The Objectives:
1. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of historical and contemporary poets
through studying one specific poet’s life, the literary period in which he/she lived, his/her style of
writing, and his/her influence on poetry.
2. Students will continue to learn how to research and to read literary criticism.
3. Students will create an overview document regarding their particular poet.
4. Students will effectively incorporate research and literary criticism into a formal essay.
Assignment Description:
Each student will need to research the life and work of a FAMOUS POET (list included below).
You will need to do some research about your poet as well as his/her poetry itself. You are
encouraged to do the research through the CSULA Library (below you can find more information).
Read through as many of the poems as possible and read about the poet’s life as well as what
other critics have said about his/her work. You must include (3 minimum academic sources) in your essay.
The sources must be cited in MLA format and you must include a work cited page. After the
research you will write an essay (minimum 2 pages) that provides the class with a basic
understanding of your poet and his/her work. In the essay you must include one of your favorite
poems written by the POET provided below.
Below is a list of questions/ information to include in your essay:
– Biographical information (birth, education, family, death (if deceased))
– Key events of the time period in which the author wrote
– Major themes in writing
– Most famous works
– Literary period – include other famous authors from the same period
You may choose only ONE of these Poets below:
Amy Gorman Maria Sabina
Excilia Saldana Maya Angelou
Gabriela Mistral Pablo Neruda
Jimmy Santiago Baca
Julia de Burgos
Sample Essay Format:
Below is provided a sample working thesis and outline, but you are not limited to this; you may create
your own.
THESIS: The poetry of _______________, which was influenced by personal background and by
the ____________ literary period, has contributed to poetry genre.
I. His/Her poetry was influenced by personal background.
A. People who influenced the writing.
B. Events that influenced the writings.
II. His/Her poetry was influenced by the __________ literary period.
A. The poems reflected common themes of the period.
B. The poems reflected the characteristic style of the period.
III. What do people say this person did for society or for poetry?
Below are the more specific requirements for this assignment:
1. Your paper must be at least 2 pages doubled space.
2. Your paper must be correctly formatted according to MLA standards (Times New
Roman – 12 point size font- 1 inch margin).
3. You must properly integrate THREE SOURCES from articles researched online.
4. The final paper is due on MONDAY, AUGUST 1ST BY 6:00PM. No papers after the deadline will be accepted.
5. ACADEMIC HONESTY: All written assignments must follow basic academic
citation rules. When you use other people’s words and ideas, you must properly cite
them, whether these words come from the readings, the Internet, or in class. (Cite MLA
format). No plagiarism.