Assignment for Essay #2
In this, your second essay assignment, we work on a writing
form that several college classes use when evaluating information: the comparison and contrast essay. Our text 75
Although this essay assignment is a comparison/contrast one, it is very natural and expected that these papers contain elements of description, definition, possible dialogue, or a narrative bit (anecdote) in creating, composing and revising this writing.
Objectives: The objectives of this essay are three-fold. The first is to develop your understanding of a comparison/contrast essay by choosing two subjects or positions about the subject (before versus after, etc.) and evaluating the subject/s against a list of characteristics; then writing the essay. The second objective is to ultimately arrive at a thesis about this work. Sometimes it is apparent to the writer almost at the beginning. Sometimes the writer doesn’t discover this until almost the ending of one of the rough drafts. The thesis also, may not be extremely difficult or profound. The actual work on comparison/contrast essays sometimes just ensures that a balanced study has been undertaken when studying and preparing the subject/s. The third objective is to develop an essay that contains the general elements of all essays: an introductory paragraph including the thesis statement, paragraphs following that support the thesis with points to back it up and detailed/sensory examples, and an ending paragraph that gives the reader a sense of closure (without using the words “in conclusion”, or “in summary”).
Directions: Review the essays we have read for class, the discussions we have had both in groups and in the class as a whole, and begin with a focused freewrite of some subject/s you know enough about to eventually develop a complete two-to-four page essay. Group work can be essential here. Consequently I urge you to bring the best draft you can create, for the workshop/peer review day, so that you can obtain constructive suggestions for your writing. Also, commenting on other student writings helps YOU.
Remember that you DO have some wise comparisons and contrasts you can make on the subject of your choice. Simply try to keep in mind that your readers can learn, or learn your slant, on something that expands their understanding: and that ultimately you want to provide an essay that is whole and makes sense to the reader. Also, you can certainly provide humor, if the subject lends itself to such “flavor”.