Purpose: This assignment should help you to find similarities and differences between two works of fiction while building on your analytical skills.
Using the short stories and poems that we have read from either the Pocketful
of Prose collections or the Pocketful of Poems collection, write an
essay in which you compare two texts for similarities and differences. You must give specific
textual support for your comparisons.
Ways to Proceed: Find two pieces of fiction that seem to have a relationship between one another. Make sure that you don't choose works that are too obviously alike because then you will find it hard to comment adequately on the differences between these works. Likewise, if the stories or poems have too little in common, you will have a hard time writing something noteworthy on the similarities between the two texts. In other words, finding the right stories and/or poems for this assignment should be a painstaking process—definitely NOT two texts just grabbed at random. Remember, you need to find two pieces of literature that not only have similarities, but also have differences. Finding the right two for this essay should take some time. Consider the stories of “The Necklace,” or “A&P,” or even “Miss Brill.” At first glance, these essays have a lot to say regarding foolishness. However, beyond surface-level similarities, these stories all treat the subject matter of foolishness in completely different manners. A good essay will note these differences. Keep in mind that an essay that earns grades of “A” or “B” will most certainly move beyond the obvious in their comparison of the similarities and differences between these two stories.
Criteria for Evaluation: Your essay should be at least six (6) pages in length, including the Annotated Works Cited page. It should be typed, double-spaced, with one inch margins (top, bottom, right, left), 12 point standard font (Courier New, Arial, etc.). You will be expected to develop a thesis driven essay that focuses on the similarities and the differences between two pieces of literature (prose or poetry). You will be expected to make general statements about the poem’s or story’s similarities and differences and to develop and support these statements in paragraph form throughout the body of the essay. Make sure that your essay is well focused and structured for this assignment. Proper MLA citation and documentation—including parenthetical citations in the text of the paper and an “Annotated Works Cited” page—is an absolute necessity for this paper. You will be expected to cite both of the texts that you compare in this essay. Good luck on this assignment.