Presentation on theme: "Writing a Comparative Essay It doesn ’ t have to be that bad… The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."— Presentation transcript:
Writing a Comparative Essay It doesn ’ t have to be that bad… The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
In comparative essays you are expected to make connections between texts or ideas, engage in critical thinking, and go beyond mere description or summary to generate interesting analysis. When you reflect on similarities and differences, you gain a deeper understanding of the items you are comparing, their relationship to each other, and what is most important about them.
Discovering Similarities and Differences Sometimes it ’ s hard to know where to start. Making a Venn diagram or a chart can help you quickly and efficiently compare and contrast two or more things or ideas. To make a Venn diagram, simply draw some overlapping circles, one circle for each item you're considering. In the central area where they overlap, list the traits the two items have in common. Assign each one of the areas that doesn't overlap; in those areas, you can list the traits that make the things different.
Deciding What to Focus On For an English essay, focus on subjects like characterization, plot, setting, the writer's style and intentions, language, central themes, and so on. It is best not to try to tackle too much in one essay. Try to narrow the focus of your paper to offer unique analysis and insight on a particular aspect or issue of the works
Bringing Order to Chaos: Crafting the Thesis The thesis can help you create a focused argument and give your reader a road map so she/he doesn't get lost in the sea of points you are about to make. You will want to replace vague reports of your general topic with something more detailed and specific. But in a compare-and-contrast, the thesis depends on how the two things you've chosen to compare actually relate to one another. Do they extend, corroborate, complicate, contradict, correct, or debate one another? In the most common compare-and-contrast paper—one focusing on differences—you can indicate the precise relationship between A and B by using the word "whereas" in your thesis. Be careful, though. You need to have lots of analysis. In this case, the obvious question is "So what?” Try to explain the relevance of your observations and analysis.
Sample Thesis- Wuthering Heights vs. Romeo and Juliet "Although the lovers in Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet undergo drastically different journeys that lead to climactic but opposite endings, Emily Bronte and William Shakespeare both use plot to demonstrate the power of true love and to caution readers that its manipulation only leads to tragedy."
Organizing the Paper: Subject by Subject Begin by saying everything you have to say about the first subject you are discussing, then move on and make all the points you want to make about the second subject. The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points about one subject, then a certain number of points about another. If you use the subject-by-subject form, you will probably want to have a very strong, analytical thesis and at least one body paragraph that ties all of your different points together.
Organizing the Paper: Point by Point Rather than addressing things one subject at a time, you may wish to talk about one point of comparison at a time. This can be done in two ways. If you have a little to say, you can compare two subjects in one paragraph. Or, if you have a lot to say you can compare them in alternating paragraphs. Generally, this is the best method to use.
Transitions To help your reader keep track of where you are in the comparison/contrast, you'll want to be sure that your transitions and topic sentences are especially strong. Your thesis should already have given the reader an idea of the points you'll be making and the organization you'll be using, but you can help her/him out with some extra cues. transitions
Examples of Transitions Similarityalso, in the same way, just as... so too, likewise, similarly Exception/Contrastbut, however, in spite of, on the one hand... on the other hand, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, in contrast, on the contrary, still, yet Sequence/Orderfirst, second, third,... next, then, finally Timeafter, afterward, at last, before, currently, during, earlier, immediately, later, meanwhile, now, recently, simultaneously, subsequently, then Examplefor example, for instance, namely, specifically, to illustrate Emphasiseven, indeed, in fact, of course, truly Place/Positionabove, adjacent, below, beyond, here, in front, in back, nearby, there Cause and Effectaccordingly, consequently, hence, so, therefore, thus Additional Support or Evidenceadditionally, again, also, and, as well, besides, equally important, further, furthermore, in addition, moreover, then Conclusion/Summaryfinally, in a word, in brief, in conclusion, in the end, in the final analysis, on the whole, thus, to conclude, to summarize, in sum, in summary
Comparative Essay - Brave New World and 1984 Summary: The two novels Brave New World and 1984 are both good examples of complete government control but when comparing the two it is evident that the governments have different views on the control of sex and morality. Both novels Brave New World and 1984 are good examples of different beliefs when it comes to being in complete control. Sometimes in society it feels as if we are pressured to feel or act a certain way by the government and that we are not in control of ourselves, but they are. The two novels Brave New World and 1984 are both good examples of complete government control but when comparing the two, it is evident that the governments have different views on the control of sex and morality. In the novel Brave New World, it is obvious that the government is in complete control of its society. Within this government it control the thoughts, actions and fate of all citizens starting from before the human is even born. "We also predestine and condition. We decant our babies and socialized human beings, as Alphas or Epsilons, as future sewer workers or future...He was going to say future World Controllers, but correcting himself, said Future Directors of Hatcheries instead" (10-11). By stating this, the impression is given that the government has ultimate plans for every human; they choose those plans and abide by them for their own benefit. From even before a child is born they are categorized and have a job chosen for them. By choosing these jobs the government in the long run is also controlling the future of their society and their hope was to have many World Controllers also known as Future Directors of Hatcheries, which is a job that will continue the idea of ultimate control. Similarly, in the novel 1984 the government also attempts to have complete control of the minds and bodies of its citizens. One citizen in particular is Winston Smith, who does not subscribe to their beliefs in a variety of ways. One obvious example is through the large posters with the caption of "Big Brother is Watching You" (5). The captions give evidence that the government has close watch over its people and all that they do. Shortly after this, the "Thought Police" were introduced whose job was to "snoop in on conversations, always watching your every move, controlling the minds and thoughts of the people" (6). Through the Thought Police, the government can know every aspect of a persons’ life while being in full control of it. When comparing the two novels Brave New World and 1984, a main similarity between the two is that both governments have complete control over citizens. Throughout both novels, government control is clear when the government is able to control most, if not all aspects of citizens' lives including their actions and thoughts. Although both novels have similar controlling governments, their governments are different when it comes to the rules regarding sex and morality.
Essay con’t…. In the novel Brave New World, the government is very persistent in controlling all aspects of citizen’s lives including laws regarding sex and morality. Within this government, sex is very casual and not meant to be emotional or cause any kind of attachment between people. This is evident in a conversation between two teenagers when they are talking about sex. "And you know how strongly the DHC objects to anything intense long drawn. Four months of Henry Foster, without having another man- why, he'd be furious if he knew..." (36). This conversation shows how sex doesn't seem to be something to question unless that question is about the amount of people you are or have been with. The government has given its society, especially teenagers, the idea that sex is to be encouraged and that you will be frowned upon if you are not with more than one partner, or the relationship with any one partner is long drawn or intense. In contrast, within the novel 1984 which also has a controlling government, it does not see sex and morality as something to encourage but rather a sin. Throughout the novel, it is obvious that sex and morality are also controlled by the government and in this government, it is seen as "not allowed." In 1984’s society, sex is not casual- it is an act that is only to be performed if you are married and if you are trying to reproduce. "The girl with dark hair was coming towards him across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung then disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire to him, indeed he barely looked at it" (33). If this scenario was to happen in today's society, most men would have jumped for the opportunity to get naked and have intercourse with a beautiful woman. In this society, the government has ruled that casual sex is not to be even thought of so when a man is approached by a woman, he is to not have arousing or sexual thoughts at all. Both novels Brave New World and 1984 are good examples of different beliefs when it comes to being in complete control. The idea of complete control through the government took place in both novels, which was the main similarity between the two. The difference is that both governments varied on appropriate laws that should be set surrounding sex and morality. People can learn from these novels in that when life seems to be unfair, we can only ultimately blame ourselves because we are in complete control of our own lives, thoughts and actions.