Comparing Literary Texts
This week, you will write a comprehensive APA compare/contrast analysis paper using all that you’ve learned in HUM1040. For your essay, you will choose two literary works from Units 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 to compare and contrast. You may choose from either poetry, short fiction or drama; your two literary texts may come from different units. Begin by selecting two literary texts that can be compared and contrasted for the authors’ point of view, literary style, or other points of comparison. Once you have selected tw literary texts, it’s time to decide what within each selection you will compare. For instance, you may choose to compare/contrast the use of imagery in Lux and Alexie’s poems. Or you may choose to compare/contrast the development of character in Updike and Poe’s stories. **LITERARY WORKS TO CHOOSE FROM: O’Connor, “A Good Man is Hard to Find” Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” Williams, “Red Wheelbarrow” Ultimately, when writing a literary comparison, you will answer the question: So what? In other words, you will not only explain the similarities and differences between the two literary works, but also explain the significance of your comparison. A comparison intends to inform readers of something they haven’t thought of before. Therefore, for a comparison to be illuminating, the things compared typically appear different but have significant similarities or appear similar but have significant differences. You must have a purpose for your comparison. The reader of the comparison should not have to ask, So what? at the end of your essay. To help you with this, your essay should be anchored by a strong thesis statement that makes a claim about these two works and how they compare and contrast with one another. Your essay’s introduction should contain: • the names the items to be compared • the purpose of the comparison • what is being compared and/or contrasted Sample Thesis Statements: Weak thesis: — “I am going to compare the similarities and differences between the stories “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “I Stand Here Ironing.” Strong thesis — “A close examination of the protagonist in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and the protagonist in “I Stand Here Ironing” demonstrates that … [insert your idea here]. Another strong thesis — “Comparing the imagery and word choice in Alexie’s poem “Evolution” and Saurez’s poem “Isla” demonstrates how each writer uses carefully curated language choices to present the reader with the stark realities of being an ‘other’ in contemporary American society. ADDITIONAL ESSAY REQUIREMENTS: • 1,000 words or roughly four double-spaced pages. • Your essay must include a formal organization structure with an introduction, body and conclusion. Your essay must include a thesis that makes a compare/contrast relationship between the two texts that you have chosen to analyze. Each body paragraph should begin with a strong topic sentence that presents your main idea. Your essay should consist of no fewer than five paragraphs. • Be sure to rely on your chosen readings for support in your essay by using details and quotations from the readings to explain your ideas/response. • Make use of at least three scholarly sources to support and develop your ideas. Our course text may serve as one of these three sources. • Be sure to cite your sources using proper APA format (7th edition). For help with APA, visit the Library website to explore a plethora of APA-related tutorials, help videos and resources.