Chaffey College
English 1C

Explication of a poem

• The poetry explication (10% of the course grade) calls for students to write an explication about any poem of appropriate length or complexity for a paper of approximately 1000 words total.

An explication is a kind of argument academic writers make about a work of literature that says both what that work means and also how the author produces that meaning through the use of (in the case of poetry) language.

Students should review this website in order to gain a better understanding of the characteristics and typical concerns appropriate for poetry explication.

Additionally, students will find the poetry-related links in the Reading and Writing about Poetry topic area of the Moodle site useful for any "level" of poetry reader, from neophyte to aficionado.

What? How?

•  As you explain the what and the how, stick close to the text of the poem:  You must use specifics of the text as evidence to support your claims about what the poem means and how it achieves that meaning, and you should use Modern Language Association (MLA) style for the standards of poetry usage and citation.

• The written explication will be evaluated on the quality of thesis and supporting argument, on proper MLA-style integration of relevant and sufficient textual support, and on the quality of written expression.

• The written explication should be approximately 1,000 words in length, and should be double-spaced and word-processed.  For other MS Word document format guidelines, please consult any of the newer handouts and handbooks available in the Writing Center or in online writing centers.

•Students submit their papers via e-mail or upload to Moodle.

updated 1/2/18