ESSAY THREE: COMPARATIVE READING
For this assignment, you will be close reading text from our third unit in order to argue for an interpretation of it, though this time you will be doing so by using a second text to inform your reading. Your texts could be from two different mediums—that is, you could pick and choose from auditory, visual, and alphabetic texts, but choosing two different mediums is not required. Your essay should be 7-10 pages in length, and must be in MLA format, which means 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced, and following the standards for citing and documenting all sources (including both in-text citations and a Works Cited page).
In this unit, we will practice the art of the comparative analysis, in which you make an argument that involves how two texts interact. No one writes in a vacuum, and authors occasionally directly respond to the ideas of other authors; however, even when authors do not make specific responses to each other, they are responding to ideas presented in other texts. It is this interaction and response that you will analyze, just as you have in your first and second essays.
In this paper, you might use one text as a way of rethinking another text; you might compare/contrast how two texts present differing arguments; you might compare/contrast how two texts treat a specific issue; or you might look at how an alphabetic text treats an issue and then how another visual or non-visual (auditory) text treats the same issue. These are not your only options: they are examples to jump-start your thought process. Importantly, you must argue an interpretation of the texts—how they interact or how you employ them comparatively is your choice. You need to write on at least one text that we have discussed in class.
Consider what we have learned in terms of cultural and historical arguments—the work you do in this paper may, and probably should, resemble the work of our previous one. This assignment may involve a bit of outside research, like our last paper, which you can incorporate (and CITE) into your writing, though this is not a specific requirement for this essay. Similarly, your reading of these two texts might also include some analysis of the cultural and/or historical moment, though this is not specific requirement for this essay.