I have to write an essay comparing 4 poems. How should I lay out my essay (what should I include in each paragraph)? Is this method acceptable: Paragraph 1: write about poem 1 2: write about poem 2 and compare with poem 1 3: write about poem 3 and compare with 2 and 1 4: write about poem 4 and compare with 1,2,3 I'm not sure about this method as it would take too long... 

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Literary analysis requires that you write an introduction with a thesis statement.  You will want to find at least one thing that the poems have in common, and then use that to construct your thesis.  Your introduction should have  a thesis statement and a brief presentation of what you'll be showing in your paper.  Depending on the required length of your paper, you will then want to have enough body paragraphs to thoroughly explore the thesis you create.  Instead of writing about each poem in one paragraph, you should discuss the poems' commonalities paragraph to paragraph.  Make sure that you do not just summarize the poems in the essay, but instead look at what the poems have in common and discuss them together.  Of course, you want to have a concluding paragraph as well that sums up what you've shown in the body of your paper.

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