Compare and Contrast Essay

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Writing an Essay that Compares and Contrasts Two Works of Literature Basics Purpose—inform your audience (people who will read your paper) about the basic similarities and differences that you intend to discuss in your essay. You can compare two works by the same author or compare two authors’ techniques, ideas, characters, incidents, settings, theme or tone. Goal—locate, organize, and synthesize information on both works of literature to support your thesis. You may want to mutually discuss two works equally, emphasize one work using the other to highlight specific details and techniques, show a preference for one piece over the other, or emphasize an idea or method that is particularly noteworthy in both. Thesis—the idea that you are defending in your paper, your thoughts on the two works. You must prove this with pieces of textual evidence taken from the work in question. In X work, the author uses examples to support her main idea. This is vividly show in the following passage: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX In contrast, the author of work Y uses abstract ideas to support his main idea. The following passage illustrates this reliance on abstractions: YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY Make sure that you have chosen an area of the works with common ground from each (idea with related idea, imagery with imagery, tone with tone, problem with problem and so forth). For an essay of this sort to work, you must find a common denominator in both works as a point of departure for the entire paper. Some ideas on comparison and contrast in general: In comparison and contrast and analogy, you usually follow one of two basic organizational schemes: (1) you discuss each topic separately, covering all the pertinent features of the one and then the other or (2) you discuss the topics side by side, comparing them feature for feature. A comparison of the attitudes

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