Closed Prompt 1 2008

Author 1A

Overall, this author does a great job analyzing Keats and Longfellow’s poems and meaning. The thesis statement is made well, and quite defendable. Saying that Keats and Longfellow have different viewpoints on life is the answer this prompt is looking for. The claim that both authors feel that life is short is well backed with textual evidence. The usage of the word anaphora is correct and shows that they know what they are talking about. The second paragraph analyzes the differences very well, pointing towards the contrast between the lives of Keats and Longfellow. The meaning that they are able to extract from a few words makes sense. The last paragraph fully backs the thesis and establishes the different viewpoint on life and death. The only thing I believe the author could have done better is add more to the thesis, by adding the first and second paragraphs’ argument. I would have mentioned the differences in love in the thesis, rather than say vague words about regrets they both have. This disconnect feels like the author started writing their thesis, found a better argument, but forgot to modify the thesis to fit their argument. Still, the body paragraphs and conclusion are very strong.

Author 1B

This author’s thesis is not as strong as the Author 1A’s. The only difference that this author finds is actually a similarity. He says that each one symbolizes a wasted life, but lists it as a difference. This author ties their claims and warrants together very well, along with supporting textual evidence. The first body paragraph is a good example of how one should approach one of these prompts. Evidence is all metaphor based, but all of the in text quotes make sense and are not mislabeled. The next body paragraph outlines more similarities between the two poems. However, no differences are discussed except for in the thesis, when the author states that they both have different feelings about death. There isn’t any in text evidence used to prove that claim. The conclusion is very abrupt and doesn’t do well to sum up their argument. This author needs to find more varied sources of evidence to back up their claims, and make more claims. The thesis needs to have a compare and contrast, not just a compare. The essay as a whole is lacking in substance, like the author was rushed. This piece could use a bit more time on the conclusion, and a third body paragraph where the differences are discussed.

Author 1C

This author focuses on only one aspect of both poems: the rhythm. The thesis statement does not discuss anything about the viewpoint of the poems. Furthermore, the thesis only focuses on similarities between the two. The first body paragraph doesn’t mention what type of literary device is being used to convey that the author is close to death, or has a fear of dying. The second body paragraph lacks explicit references to the text. Both of these body paragraphs come up with defensible conclusions. However, the author fails to back them up with claims, evidence, or warrants. The conclusion is also weak, as the author simply comments on how the two poems are similar and different. There is a sense of wrapping things up, but there is no argument to wrap up. The entire piece is rather weak, and it is hard to see what argument is being made, and how.

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