Peer Edit Sheet for Poetry Analysis Essays
1. Does the writer construct a clearly developed framework, relating the poem (its subject, structure, theme, etc.) to a social issue or reality? Where and how should the writer expand his framing remarks?
2. Examine the thesis carefully. Has the writer assembled a forceful, argumentative statement(s) that lends clarity and dimension to the poem’s theme, structure, imagery, voice, etc.? How might the writer improve the content and the phrasing?
3. If the writer is comparing two or more poems, comment on the strength (or weakness) of the connection. Offer points of improvement.
Argument and Analysis
1. Does the writer offer an intimate (and convincing) explication of the poem, line by
line, stanza by stanza?
2. Do the explications gesture back to the thesis, or do some of these seem unnecessarily
divergent or superfluous?
3. Where could the writer better improve her analysis of the lines? Does she overlook
certain connotations in the language? Does she ignore provocative images, gloss over
4. How tight is the analysis? How repetitive? Are there noticeable gaps in the argument,
in its clarity, flow, logic, stability? In other words, does the writer explain all of his ideas clearly? And does the writer fully appreciate the complexity of the poem—its subtle tonal shifts and contradictions, its structural unity?
5. Does the writer make a convincing and keen use of theoretical concepts? Do these
concepts further your understanding of the poem, drawing greater meaning out of the
6. Does the writer quote too often from the poem or from outside sources? Should
the writer quote the poem more?
1. Suggest ways to improve restatements of thesis and focus.
2. Offer points of improvement to the writer’s transition from the body to the conclusion.
1. Does the writer remember to write consistently in present tense, in active voice?
2. Does the writer introduce and cite all quotations?
3. Suggest changes for awkward phrasing, grammar, and mechanics (putting all
punctuation inside quotation marks, for example).
5. Point out places for improving transitions within and between paragraphs.
6. Check the writer’s use of MLA in citing, building a Works Cited page, creating a
proper heading and title. Good titles briefly comment on theme and include the title
of the literary work: Familial Demise in John Updike’s “Separating.”
The Beloved as Body and Earth in Neruda’s Cien Sonetos de amor