Essay 3: The Comparative Analysis/Argument

Essay 3: The Comparative Analysis/Argument

Essay 3: The Comparative Analysis/Argument Essay


The third essay this semester, which must be 5-6 pages in length, is a Comparative Analysis/Argument Essay. This essay is an opportunity to practice analysis once more as you compare and contrast two texts that are speaking to a similar topic.  Your task here will be to choose one of our Unit 3 readings AND an outside text of your own finding and analyze each text’s argument in the context of their larger conversation (topic). You will analyze the two texts side by side and determine how they operate within the conversation. This essay encourages you to analyze the ways in which texts “speak” to one another and find openings to present your own insight.


In this essay you will choose one of the Unit 3 readings on Canvas AND an outside text of your own finding and perform a comparative analysis of the two texts and, specifically, the arguments being presented. You will determine 1) what each article is arguing, 2) how each argument is presented/what effect it has, and 3) what each article contributes to its larger conversation. This “larger conversation” is, in essence, the topic or question addressed (advances in technology, communication, socio-political unrest, etc.). Your essay, which should compare and contrast the articles you choose, must be “framed” within a conversation. Follow the checklist below to ensure your essay is on track:

  1. Introduce the context of your argument (i.e., the “larger conversation” and the articles themselves).
  2. Present a clear thesis statement that addresses how each article addresses the larger conversation and how the two work with/against one another.
  • Briefly summarize and identify the central argument and major points in each article, drawing connections between the texts as you go.
  1. Present a well-crafted comparative analysis that reaches beyond the texts themselves. Determine how the articles connect to one another and how they connect to the larger conversation.
  2. Be written in MLA format (12 point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins). Your essay should also have a unique title that indicates what your essay will be about.


In writing your comparative analysis, try to narrow your focus and isolate a few central points in both texts to unpack. A good way to do this is to begin with a compare/contrast outline (lists, Venn diagram, etc.) and choose a few points to focus on in your essay. For the essay itself, you should choose one of two organization styles to ensure clarity: “text-by-text” or “point-by-point.” In the former, you run through all of Text A before addressing Text B. In the latter, you divide your body paragraphs by point, addressing both Text A and Text B in each.


  1. Present the context or “conversation” and your thesis statement in the introductory paragraph. Do not forget to include the title of the article(s) and the author(s) name.
  2. Make sure to quote your texts! There should be at least five direct quotes used.
  3. Use one “telescope,” one “freight,” and one “hieroglyphic” (your choice) as outlined in Adios. These sentences, along with your direct quotes, should be marked by bold text and a color other than black.
  4. Because this paper utilizes outside sources, you are required to include a Works Cited page. This does not count toward your page minimum.

Due Date:

The essay, which must be a full 5-6 pages in length, is due at the start of class on Thursday, 8/2. A paper copy is required, as is a digital copy via Turnitin on Canvas. Make sure to turn your digital copy in on the same day.

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