Topic: Comparative Argumen - Essay Prowess

Topic: Comparative Argumen

Paper Instructions

The Assignment: In our culminating paper, you’ll examine any two of our stories and use them to help develop an argument about a central formal element and/or theme. This paper should be 5-7 pages (8-10 paragraphs) in length.

What’s Similar: Many aspects of this paper will be the same as in the Short Paper, just at greater length: a main idea about what you’re examining and why it’s important; a structure that moves through a number of such paragraphs/sub-topics of your own choosing. And those paragraphs will be composed of the same use and analysis of evidence that has been our focus in both the Short Paper and in all the Blackboard posts.

What’s New: The comparative, multi-textual focus is what’s new in this paper, and will show up in two aspects most fully. First, your main idea/argument should include both stories, and be about how you’re linking them to a central topic (whether a formal element or a theme). Second, in the structure of your paper you should move back and forth between the two stories—that doesn’t mean it has to be perfectly balanced between them, or that you have to alternate constantly, but just that the paper shouldn’t be divided into two separate sections on the two stories and should instead have at least a few places where you transition between the two.

The Main Focus/Argument: I highly recommend looking back through your Blackboard posts, as well as the Short Paper, to see what topics jump out at you; it’s entirely fine to build on one or more of those for your focus here. Again, that main focus can be one of our formal elements or a central theme (of identity, family, community, history, etc.); as long as you can link both stories to it (whether through similarity, difference, or any other kind of comparative idea), that’s a great start.

Feedback and Grading: It’s even more important to keep me posted as you begin developing and planning this paper, and to email or come by my office to talk about starting points, outlines, drafts, questions, etc. Once the paper is in, I will try to turn around my feedback and grade as quickly as possible (definitely by the start of the following week), and will email you my feedback and grade once I do.