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Comparative Essay Assignment

Directions: Please read the following carefully. Make sure you follow the rubric.
For this essay you will be comparing The Kite Runner novel and The Kite Runner movie. Your essay
must include the following elements:
-

Be between 800-1000 words

Include an introduction & conclusion

Have a clear thesis statement

Clearly explain similarities & differences between the texts

Have specific examples, evidences, and details from the text as support

Have sufficient analysis of your examples & evidences & relate them to your thesis statement

Be organized and use appropriate vocabulary

Some things to help you with your comparison essay:


Comparison is a basic procedure of explanation and analysis. A comparison presents two or more
objects and describes and analyzes their similarities and differences. Comparison usually makes us
see the items under discussion more clearly and in a new light.
When writing a literary comparison, you will answer the question So What?
In other words you will not only explain the similarities and differences between the two (or more)
works (or plots or characters or other elements of fiction you have chosen to discuss) but also
explain the significance (analysis) of your comparison.

Expository Essay
A brief reminder about the structure of an expository essay (in case you had forgotten)
The structure of the expository essay is held together by the following.
A clear, concise, and defined thesis statement that occurs in the first paragraph of the
essay.
It is essential that this thesis statement be appropriately narrowed to follow the guidelines set
forth in the assignment. If the student does not master this portion of the essay, it will be quite
difficult to compose an effective or persuasive essay. Your thesis statement should make it clear
what the grounds are for comparison.
Clear and logical transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion.
Transitions are the mortar that holds the foundation of the essay together. Without logical
progression of thought, the reader is unable to follow the essays argument, and the structure will
collapse.
Body paragraphs that include evidential support.
Each paragraph should be limited to the exposition of one general idea. This will allow for clarity and
direction throughout the essay. What is more, such conciseness creates an ease of readability for

ones audience. It is important to note that each paragraph in the body of the essay must have some
logical connection to the thesis statement in the opening paragraph. In the case of a comparative
essay one idea can be applied to both texts being compared within a single paragraph.
Evidential support (whether factual, logical, statistical, or anecdotal).
Often times, students are required to write expository essays with little or no preparation;
therefore, such essays do not typically allow for a great deal of statistical or factual evidence. In
this case, however, you have ample time to find evidence from both texts to support every claim you
make. The best evidence is a direct quote.
A bit of creativity!
Though creativity and artfulness are not always associated with essay writing, it is an art form
nonetheless. Try not to get stuck on the formulaic nature of expository writing at the expense of
writing something interesting. Remember, though you may not be crafting the next great novel, you
are attempting to leave a lasting impression on the people evaluating your essay.
A conclusion that does not simply restate the thesis, but readdresses it in light of the
evidence provided.
It is at this point of the essay you will inevitably begin to struggle. This is the portion of the essay
that will leave the most immediate impression on the mind of the reader. Therefore, it must be
effective and logical. Do not introduce any new information into the conclusion; rather, synthesize
and come to a conclusion concerning the information presented in the body of the essay.

Organization of a comparison
There are two primary patterns of organization used in comparison essays
Block method
Alternating method
Block Method
also called Summary approach; also called One Side at a Time
Focus is on the items being compared.
The writer presents one work, describes all of its relevant grounds and attributes, and then does
the same with the second item, using the same grounds for comparison.
Points of comparison are discussed in terms of the works being compared
Advantage--guarantees that each object will have a unified discussion.
Disadvantage--points of comparison, being so widely separated in the essay, may be less clear
to the reader.
This approach works best when:
--two objects compared are relatively simple
--points of comparison are general and few in number
--amount of information presented is not great
Generally, this a poor organizational choice when comparing something as complex as literature.
Alternating Method
Also called element by element or point by point.
Focus is on the grounds and attributes of comparison
Works being compared are discussed in terms of the grounds and attributes of comparison
Advantage--it is easy to grasp specific points of comparison
Disadvantage--it might be harder to pull together details and form a distinct impression of
what each object is like.
Thesis Statement

Remember that comparison is an organizational and analytical structure that supports your ideas but
you still need a thesis.
Thesis statement
1) Names the items to be compared
2) Indicates the purpose of the comparison
3) Names the grounds for comparison

Criterion A Content

understand and analyse language, content, structure, meaning and significance of both familiar and previously unseen
oral, written and visual texts?

compare and contrast works, and connect themes across and within genres?

analyse the effects of the authors choices on an audience?

express an informed and independent response to literary and non-literary texts?

compose pieces that apply appropriate literary and/or non-literary features to serve the context and intention?
apply language A terminology in context?
Level

Published Criteria

1-2

The student demonstrates very limited understanding of the


text and topic, and little or no awareness of the authors
choices.

Task Specific Clarification:

There is little or no detail, development or support.


The use of terminology is missing, inconsistent and/or
incorrect
3-4

The student demonstrates limited understanding of the text


and topic, and sometimes shows an awareness of the authors
choices, although detail, development and/or support are
insufficient.

This task requires the same things as the other essays you
have written about literature this school year. Before you
write it take a moment to reread your essays on Nature
versus Nurture and Macbeth. Take note of the levels of
achievement you reached for those essays and make a
conscious decision about what you will do to improve your
grade this time. Also, reread the rubrics for those tasks and
consider some of the task specific clarifications.

The use of terminology is sometimes accurate and


appropriate.
5-6

The student demonstrates a sufficient understanding of the


text and topic, and an awareness of the authors choices,
using adequate detail, development and support.
Terminology is usually accurate and appropriate.
The student demonstrates a good understanding of the text,
topic and the authors choices, using substantial detail,
development and support.

7-8

Relevant terminology is used accurately and appropriately

Text = the novel plus the film, collection of essays or


second novel you studied
Topic = the aspect you chose to write this essay on
(characters, setting or language use)
Authors Choices = how the author/s (and director) have;
Presented the characters and used them to
develop the ideas the texts explore
Created a dystopian society and used it to

9-10

The student demonstrates a perceptive understanding of the


text, topic and the authors choices, consistently using
illustrative detail, development and support.
The student shows a sophisticated command of relevant
terminology, and uses it appropriately.

comment on the society in which s/he wrote or directed the


text
Relevant Terminology includes such things as author, plot,
setting, theme, etc. If you are discussing film you should
also correctly use terms such as director, camera shot,
camera angle, ambient sound, etc.

Notes
The quality and explanation of supporting material is assessed against criterion A, while the structure, ordering and integration of supporting material are
assessed under criterion B.
The task being assessed against criterion A may involve more than one work or more than one author.
Responses to literature must reflect a meaningful personal interaction with the text that shows genuine understanding and analysis.
This criterion can be applied to oral, written and visual work.

Criterion B Organization

Level

create work that employs organizational structures and language-specific conventions throughout a variety of text types?
organize ideas and arguments in a sustained, coherent and logical manner?
employ appropriate critical apparatus?
Published Criteria
Task Specific Clarification

1-2

The student rarely employs organizational structures and/or


language specific conventions, or uses those that do not serve the
context and intention.
The work is generally disorganized, unclear and/or incoherent.

Take some time to reread the clarifications relating to


this criterion for the essays you wrote earlier this
year.

The student employs critical apparatus inappropriately or not at all


3-4

The student sometimes employs organizational structures and/or


language-specific conventions that serve the context and intention.

To do well on this task you should do all of the


following:

The work shows the beginnings of organization but lacks


coherence.
Organisational structures:
The student employs critical apparatus with limited success.
5-6

The student usually employs organizational structures and language


specific conventions that serve the context and intention.
The work is generally organized, clear and coherent.

Include a cover page with the essay title, your


name, your teachers name, your homeroom and
the word count
Include page numbers
Use well-structured introductory, body and
concluding paragraphs

The student generally employs critical apparatus correctly.


7-8

The student consistently employs organizational structures and


language specific conventions that serve the context and intention.
The work is usually well-organized, clear and coherent and the
ideas being expressed build on each other.
The student employs critical apparatus correctly.

9-10

The student consistently employs sophisticated organizational


structures and language-specific conventions that serve the context
and intention.
The work is consistently well-organized, clear and coherent and the

Coherence:

Use transitions that connect paragraphs


Sequence and connect ideas within paragraphs

Critical apparatus

Integrate quotes from the novel/s, essays and/or


film fluently into your own sentences
Include in text citations like this (author, year)
or this (director, year) OR include footnotes for
all quotes and indirect evidence from the texts
you studied

ideas being expressed build on each other in a sophisticated manner.


The student integrates critical apparatus correctly and effectively

Include a properly formatted bibliography that


includes full publication details of all texts
referred to in your essay

Notes
Organizational structures and language-specific conventions include the systems used in a language A, for example, paragraphs and transitions. What is considered as appropriate
structure or convention will be dependent on the language.
Examples of critical apparatus include quotations, citations, references, footnotes, bibliographies, table of contents, outlines, appendices, tables, graphs, labels, headings, italicizing,
underlining, superscripting, subscripting.
The quality and explanation of supporting material is assessed against criterion A, while the structure, ordering and integration of supporting material are assessed under criterion B.
This criterion can be applied to oral, written or visual work.

Criterion C Language and Style


use appropriate and varied register, vocabulary and idiom?

use correct grammar and syntax?

use appropriate and varied sentence structure?

use correct spelling/writing?

use language to narrate, describe, analyse, explain, argue, persuade, inform, entertain and express feelings?
use language accurately?
Level

Published Criteria

1-2

The student employs a very limited range of appropriate vocabulary, idiom and sentence
structure. There are very frequent errors in grammar and syntax, which persistently hinder
communication.
There is little or no evidence of a register and style that serve the context and intention.
There are very frequent errors in punctuation and spelling, which persistently hinder
communication.

3-4

The student employs a limited range of appropriate vocabulary, idiom and sentence
structure. There are frequent errors in grammar and syntax, which hinder communication.
There is some evidence of a register and style that serve the context and intention.
There are frequent errors in punctuation and spelling, which hinder communication.

5-6

The student generally employs a range of appropriate vocabulary, idiom and sentence
structure. Grammar and syntax are generally accurate; occasional errors sometimes hinder
communication.
The student often uses a register and style that serve the context and intention.
Punctuation and spelling are generally accurate; occasional errors sometimes hinder
communication.

7-8

The student employs a range of appropriate vocabulary, idiom and sentence structure.
Grammar and syntax are accurate; occasional errors rarely hinder communication.
The student consistently uses a register and style that serve the context and intention.
Punctuation and spelling are accurate; occasional errors rarely hinder communication.

As with the other essays you


have written this school year
the register should be formal
and the style serious. Take a
moment to reread the essays
that you wrote earlier this
year, paying particular
attention to aspects of this
criterion that you
consistently got wrong. Use
this task as an opportunity to
fix your expression in at
least one or two ways.

9-10

The student employs a wide and effective range of appropriate vocabulary, idiom and
sentence structure. Grammar and syntax are accurate; very infrequent errors do not hinder
communication.
The student demonstrates mastery of a register and style that serve the context and intention.
Punctuation and spelling are accurate; very infrequent errors do not hinder communication.

Notes
Spelling: students should consistently use a standard form of the language being studied, appropriate to the task (you may choose
to use British, North American or Australasian conventions but your work must be consistent to the one you chose).
The same recurring error will be treated as a single error .