Comparative + critical review essay

How to Write a Comparative Analysis

To use the alternating method, you just need to have something noteworthy to say about both A and B in each area.

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Finally, you may certainly include more than three pairs of alternating points: allow the subject matter to determine the number of points you choose to develop in the body of your essay. When do I use the alternating method?

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Professors often like the alternating system because it generally does a better job of highlighting similarities and differences by juxtaposing your points about A and B. It also tends to produce a more tightly integrated and analytical paper. Consider the alternating method if you are able to identify clearly related points between A and B. Otherwise, if you attempt to impose the alternating method, you will probably find it counterproductive.

Comparative Essay Samples & Examples

For example, a comparative essay using the block method on the French and Russian revolutions would address the French Revolution in the first half of the essay and the Russian Revolution in the second half. If you choose the block method, however, do not simply append two disconnected essays to an introductory thesis. The B block, or second half of your essay, should refer to the A block, or first half, and make clear points of comparison whenever comparisons are relevant. A Paragraphs 1—3 in body How the French Revolution encouraged or thwarted innovation B Paragraphs 4—6 in body How the Russian Revolution encouraged or thwarted innovation When do I use the block method?

The block method is particularly useful in the following cases:. Search for. I would like to note here that the following comprises some of my own thinking, tips culled from The Holt Handbook [6th ed.

What is a comparative essay?

Throughout your academic career, you'll be asked to write papers in which you compare and contrast two things: two texts, two theories, two historical figures. How To Write A Comparison/Critical Analysis Essay. A comparative analysis compares two or more things, for instance "two texts, two theories, two historical.

First, Please keep in mind that when I ask you to do a close reading of a literary work in order to make an argument about what you see as one of the important aspects of that work, that you do not read to magically discover the ONE correct meaning the author has supposedly hidden between the lines. The "meaning" of a literary work is created by the interaction between a text and its readers, and therefore, most works of literature can convey many different meanings to different readers.

Do not assume, however that a work can mean whatever you want it to mean; ultimately, your interpretation must be consistent with the stylistic signals, thematic suggestions, and patterns of imagery in the text. Here are some TIPS on how to go about doing a close, interpretive reading:. In order to become a good interpreter of literature, you will have to make the important distinction between summary and translation, on the one hand, and interpretation or analysis, on the other.

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Flashcards Last activity. The first sentence of each section of the assignment should be a direct response to each part of the task. Here are a series of questions to focus your thinking: What is the thesis—or main argument—of each book? This pattern tends to work better for long book review essays and those with many sub-topics. The article is descriptive, contains robust content, and was clear and concise in its explanations.

When you summarize, you repeat what the text actually says; when you translate, you explain to your audience in some detail many of the points an astute reader would reach on his or her own -- think of translating something from French into English for a person who speaks both languages.

Neither summary nor translation is really a worthwhile endeavor in that neither tells the reader anything he or she did not already know.

By contrast, when you interpret or analyze literature, you produce your own ideas about how the text creates meaning. In order to produce these ideas, you will need to perform close reading, to look closely at the language of the text in order to demonstrate not just what you think the text means, but more importantly how it means what you think it does.

What Is a Critical Analysis?

See the difference? It's an important one. How, then, do you go about interpreting and analyzing rather than merely summarizing or translating a text? In carrying out your close readings, then, your goal is always to do two things : to demonstrate to your audience how you read the passage that you have quoted; in other words, by paying close attention to the language of the text , to explain how the passage means what you say it means to show how your reading supports the larger point of the paragraph.

As you reread your paper during revision, when you come to each quotation , ask yourself: "Do I interpret the language of my quotations in detailed and specific terms? Because you are interpreting a given piece of literature in the present rather than summarizing what "happened" in it, you should always stick to the present tense when interpreting.

Literature, indeed, although written in the past, is still happening as you read and discuss it, right? Historical background and biographical information should be discussed in the past tense, but when writing about the literary text itself, stick to the present, which will almost force you to interpret rather than summarize. Summary and translation reproduce what the text says. Persuasive interpretation says what the text means by showing, through close reading, how the text means what you say it means.

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Second, I expect to see a thesis near the beginning of your paper. A thesis is NOT a statement in which you simply point out the obvious; for example, "Antigone is a strong woman who stands by her convictions and won't give in to authority. A better thesis statement about Antigone as a character might be, "Antigone is a strong woman who stands by her convictions to the death, and while this can be viewed as admirable, in this case, what Antigone is willing to die for isn't worth the sacrifice. Here are some TIPS on how to develop a good thesis:. Your introductory paragraph should do two things: introduce your reader to your topic and present your thesis. It is important to distinguish in your mind between your topic -- what you will write about say, the issue of arete in the Iliad , or male-female relationships in Medea -- and your thesis -- what you will argue or attempt to prove in relation to your topic.

A thesis may be defined as an interpretation that you set forth in specific terms and propose to defend or demonstrate by reasoned argumentation and literary analysis. Your thesis, then, is the position that you are attempting to persuade your reader to accept.