English 102 compare and contrast essay
For this assignment, you will compare and contrast two of the short stories we have read.
Your essay should follow the conventions of a standard academic essay: it should begin
with an introductory paragraph ending with a clear, arguable sentence-length thesis
statement. This argument will be supported and developed by body paragraphs featuring
clear logic, textual paraphrases, well-chosen quotations followed by close reading, and
thoughtful analysis. Your essay will end with a paragraph of conclusion that revisits the
main claim and addresses the significance of the argument you have just made.
Keep the following guidelines about comparing and contrasting in mind:
1. You cannot compare without contrasting, and vice-versa. To do just one or the
other is trite
2. Your essay should explore points of similarity
difference, but it should
ultimately emphasize one over the other. Your decision to focus on similarities or
differences will shape the argument you make and the conclusions you draw.
3. The specific essay structure is up to you, but make sure you consistently establish
the basis of comparison between the two texts. For instance, if you devote a
paragraph to the attitudes about marriage depicted in “The Yellow Wallpaper,”
you should also pay attention to this topic in “The Story of an Hour.”
Your main claim should convey an insight that is gained through comparing and
contrasting these two works, and your essay should explore and develop this argument
persuasively. The focus and argument of your essay will be up to you.
*You can write about any of the following short stories EXCEPT for the one you
chose to write about for Essay #1
“I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver
“Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway
“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner
“The Shabbat (from
)” by Marjane Satrapi
“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“Jesus Shaves” by David Sedaris
“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin
“Recitatif” by Toni Morrison
“Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro
“Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid
Your essays must be typed (12pt. Times New Roman, Cambria, or Arial font), double-
spaced, standard margins, stapled, and numbered. Include your name, my name, course
title, due date, and title (though no title page). All assignments unless otherwise noted
follow the MLA format:
A Pocket Style Manual
by Diana Hacker provides this
You will need to quote from your chosen texts for this assignment. All quotations, poetry
and prose, must be properly cited according to MLA format, and all paraphrased material
must be properly attributed. Your essay must include a Works Cited page at the end.
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