Essay 3 Assignment Instructions English 101 Paper #3: Comparative Analysis Forma
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Essay 3 Assignment Instructions
English 101 Paper #3: Comparative Analysis
Formatting/Length: 4 Full Pages Minimum, Double-spaced, 12 Point Font, Default
Margins, Works Cited Page.
We live in a digital world that continually floods us with information and varying
perspectives on the issues that are important to us. This pluralism is a good thing, as it
introduces us to many perspectives and voices that we may never have heard, but it
also challenges us to think critically about how these different perspectives, ideas, and
arguments compare to one another and to our own arguments and ideas. We compare
things all the time—music, movies, restaurants, classes, etc.—but this assignment is
challenging you to go one step further by developing a comparative analysis, an
analysis that pays close attention to the differences and similarities of the arguments of
two different authors writing about the same issue.
choose two of articles and write a four-page rhetorical analysis that compares and contrasts the rhetorical and/or narrative arguments of each author and develops an evaluative claim
that explains to your own readers what your analysis tells them about the issue. Your comparison of the two different texts might lead you to endorse one position over the other and say it is a more persuasive argument, or it might lead you to consider a middle-ground between the two positions, or even to develop the claim that both authors miss an important issue or point. Your evaluation up to you, but you must be able to support it by pointing to clear evidence from the texts
Keys to Writing a Successful Comparative Analysis
spend some time outlining the key arguments, examples, and rhetorical
or narrative strategies of each article. Annotate each article carefully, looking most
specifically at their major thesis or overarching argument and the supporting
arguments and evidence that each author gives to support this argument. Spend
some time also analyzing the differences and similarities in the audience, purpose,
and context of each article. As you do this, you may find it useful to take a blank
sheet of paper and divide it into two columns—one for each author—and list out
major arguments and rhetorical strategies for each. This will help you visualize
points of comparison and contrast more easily.
Developing an Evaluative Claim:
remember that your goal or purpose is not simply
to compare and contrast, or say this essay is different than the other, but to develop
a claim about which essay you think advances the more persuasive argument or
another evaluative claim—each essay misses an important point, for example—and
provide evidence from our analysis of the essays that supports this claim.
There are several ways you might organize a comparative analysis,
but since you are juggling two different texts, you will want to help readers keep
track of the information. You can do this by organizing the body of your essay in a
way that moves from text-to-text or theme-to-theme. If you are having trouble getting
started, you may find the approach below helpful. It moves text-to-text. This is not
the only way to organize your essay, though.
Summarizing the Different Perspectives:
in the introduction or in a body paragraph following the introduction, set up the context of the debate by summarizing how the different ideas you find in the essay you chose and in the texts you found through your research complement and disagree on the issue. Provide a clear but succinct
overview of the debate.
Articulating your Evaluative Stance: develop a thesis that clearly explains your
evaluative claim and the reasons you hold it. This means that you will want to
explain how you evaluate the debate between the different sources you find. Think
about the following questions: (1) What do we learn or understand through your
analysis of the different perspectives? (2) Does one perspective seem to be more
persuasive? (3) Are there problems with the arguments of each of the perspectives
that still need to be addressed? (4) Are there areas of common ground between the
perspectives that could change how we understand the debate?
Analyzing the Perspectives: in first part of the body of your paper, analyze the
different arguments on the issue from both the essay you chose from our readings
and the sources that you found through your research. Look specifically at the
claims that they make (their overall thesis), the evidence they use to support them
(reasons), and the rhetorical strategies that they use to persuade their audience.