Essay 1: Comparison
This handout gives an overview of the first essay assignment and contains several forms and worksheets that you will need at various stages of the writing process.
The Rhetorical Situation:
• Purpose: Write an essay that points out parallels and connections between two literary/historical figures (Frederick Douglass and Lucy Grealy). Your essay and others will help high school English and social studies teachers prepare to teach their classes. • Audience: Your essay will (hypothetically) become part of a guide for high school English and social studies teachers who have their students read “Learning to Read and Write” and “Mirrors.” • Topic: The topic of your comparison should be some specific aspect of Douglass and Grealy (or some specific aspect of their experiences).
Controlling Idea: The controlling idea (thesis) of a comparison is a statement of overall similarity/difference. Make sure your controlling idea fits purpose and audience.
Organization: The comparison should be organized as an informative essay, with an introduction, body, and conclusion; a clear controlling idea; and unified, well-developed paragraphs. You should choose whether you wish to use a block or point-by-point organizational strategy.
Length: The comparison should be approximately 500-700 words (about 2 full typed pages, double-spaced).
1. Submit a prospectus to the instructor, explaining what you plan to write. Before you go any further, the instructor must approve your prospectus. 2. Submit a draft for evaluation by your instructor and review by two classmates. 3. Submit a revised and edited essay for evaluation by your instructor. 4. After your revision is graded, please submit corrections of all grammatical, spelling, and mechanical errors. Corrections do not affect your grade.
Draft 1.1 is for peer review. On the due date for Draft 1.1, please bring the following to class: • This entire handout (contains peer review worksheets that you’ll need to use in class) • A complete draft of the essay
• At least two copies of the draft. Each copy should have a copy of your completed Cover Page: Essay 1 Draft.
Draft 1.2 is for editing. On the due date for Draft 1.2, please bring the following to class • The latest version of your draft, triple-spaced
Folders: Drafts 1.3 and 1.4 should be turned in to me in a two-pocket paper folder. Folder checklist:
• Right side of folder:
• A completed Cover Page: Essay 1 Draft.
❑ A completed “Info: Draft”
❑ The latest version of the draft
• Left side of folder:
❑ Completed and updated (if requested) prospectus ❑ Previous versions of the draft, clearly labeled ❑ Any notes, outlines, or brainstorming you may have done ❑ The two peer reviews that you completed
Purpose: Use this prospectus to make preliminary decisions about the comparison essay you intend to write. These decisions will help you to plan the essay. The completed handout will let me know what your plans are and allow me to give you some guidance before you write a draft.
1. Description of task: in a brief paragraph, describe the essay you plan to write. Be as specific as possible about your topic, the type of essay, and the audience. Your audience should be a specific group of adults, real or hypothetical. Begin your description with a sentence in this format: I plan to write a _______about _____ for
_______. (essay type)
I plan to write a comparison essay about Lucy Grealy and Frederick Douglas personalities for high school English and social studies teachers.
2. Brainstrorming similarities: Generate some ideas below. If you think of other similarities and criteria, list them on the back of this sheet. Frederick Douglass and Lucy Grealy have the following similarities:...
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