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In your final essay, analyze two short stories you have read this...

In your final essay, analyze two short stories you have read this semester. Place the two stories side by side and reflect upon both their similarities and differences. As you strategize on how to write about the chosen stories, consider what elements personally interested you most. The very best comparison/contrast essays are tightly focused on a single thesis (see the example student paper by Michelle Ortiz in your text, page 1926). Ortiz’s paper looks at how two characters (Miss Brill and Miss Emily) adapt, over time, to their respective environments.

Where to start? Choose stories with something significant in common. A great place to formulate general thematic connections is the Index of Major Themes on page 2100 of your text. If there are no crucial similarities in the stories, your essay will most likely be awkward and valueless. Your chief decision will be to choose the correct stories to compare and contrast. Next, choose a focus. Keep in mind key aspects of fiction such as plot, character, setting, point of view, style and voice, symbolism, and literary maneuvers (be sure to use some of the “money words” you learned this semester). I am not only interested in the similarities and differences of major themes in each story. You might consider recognizing literary devices such as characterization, foreshadowing, simile, imagery, metaphor, personification, tone, etc. in your thesis if they apply. Do not feel you must address all or even some of these devices if your main thesis does not warrant it. 

Your essay must possess a solid thesis sentence. I will not look kindly on generalities, be specific (always) as you write in support of your main thesis. This statement should define your purpose and what examples you will use to illustrate that purpose. Be sure to use good transitions between paragraphs.

In your essay, you must exemplify solid writing skills. As your professor, I do not want to stumble over poor syntax, spelling, and punctuation. No contractions, please.

Divorce yourself from the material. Avoid the use of “I.” Pull away from yourself; write only about the work you analyze. Only spend the minimum time necessary on summary. Assume your reader (me) is well acquainted with each story you discuss.




Basic Parameters:

  1. Final Essay: Comparison and Contrast must be aminimum 900 words long.
  2. Double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font. No exceptions.
  3. You must include acorrectly formatted MLA style Works Cited page. Look on Moodle for the link to the Purdue Owl website which provides further help in this area. Writing tutors are trained in this area as well. Also, look back at the study sheet on prose citation I provided. GET THESE EASY POINTS!
  4. At least THREE reliable sources regarding the literary text must be used in writing this essay. This means your Works Cited page must have at least three entries (two of these entries will be the two stories you choose). I would like at least six good quotes in the body of your essay. At least one of the quotes must be from your third (outside) source.
  5. You may NOT quote from Wikipedia, Sparknotes, Shmoop, Cliffsnotes, etc.
  6. Give this essay a title. Follow the format of the sample essay on pages 1926-27 of your text.
  7. Consider visits to the professional writing tutors on the bottom level of Page Library.
  8. Do NOT plagiarize. Any violation of this policy will result in discipline of at least a score of zero for this essay, and possibly an immediate failure of the course

Answer & Explanation
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