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Research Paper -- Sylvia Plath -- IN NEED OF EXTREME HELP!

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Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:08 am
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Gadi. says...



I've never had this much trouble with paper writing before.

My English teacher asked us the other day to write a research paper about a particular author. It should relate to their writing, it should use secondary sources only, yes, yes...

Anyways... I don't know what to do.

I've written this much so far:

The Ash of Sylvia Plath


“Poetry is just the evidence of life,” Leonard Cohen once said. “If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” As Sylvia Plath’s life incinerated into a heap of dust, her poetry grew and bloomed. In the years before her death, her most troubled period, Plath penned three of her most well-known poems, “Daddy”, “Lady Lazarus” and “Tulips”—all three illustrating the misery of depression. Her posthumously-released novel, The Bell Jar, also deals with prolonged hopelessness and its degradation of the soul. Plath, who committed suicide 46 years ago at the age of 30, has been hailed ubiquitously as one of the most acclaimed and preeminent poets of the 21st century, on account of her inimitably pensive, cynical voice. Plath’s poetry and prose reflect on her prolonged battle against despair, bringing to life her personal struggles as an artist and as a woman.


I don't know if it's good or what, and if it's okay, then what should the next body paragraphs talk about? I mean, this is so confusing! I'm so.... Ugh!

EDIT: He asked us to choose an author or poet and make up our own thesis. I can't dissect poems because I have to use SECONDARY sources, which means I have to include research.

My thesis, I think, is: Plath’s poetry and prose reflect on her prolonged battle against despair, bringing to life her personal struggles as an artist and as a woman.
Last edited by Gadi. on Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:19 am
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Ducati says...



Well for essay I find it's best to plan out what each paragraph's "point" will be before I do anything, even the introduction. Then in the introduction I can mention the forthcoming points in order. So spilt it up into three things for now. I don't know much about her, but maybe, Poems, Novels, Personal life and how it relates to her work. Then think of a few points for each of these, right them and their sources under each headings. Then write the topic sentences for each paragraph. Then..just write. Hope I helped, it's usually simpler if you break it down because essays are very structured. I didn't mean to patronise if I did.
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Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:15 am
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Kylan says...



Go into the subjects of her poetry. Plath definately stays within certain boundaries when it comes to the topics she choses. Take your favorite poem of hers and dissect it. Describe how her poetry makes you feel. Describe how it has influenced your life. Give a short biography. Pick up on the underlying psychological themes of her poetry. I've noticed she often mentions babies. I've noticed she often describes the simple color of things. Such and such is red. Such and such is white. Lots of blacks, whites, reds, and greens. Consistantly, how does she structure her poetry. She wrote a novel. Mention this.

What you've written so far is fine. A tad dry, but most research papers are. Thing is, you've pretty much summarized her entirely in that single paragraph. With every point you've made in this paragraph, go more in depth. Possibly cut some things out of this introductory paragraph and expand on them later on in the paper.

-Kylan
"I am beginning to despair
and can see only two choices:
either go crazy or turn holy."

- Serenade, Adélia Prado




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Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:22 am
Snoink says...



Eh. That first paragraph kind of sucks. As in, it really really sucks. Be glad you're only fifteen. In college, you might get a D for that paragraph, if you're lucky. In high school, you would probably get an A. But really, your main problem is that you have no thesis. That is, your thesis is that poetry is like ash, but then you directly contradict it the next sentence by saying that her poetry blooms. Um. Newsflash: ash can't bloom. So you've written yourself in a hole in your first paragraph. Lovely, isn't it? So, if I were grading this, just based on that first paragraph, I would totally give you a 43%. Which is usually a D in engineering standards.

So stop writing. Really. You're bull-sneezing your way through this and it's SO obvious. So stop digging that hole deeper.

1. Find a list of her writings in chronological order. Read a few of them. Her style is lovely and easy to read. You'll find it goes quickly. Do some analysis on your own.

2. Going in chronological order, read the analyses on her writing by respected people. Jot down the important notes.

3. After reading this, what can you say about her writings? What do they strike you as? How can you see Sylvia Plath through her work? How did her critics see Sylvia Plath through her work?

4. Read the specific question that your teacher assigned you (you didn't write it down here). Answer it. This is your thesis.

5. How can you support this thesis? From the notes that you jotted down, find some good quotes to support it. Each paragraph should support your thesis.

6. Make a conclusion. With all the information you've presented, show us once again that your thesis is correct.

That's it, really. I can't help you anymore without knowing the specific assignment that your teacher gave you. But what you have now is crap.
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"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

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Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:57 pm
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Gadi. says...



So I edited it a little...

The Ash of Sylvia Plath

“Poetry is just the evidence of life,” Leonard Cohen once said. “If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” As Sylvia Plath’s life smoldered into a heap of dust, her poetry grew and bloomed. In the years before her death, her most troubled period, Plath penned three of her most well-known poems, “Daddy”, “Lady Lazarus” and “Tulips”—all three illustrating the horrors of despair with strong, expressive literary devices. Her only novel, the posthumously-released The Bell Jar, portrays a young woman’s tumble into perpetual hopelessness and insanity, akin to Plath’s own descent to psychosis. Plath, who committed suicide in 1963 at the age of 30, has been hailed ubiquitously as one of the most acclaimed and preeminent poets of the 21st century, on account of her inimitably pensive, cynical voice. Plath’s poetry and prose reflect on her prolonged battle against depression, bringing to life her personal struggles as an artist and as a woman.
my world isn't only beautiful
it is so far away