Dr. McMahand   


English Composition



Peer Review for Poetry Analysis Essay




1.       Does the writer construct a clearly developed framework, relating both poems to the poets’ backgrounds?  Should the writer relate the poems to a social issue or reality?  Where and how should the writer expand his framing remarks?

2.       How could the writer improve her introduction of the authors and the poems’ titles?

3.       Examine the thesis carefully.  Has the writer assembled a forceful, argumentative statement(s) that lends clarity and dimension to the poems’ themes, structures, imagery, etc.?  How might the writer improve the content and the phrasing?

4.       Comment on the strength (or weakness) of the connection between the two poems.  Offer points of improvement.


Argument and Analysis


1.  Does the writer offer a credible and convincing explication of the poems, 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 powerful metaphors?

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?  Could the writer analyze more of the poems’

     subtle tonal shifts and contradictions, the structural unity?

5.  Does the writer make a convincing comparison of the two poems?  Does the comparison balance the ideas, images,

     metaphors, etc. in both pieces?

6.  Does the writer quote too often from the poems?  Should the writer quote the poems more?




1.  Suggest ways to improve restatements of thesis and main ideas.

2.  Offer points of improvement to the writer’s transition from the body to the conclusion.


General Concerns


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


4.  Point out places for improving transitions within and between paragraphs.

5.  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: Ghostly Revelations in Stanley Kunitz’s

     “Quinnapoxet” and “Passing Through”    

     Spiritual Doubt: Olds’s “Prayer in the Time of Illness” and Kenyon’s “Let Evening Come”