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Requirements for Documented Essays
1. The essay should be between 700-1200 words.
2. It must be written using formal language – third person, not 1st or 2nd.
3. It must be word processed and double-spaced. Use a 12 pt. standard font like Times New
4. The introduction must contain a thesis statement, one that is not an announcement, such as “in
this essay, I will analyze” or “this essay will discuss.”
5. Essay should contain at least three body paragraphs. They should support thesis.
6. Each body paragraph should contain specific references from the primary sources (poems or
literary works from our textbook).
7. At least two secondary sources should be used. Secondary sources are critical essays/articles
about the primary source. These should be scholarly, not a website such as Shmoop, Spark
Notes, e-notes, or 123essay. One secondary source must be from databases to which the
college library subscribes. See notes in module for first essay about accessing the databases.
8. You must cite each secondary source in your essay.
9. Both primary and secondary sources should be cited using MLA documentation – (author’s last
name and page number). Keep in mind that poetry is cited by line number rather than page
number. Also slash marks are used between lines if quoting more than one line of poetry. If the
quote is longer than four lines, then block (indent 10 spaces) and type it as it appears in the text.
10. Essay must include a Works Cited page following MLA guidelines. Be sure that you list both the
primary source(s) (literary works themselves) and the secondary sources on the works cited.
11. Essay must include a concluding paragraph.

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