Purpose: By comparing two essays, you may come to an understanding about an idea, issue, or problem that reading only one essay won’t do. An idea or approach in one essay may help you understand something you didn’t understand in another essay. Indeed, one essay may hold the key to why something didn’t make sense in another essay.


Task: For this assignment, write a 1000-word comparative analysis. You will frame your comparison/contrast within a larger argument, which demonstrates what the significance of this comparison/contrast might be.


You can choose any two readings we have covered in class (except the one on which you wrote your paper 1). The essay should closely analyze distinct features of each text (related to either content, rhetorical features, or both) and provide solid evidence (specific textual examples) to support your points.

Like Paper 1, this paper should be driven by an arguable and specific claim and be based on textual evidence. Structure your introduction according to the following pattern:

(1) background (e.g. similarities)

(2) question or problem (e.g. an interesting difference),

(3) claim (e.g. reconciliation of the differences or a clarification of a concept). 

Your essay must have:

  • an introduction that clearly refers to both texts – with titles and authors.
  • a complex thesis, which mentions the points of comparison and its significance.
  • at least 2-3 specific points of comparison between the texts.
  • a Works Cited page.
  • title

You could choose two texts that might seem to have very little in common and point out subtle, but important, similarities between them; or, if two texts seem to have a lot in common, you could point out less obvious, but significant, differences there. You may focus only on similarities or only on differences or do both. The important thing is to look for unexpected lines of argument, for the less obvious similarities and differences.

Important dates and deadlines:

I will begin meeting with you for 10-15 min. conferences to review the draft of your paper with you. I will be reading and giving you feedback to your paper in front you (not asynchronously). Please come to the meeting with a full draft. Conferences will be running from November 4th-November 10th. If you feel that you need more help earlier on, I recommend you sign up for a conference earlier. Please note: I will only meet you once for this paper. We will have multiple in-class workshops as you see below where you have opportunities to ask questions. I also recommend you utilize the Writing Center and meet with the writing consultants.

in class: Comparative Analysis Module (listed under your HW list)

: A rough outline for Paper 2, including your claim: You do not need to write paragraphs. I’d like you to write your claim, and the plan for your paper in the form of an outline.
: You should have begun writing your paper based on the approved outline and have a very rough draft of your paper- It doesn’t need to be complete, but come to class with at least 2-3 paragraphs! We will workshop the paper!

: In-class workshop on Paper 2

: In-class workshop on Paper 2

: In-class peer-review on Paper 2

: Final draft of Paper 2

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