In class: We will practice analyzing various types of texts (non-academic texts and texts from various academic disciplines), using the same tool ("Analyzing a Written Text" worksheet).
On your own:
I. Introduction, including a thesis, authors and titles of texts, and perhaps a lead-in which introduces the subject matter in general. Since the focus of your paper is comparing and contrasting the two texts, the following template for a thesis should work in most cases:
"While [name both texts] both focus on __________________ , they differ in _____________________. As a result, ____________________."
For example: While both "The Future of Love" and "The Secret Sharer" focus on what drives two people to form a relationship, they differ in their purpose. As a result, "The Future of Love" seems to invite readers to focus on their own personal growth while "The Secret Sharer" asks us to examine complicated social issues.
II. Brief overview of each text (1-2 paragraphs EACH). In this section, you can briefly summarize the main ideas of each text and briefly describe its purpose, audience, content, organization, and style.
III. Compare and contrast conclusions. Focus on key similarities and differences between the two texts based on the conclusions of your two analyses. IMPORTANT NOTE: You will want to support all conclusions with specific examples from the texts and findings from your analyses, so that your audience will understand how you arrived at those conclusions.
IV. Discuss the implications of the conclusions. Discuss the effect these key areas of similarity and, especially, difference have on these texts. Think in terms of how choices the writer made affect the audience --reinforcing beliefs, challenging assumptions, suggesting ways of thinking or behaving, etc. Think about how this text affects the topic--introducing new perspectives, offering alternative theories, adding depth to the discussion, redefining the grounds on which the topic is discussed, etc. Think about choices the author made which affect your opinion of him or her. The goal is to draw conclusions about the effects of the writer's choices. By comparing and contrasting two texts, you can better show how choices make a difference in effect.