bored formal man watching laptop at desk

Analyze a WHAT?!

Agonizing over paragraph structure? Finding nothing worth smiling about regarding similies? Worrying that you won’t sound like you know what you’re talking about? Counting the words and writing line totals in the margins?

Don’t worry about poetry analysis – SLAM it!

SLAM, in this case, isn’t like a poetry slam. A poetry slam is a contest in which individuals and teams compete – much like a rap battle. SLAM here is an acronym: Structure, Language, Affect, and Meaning.

Watch the video

The Assignment

To use this powerful tool, you’ll need to find a poem to use it on first. Look through the poems on or poetry180  and find a poem you like. Download the documents (see Documents and Media below) and begin reading your poem. When you’re ready, use the SLAM Worksheet as a guide to fill out your own graphic organizer.

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to start your essay. It must be 6 paragraphs and use the following format:

  • Introduction (with thesis)
  • Structure
  • Language
  • Affect
  • Meaning
  • Conclusion

Finally, turn in both the essay AND your completed SLAM graphic organizer.

Documents and Media

Click the links to download the following.

SLAM Graphic Organizer

Road Not Taken SLAM



The SLAM technique is the brainchild of John DePasquale. Thanks, John!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s