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
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