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For this assignment, you will compare and contrast two of the short stories we have read.

Your essay should follow the conventions of a standard academic essay: it should begin

with an introductory paragraph ending with a clear, arguable sentence-length thesis

statement. This argument will be supported and developed by body paragraphs featuring

clear logic, textual paraphrases, well-chosen quotations followed by close reading, and

thoughtful analysis. Your essay will end with a paragraph of conclusion that revisits the

main claim and addresses the significance of the argument you have just made.

Keep the following guidelines about comparing and contrasting in mind:

1. You cannot compare without contrasting, and vice-versa. To do just one or the

other is trite

2. Your essay should explore points of similarity


difference, but it should

ultimately emphasize one over the other. Your decision to focus on similarities or

differences will shape the argument you make and the conclusions you draw.

3. The specific essay structure is up to you, but make sure you consistently establish

the basis of comparison between the two texts. For instance, if you devote a

paragraph to the attitudes about marriage depicted in “The Yellow Wallpaper,”

you should also pay attention to this topic in “The Story of an Hour.”

Your main claim should convey an insight that is gained through comparing and

contrasting these two works, and your essay should explore and develop this argument

persuasively. The focus and argument of your essay will be up to you.


*You can write about any of the following short stories EXCEPT for the one you

chose to write about for Essay #1

“I Stand Here Ironing” by Tillie Olsen

“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

“Cathedral” by Raymond Carver

“Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway

“A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner

“The Shabbat (from


)” by Marjane Satrapi

“A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Jesus Shaves” by David Sedaris

“Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin

“Recitatif” by Toni Morrison

“Boys and Girls” by Alice Munro

“Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid


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