Comparison-Contrast Essay

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All the details and requirements are in the folder, and the two contrasting poems have been selected.

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Assignment for Essay 2 on Poetry


Write an essay of not less than 900 words comparing and contrasting any two poems chosen from Backpack Literature using Voice, imagery and form/structure as framework.

The framework for comparison of the two poems is Voice, imagery and form/structure emphasizing how they help delineate meaning. You should use the alternating, integrated, or point-by point comparison method which explores one point of similarity or difference about each subject, followed by a second point, and so on. Some pointers:

Provide a clear introduction and thesis that not only spells out the major similarities and differences you will be discussing but that answers the question, “So what?”

To avoid creating a glorified list, synthesize and organize the material in a logical way.

Conclude the paper by summarizing and analyzing the findings, once again reminding the reader of the relationships you have noted between Poem A and Poem B.

You are expected to do a point-by-point comparison. By this method you write about each major point for both poems before moving on to another main point. Follow this order:


Poem A

Poem B


Poem A

Poem B


Poem A

Poem B

Use transitional words and phrases to move back and forth from one poem to another. Here are some transitions to use:

Words to indicate comparison: in comparison, similarly, likewise, in the same way, parallel to, correlate, identically, akin to, consistent with, also, too, analogous to, correspondingly

Words to indicate contrast: in contrast, however, on the other hand, nevertheless, although, counter to, on the contrary, conversely, rather than, in opposition to, opposite of Sample Introductory Paragraph

For more on writing comparison and contrast essays, go to pages 1130-1134 of Backpack Literature and read my notes on Comparison and Contrast in the Writing resources folder of blackboard.

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