Guidelines for Interpretive/Comparative Essay
Pick your favorite two (2) chapters out of the six (6) chapters from Founding Brothers
, by Joseph Ellis and write an interpretive/comparative essay based on those chapters.
The essay should answer the following questions:
1. What are the stories about? Give a brief synopsis of each chapter.
2. Why were the episodes important to American history?
3. What did you learn reading these stories?
4. What was your overall impression of these stories? Did you like them? Why? Why not?
1. Did the author do a better job of telling the story in one or the other chapter? Why do you think so?
2. Can you find any connections between the two stories (either the subject or the individuals involved). If so, what are they?
3. How does the story compare with what you’ve heard or read about the subject?
Footnotes will not be necessary, but if you use a direct quote, cite it by using the author’s name and page number in parentheses: (Ellis, 29).
--Do not use colloquial expressions. Slang is inappropriate in an academic paper.
--Avoid using all first and second person pronouns in your writing;
Examples include “me,” “my,” “I,” “we,” “our,” “us,” “you,” and “your.”
There are ways to express yourself without using these pronouns. For example, “In my opinion…” can be replaced with “in the opinion of this writer…” Also instead of “If you think about…” try “If one thinks about…”
--Avoid using contractions in formal writing. Use “did not” instead of “didn’t.”
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