Five common errors - What to do

Maev Ann Rabbitte

Address the question. Where necessary, indicate whether you agree or disagree. Outline your argument. State the poems you will use. Briefly indicate why your chosen poems are relevant to the question.

Only use biographical detail where it is relevant to a point you are making. Keep biographical details brief; your primary focus should be on the poems.

Only use figurative language if it is in a direct quotation by the poet. Express yourself in factual/literal language.

Revised example: "This poem explores the poet's devastation when his mother died."

Be specific; there is more than one kind of impact. Did it shock you/amuse you/alter your perspective on a particular issue?

Explain every quotation you use, particularly if it contains figurative language. Integrate the quotation into your own words. Make the relevance of the quotation clear.