To write about literature, requires you to analyze, interpret, and evaluate what you read. In order to write a decent well-developed comparison essay of literature, you will need to use all the terms used in analyzing literature; i.e., Characters, Figures of Speech, Imagery, Irony, Plot, Point of View, Setting, Symbolism, and, of course, Theme.
Although you are going to be writing a comparison essay, you will still need to analyze each story before you can compare them. You will not be summarizing these stories, you will be taking each story apart, reviewing, critiquing, evaluating, and interpreting each part of the work in literary terms and then compare them. Your voice in this essay is one of an evaluator or reviewer showing readers how the elements of literature are being used in one story in comparison to another one. Needless to say, I hope at this point, you will write your comparison without the word “I” , although it needs to be written in present tense. This essay will be your interpretation, your opinion, of the works of fiction you will be comparing.
You will introduce your essay with a very brief summary of no more than 12 sentences that introduces each story and its author(s), finishing with a strong thesis statement that states clearly what your position or interpretation of the stories is. You continue your essay using examples from the stories that proves your thesis is accurate and valid. If you use the same author for each story, you do not have to use his/her last name when you are citing, just a page number will do: “this means so much to me” (12). Although this essay is your opinion, you would never write such a thing as (in my opinion) just make a statement; readers know the difference between opinion and facts.
The organization for any essay is extremely important, and this one must be organized appropriately using college level writing skills that includes control of grammar. You will not write one-page paragraphs; in fact, you should not go over 15 lines for each paragraph to make sure you are not merely summarizing either story but actually analyzing a literary element used.
(Essay Length: 5-51/2 page minimum with an additional Works Cited page. MLA Formatted.
What is a comparison/contrast essay?
A comparison shows how two subjects are similar; a contrast shows how two
subjects are different. In writing, you must first decide whether you will
compare, contrast, or do both.
Follow these steps when writing a comparison/contrast essay:
1. Identify similarities and differences. If you have two items to
compare or contrast, determine how they are similar and how they are
different. You should find at least three points for comparison or contrast.
Then write the detailed characteristics for each point. Let’s say you want to
compare two types of dogs.
2. State your purpose in the thesis sentence. Identify the two subjects
that you will compare or contrast and state whether you will focus on
similarities, differences, or both. The thesis may also indicate which points
you will compare or contrast.
3. Choose a pattern to organize your essay. The two major patterns for
organizing a comparison/contrast essay are:
Subject by Subject (Whole-to-Whole). Write first about one of your
subjects, covering it completely, and then you write about the other,
covering it completely. Each subject is addressed in a separate paragraph.
The points of comparison or contrast should be the same for each subject and
should be presented in the same order.
Point-by-Point. Each point is addressed in a separate paragraph.
Discuss both of your subjects together for each point of comparison and
contrast. Maintain consistency by discussing the same subject first for each
4. Use appropriate transitions. Transitions are important in
comparison/contrast writing, especially with the point-by-point organization,
to avoid confusion. Without transitions, the points you are
comparing/contrasting may blur into one another. Also, a variety of
transitions prevent monotony.
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