provide documentation for sources. 20.0 pts
Total Points: 150.0
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