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Poetry Help and Tips with Onomatopoeia

written by: Kellie Hayden • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 1/17/2012

Need help writing a poem? Try these tips and use Onomatopoeia to impress your teacher. Onomatopoeia is fun to use and it focuses on the sound in poetry.

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    Believe it or not, poetry can be fun to write. Onomatopoeia definitely adds the fun factor in writing poetry. The hardest part for manhy students is getting started. For poetry help and tips with onomatopoeia, try this activity.

    What is Onomatopoeia?

    Onomatopoeia is a fancy name for words that make a sound, such as buzz, bing, bang, and bong. Think of comic books and talking cereal when you think of onomatopoeia. These words can add humor to poetry or even sadness, such as in Robert Frosts' poem "Out Out," where a buzz saw makes a lot of noise and takes a boy's life.

    These also include words used to describe sounds animals make, like quack, neigh or meow.

    These words are descriptive and fun to use! The key is to use them wisely and to not go overboard. Too much onomatopoeia can make a poem sound silly, childish or rather crazy.

    Try to make a list of at least twenty examples of onomatopoeia. It is easy to start with animal sounds and then work up to words like snap or crackle.

    Choose a Focus or Topic for Poetry

    Depending on the assignment from the teacher, you may have certain criteria that you must meet when writing a poem. However, if your teacher simply assigns you to write a poem, then you could look at a blank computer screen for days. So, pick a focus for your poem. It should be something that you enjoy doing or like.

    Choose a Type of Poem

    There are many types of poems from which to choose, such as limerick, diamante, senru, ballad, ode, etc. These types all have strict rules on the number of lines, syllables, rhyme, shape, etc. Or, there is free verse, which means there really are no rules. For beginning poets, it actually helps to have rules to follow. If you are a rebel at heart, try free verse and see where your creativity takes you.

    Most teachers frown upon three line poems, unless they are Haikus. So, be prepared to write at least six lines, but going over 20 is unnecessary.

    Get Started Writing

    Now that you understand onomatopoeia, use it to add pizzazz to your poem. Remember to focus on your topic and use onomatopoeia in key places of the poem. Don't overdo it and have fun.

    The poetry help and tips with onomatopoeia activity is perfect for peer evaluation. When you finish, have a parent or trusted friend read over the poem. Take what they say to heart and fix any problems. Then, the poem should be ready to be graded by the teacher.

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