Your second assignment is to produce a 5-7-page close reading focused on a limited number of examples
that makes an argument about a similarity and/or difference between two of the works we have read this
semester. I suggest, but do not require, that you do not write about the same novel you chose for your first
paper assignment. If you do write about the same novel, you cannot take up the same topic you did in the
first paper. To create an interesting and compelling thesis, you might argue that there is a significant
similarity between two apparently different texts (e.g. a middlebrow and a modernist work) or an
important point of difference between apparently similar texts (e.g. two middlebrow works).
This assignment also requires that you use at least one secondary source: a journal article, book chapter,
biography, history of the period, etc. You may use this source to add color to your introduction or
conclusion; in support of your argument; or to state a counter-argument you will refute. If you have
difficulty finding such a source, please consult me.
To succeed in this assignment, you must select a narrow point of comparison or contrast—do not choose
something very general (i.e. the style of two works) or your essay will not make a forceful argument.
Instead, you want to pick an aspect of form or content that you can persuasively address. Here are some
possible topics, but feel free to pick your own:
• Treatment of sex/gender, class, or race
• Representation of the impact of WWI
• Attitudes toward popularity/commercial success
• One aspect of style (closure; parody; characterization; self-reflexivity; etc.)
• Transportation or other new technologies
• The role of tradition or the past
• Specific values
• Time (clock time versus psychological time)
Your goal is to come up with your own argument, preferably one that does not simply echo our class
discussions. Once you have chosen your texts, take some time to reread and take careful notes. See if an
argument or approach emerges out of these activities. If not, consider discussing your ideas with an
instructor or classmate. Once you have arrived at a tentative argument, choose a few main points, look for
your secondary source, and begin writing. Do not attempt to fulfill this assignment by summarizing. You
want to display your ability to interpret the specific language of the works you have chosen.
In addition to an original argument and careful use of evidence, good responses to this assignment will do
four things. First, they will begin with an introduction that tastefully gets the reader’s attention. Second,
they will include a clearly written thesis statement to guide the reader through the paper. Third, they will
conclude in some way that indicates how the argument might alter other readers’ understanding of the
texts. Finally, they will be carefully organized, revised and proofread so that the argument shines through
without needless distractions for the reader. All papers should be double-spaced with standard margins
and a 12-point font. Please number the pages.
I would Prefer that you have read the novel that the paper is based off of. this is a list of the novels, the paper should be based off of one or comparative of no more than two of the novels.
The Inimitable Jeeves
Cold Comfort Farm
Lady Chatterley’s Lover