Literary Comparison and Contrast Research Essay Assignment
You will choose one of the fiction works from Module 7 that has been assigned for you to read in this class. Then you will choose one of the nonfiction works from Module 8 that has been assigned for you to read in this class. You will compose a 4-6 page close reading research essay that compares their content, forms, styles, and uses of literary devices in order to convey a larger message or lesson the readers should get when considering the two works together. You will write a close reading of those selections. A close reading entails going through the poem or story line by line or part by part in order to explain and analyze it. Try to focus on the larger lessons from the stories such as discussing the message the poem has about race, ethnicity, gender, social class, psychology, any philosophical ideas presented, any historical connections presented, etc. You will then research and incorporate into your essay at least 4 academic sources, 2 sources for the fiction and 2 sources for the nonfiction. Also, remember an academic source is a text that either analyzes a poem, story, or play or gives historical/philosophical context about an idea or topic discussed within a poem, story, or play. You may only utilize academic sources found within Galileo, your library resources (especially the Lanier Tech Library), or educational websites ending in a .edu. Notice that this does not include Wikipedia, Sparknotes, Enotes, Litcharts, Shmoop, etc. Those types of sites do not count as academic sources. You will then compose your sources into a specific works cited page called an annotated bibliography (see Thesis and Annotated Bibliography assignment).
This essay will follow MLA formatting guidelines including using 12pt Times New Roman Font, double spaced, having proper 1 inch margins, a proper header, a proper heading, using proper citations, and containing a proper works cited page. In addition, you will have to center your essay around a main idea or point. This idea or point is called a thesis. Your thesis is like a hypothesis, only, instead of asking a question you are making a declarative statement. Your thesis should be one or two sentences that discusses one of the topics or lessons in a clear and concise manner. Your thesis should also include what you think are the purposes or effects of the literary/ rhetorical devices used within the work. Literary/rhetorical devices are the artistic uses of language that a writer may add for a particular effect such as diction, tone, imagery, rhetorical questions, repetition, metaphor, rhyme, alliteration, rhythm or meter (a more detailed list of literary devices can be found in your Introduction to Literature textbook as well as online here: https://www.roanestate.edu/owl/ElementsLit.html . In the essay, you should detail how the meaning of the works is conveyed to the reader by the literary/rhetorical devices and describe how the literary/rhetorical devices add or subtract to the possible meaning of the work. You must use quotes from the texts and your academic sources to explain your points. A good tip is to give a quote, explain it in your own words, explain what literary devices it contains and why they are important or why that particular quote is important, and explain how the quote supports your thesis. You should use at least 1-2 quotes per body paragraph but with the focus on analysis not just summarizing. All of the texts you quote will be compiled at the end of your essay into an annotated bibliography (does not count toward the minimum page length). An annotated bibliography is just simply a lengthier, more descriptive works cited page and it takes the place of the works cited page so only the one annotated bibliography is needed. The annotated bibliography not only lists each book/article/website or other source but also describes what type of information each contains and how that information could be used in the particular essay you will be writing. First write the citation for each source you are using. Then, underneath each citation you will write at least three sentences describing what information is contained within that source and how it may be useful to your essay. You will need at least four academic sources compiled in an annotated bibliography for this assignment. The formatting guide here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ .
The works chosen are “Two Ways of Seeing a River” by Mark Twain/ “The Ice Palace” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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