Comparative Analysis Essay Guidelines

Comparative Analysis Essay Guidelines



Firstly, please choose two texts to analyze from the texts we’ve read thus far. Be sure to have a clear reason for choosing the texts. Your thesis should address what is gained in investigating the two texts together beyond just considering each of them individually. In other words, as one work presents one message and the second work presents a second message, what is a third message that can be considered when the two texts are studied in relation to each other?

Your thesis and your supporting arguments should go beyond discussing the various ways the two texts are similar and different; this would limit your paper to just a basic summary. Rather, discuss why it is important or interesting to note these similarities and differences.  

You have three tasks for your essay:

1. Identify the specific details in your texts that are important in supporting your thesis.

2. Analyze the significance of these details, especially in the overall context of the larger text.

3. Interpret what meanings the author intends to communicate. Consider the relation between the text and the audience.

Here are some questions that may help develop ideas for your comparative analysis:

1. How do the two authors’ arguments, audiences, and/or strategies in conveying their messages differ?

2. How do the authors/artists use logic, ethos, or pathos to present their message?

3. What specific details about the works themselves can be used to support your thesis and your arguments?

This essay must include the following:

1. Be sure to include a title that connects to an aspect of your thesis. Your title should help prepare the reader for what the paper will discuss.

2. Your opening paragraph should introduce your thesis. A strong thesis statement is necessary in making your position clear. The rest of your essay will develop and support this thesis statement.  The remainder of your opening paragraph should discuss the points that you plan to critique, rather than offering a full summary of the article. This means that you must provide enough information for your audience to understand both the issue and the article.

3. The body of your paper should include 3-4 key points that are supported by textual evidence. Each of these points should be developed and sustained for 1-2 paragraphs with a minimal amount of summary. Each of these points should also connect back to your thesis. Each paragraph should be comprised of at least four sentences. It is difficult to develop an informed and textually supported point in three or fewer sentences. On the other hand, if you find that your paragraph exceeds half of a typewritten page, you may be either (a) relying on summary or (b) straying from your point.

4. Your conclusion should synthesize (not summarize) the points made and show clearly how they support the thesis statement. Your introduction and conclusion should be different even if some of the ideas expressed are similar. In fact, you may want to wait until after writing the body of your paper to write your introduction and conclusion.

5. Please format your paper in: Times New Roman, font 12, double spaced with one inch margins. Please include page numbers, and use parenthetic references for your citations.

Your paper will be evaluated on the strength of its thesis, textual evidence, structure, and creativity.

As always, please feel free to discuss your ideas for this assignment with me. Best of luck with your writing, and I will look forward to reading your paper!

Your paper should look very similar to this:


Instructor Hyeryung Hwang

WRIT 1301

12 March 2017           

Witty Title, Centered (Do not italicize or underline your title)

           You should use a twelve point font (this is twelve point), and you should use a conventional font, such as Times New Roman. Put your full name, your instructor’s name, the title of the course (WRIT 1301) and the date in the upper left hand corner. Make sure that your pages are numbered.

           Your paper should be formatted according to the MLA style. Make sure each new paragraph is indented. Double space between paragraphs (in other words, no extra spacing between paragraph) and throughout the paper—your choice if you want to do this with the header with your name and class information. Margins should be set at 1” all around.       

Give your essay a witty title and center it. If you can’t come up with a title on the first draft, just title it “Rough Draft,” or “Discovery Draft,” but be sure to come up with a title for the final draft. Capitalize the first and last words of the title and all other words in the title except articles, prepositions, and coordinating conjunctions.

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