The essay can be improved by avoiding the excessive use of short quotations from the literature being analyzed and distributing these quotes intermittently in the body of the text. It would be more helpful and clear if the essay would present a complete statement or paragraph of Blake’s work as an insert and then the essay would explicitly discuss the content of the work. The employment of quoted material across the entire text of the essay also shows abuse of this feature, as exemplified in its use when the titles of Blake’s works are being identified (Blake 2, 4). It would be more direct to read the title of the piece of literature in italics, instead of using quotation marks. Thus, proper use of quotation marks as the needs arises will result in a change of citation from “Infant Sorrow” to Infant Sorrow.
The strongest point of the essay is the content, as it intricately dissects two narrative pieces written by Blake (Frye 15). However, it should also be understood that the content of an essay could be swayed by the manner of its presentation, as well as the organization and sequence of facts that are presented in the text (Auerbach 25). The content of the essay portrays a good understanding of the message that the author wanted to deliver. However, it is also important to know that the choice of words during this discourse would also influence the quality of the content of the essay.
There are a number of areas that would need to be improved in the essay. Firstly, the significant decrease in the number of short quotes within the entire body of the text. The titles of Blake’s writings should definitely be removed from quotation marks and subsequently italicized in every citation. The other quotations from these works should also be placed in a separate inset paragraph and cited in its entirety. The explanation and discussion on that particular paragraph should then follow each quoted text.
The indentation of every paragraph should also be strictly implemented. The current format is quite confusing as to whether the format of the text is justified to the right side of the page, as there are certain paragraphs that have hanging sentences in the next line of the text. The entire essay thus looks like a single and extremely long paragraph that runs for four pages. The placement of indentations may result in the creation of approximately 12 paragraphs in the entire essay.
The organization of the essay should also be modified in terms of the concepts that are being discussed. The general description of Blake’s works is missing at the start of the essay, wherein the universal style of the author would be described at the start of the text (Curran 6). Once a description of Blake’s style of writing has been presented, the two works should then be presented (Bender and Mellor 300). The essay is correct in its approach that the major similarities between the two works be identified and the distinct differences would then follow this section of the essay (Carson 150).
There is also a need to review to use of commas in the sentences of the essay. There are certain sentences that have unnecessarily included commas, thus resulting in a segmented concept that is difficult to comprehend at the first instance of reading (Gilham 3). The essay should also be modified in terms of repeatedly mentioning the same topic such as happiness of an infant in all four pages of the essay. The same repeated mentioning of an infant’s sorrow is described in all four pages of the essay (Moore 209).
The essay could be significantly improved if the aforementioned points in this response would be taken into serious consideration. The main objective of the essay was to analyze the two works of a single author and this has been achieved in the most elementary form of way, as the format, organization and presentation of the details of the analysis have been haphazardly enumerated in the body of the text. Once the suggested modifications have been incorporated in the essay, the overall message of the text will then be easier to understand and will be formal in presentation to the reader.
Auerbach, Erich and Trask, Williard. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2003.
Bender, John and Anne Mellor. “Liberating the Sister Arts: The Revolution of Blake’s ‘Infant Sorrow.’” ELH 50(1983): 297-319
Blake, William. Infant Joy. 893.
Blake, William. Infant Sorrow. 894.
Carson, Ricks. “Blake’s ‘Infant Sorrow’.” Explicator 52(1994): 150-151.
Curran, Stuart. Songs of Innocence and Experience. U.S.: Library of Congress. Web. Google Books.
Frye, Northrop. Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1969.
Gilham, D.G. William Blake. London: Cambridge University Press, 1973. Web. Google Books.
Moore, Donald K. “Blake’s Notebook Versions of ‘Infant Sorrow.’” Bulletin of the New York Public Library 76 (1972): 209-219.