Comparative Analysis Essay
5-7 (Double Spaced) Pages Separate Works Cited Page

Pre-Writing due Th 10/1
First Draft due Th 10/8
Two Peer Reviews due F 10/9
Final Draft due W 10/14*

*NOTE: Though the course officially ends W 10/14, you may have until Th 10/15 to complete the final draft

For your final paper, you will write an essay that compares and contrasts what message or moral you think Kingston’s “No Name Woman” and Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” are trying to communicate to the reader through the way they portray an individual’s relationship with their community.

Both Orwell and Kingston’s essays portray the relationship between an individual and a society, or multiple societies. Kingston’s essay portrays the way the Chinese villagers responded to her aunt’s perceived violation of their rules, and the way the aunt reacted to her punishment. Her essay also portrays Kingston’s own upbringing in America, experiencing conflict between her American surroundings and her mother’s Chinese values. In Orwell’s essay, Orwell and the Burmese villagers initially share animosity for one another, but this dynamic changes when he appears like he is about to shoot the elephant. Orwell also must deal with his relationship with his fellow British officers, to whom he is unable to tell the full truth of his experience.

You aren’t required to discuss all of the above relationships; focus on the ones that you have the most to say about and that will help you come up with a clear, focused compare/contrast thesis statement, or argument, about what these authors are using their essays to communicate on this topic. To support your argument, you will incorporate relevant evidence (quotes) from the texts and analyze the authors’ use of literary devices.

As part of your analysis, you may consider things like: Does power function similarly or differently in these societies? Is there anything similar, symbolically, in Orwell’s killing of the elephant and Kingston’s aunt bringing the baby into the well with her when she committed suicide? You may want to consider what ideas Orwell and Kingston’s aunt are seen to represent. You could also compare and contrast the role of fate in both stories, paying attention to devices like foreshadowing.

Your paper should begin with an introduction that tells your reader your topic and introduces the authors and titles of both works. It should end in a 1-sentence, comparative thesis statement that clearly identifies your main argument about both works.

After your introduction, each body paragraph should have a clear topic sentence that introduces your claim about one or both works (not a descriptive sentence). These topic sentences should develop your thesis’ argument in a logical order, using appropriate transitions.

In the body of your essay, your goal should not be to list surface differences between the texts. Instead, your analysis should take you deeper than the surface of the texts themselves, discovering things about characters, or the world they inhabit, through a close analysis of evidence (quotes) from each work. Be sure to smoothly integrate quotes into your own sentences and use parenthetical citations to identify page numbers.

Finally, your paper should end with a conclusion paragraph that ties together your main argument.

Remember to attach a separate Works Cited page that lists both works, in MLA format. (See the handout on Integrating Quotations for advice about integrating quotes and a sample Work Cited for a work in an anthology, like our textbook.)
Instructions for Pre-Writing Assignment (due Thursday, October 1 at 11:59PM)

Before you begin writing your first draft, it is often a good idea to begin by brainstorming ideas and collecting evidence (quotes) from the works you are writing about. This Pre-Writing Assignment will have two parts:

1. Brainstorm: Write a paragraph (or more) on what ideas you have on this essay topic so far. The purpose of this paragraph is to get you thinking about the assignment; you will not be graded on things like organization, sentence structure, or grammar. If you want to write a tentative thesis statement as part of this paragraph, you may, though this is not a requirement.

2. Evidence and Analysis: Below the brainstorming section, include (at least) two quotes from each essay you will be writing about. After each quote, discuss what details you notice about the quote, including a) what literary devices you notice and b) how you think these devices shape the meaning of the essay.

Please type both parts into the same document and upload it to Canvas in a .doc, .docx, or pdf file format.

Comparative Analysis