Identities Contrasted

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Ancillary Essay 3 (AE3): Identities in Contrast Essay PromptRead both "Shooting Dad" and "On Being a Cripple" in 50 Essays and consider thecontrasts in how they articulate identity. How do both essays configure exclusion andinclusion? In both essays, the authors distinguish their identities from groups. In an essayof 500-750 words, organize an analysis of how the ideological and physical identities inthese two essays converge and diverge. As with AE2, quote from the essays to supportyour thesis, using MLA format (commas & periods inside the closing quotation mark forin-text citations; periods after parenthesis for page citations).A key element of writing a compare & contrast essay is finding the point of convergence.While Cohen has already done some of our work by putting together the two essaysunder the heading of "identity," we also know that at a detailed level there will bedifferences.In a sense, both Vowell and Mairs want their essays to be about those differences.Ironically, they also want their audience to identify with those differences. In effect,writing a comparison & contrast essay is like walking across a rocky riverbed: the morefamiliar you are with the highs and the lows (research), the more quickly you can lead theway across (explicate and argue). But remember that you won't be crossing alone; you'llbe leading, so give us a concise statement of what you think is the best way to the otherside (thesis) and then lead the way.In writing AE3, be sure your essay gives accurate summaries of both essays. Thesesummaries should be brief and should follow your thesis, which itself should appear earlyin the essay. Following the summary should be the paragraphs in which you analyze thespecific contrasts between our ideological and physical identities. You will need todecide whether to organize your essay so it contrasts the two essays in their totality orwhether it contrasts specific points from each essay.

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