Your paper should be organized around your thesis (argument), which is the main point of the entire essay. When developing a thesis for a comparative paper, consider how a comparison of the works provides deeper insight into the topic of your paper (i.e., think about why you have chosen to look at these particular works in relation to one another).
In your analysis, consider the relationships among the following elements:
Form (e.g., short story vs. poem)
Remember to include:
8 to 10 pages of text (in 12 pt Times New Roman font, double spaced)
Title page (following APA style formatting)
Reference page (following APA style formatting)
6 scholarly sources including your textbook
At least 2 of your sources must come from the Ashford Online Library.
Final Paper Checklist
Step 1: Be sure you read my feedback on your draft, posted to the Gradebook in Week 3. If you have not done so already, be sure to view the in-paper comments. I have given each of you specific tips for improving your paper. This is a good place to start when revising your draft.
Step 2: Proofread your paper. This is an extremely important step! You want to be on the lookout for more than misspelled words. Read your sentences slowly and carefully. Do they make sense when you read them out loud? Reading your paper out loud is a great way to spot sentences that end too soon, run-on sentences, or sentences that are hard to understand.
Step 3: Make sure your sources are scholarly sources. Websites such as SparkNotes, eNotes, Suite 101, Shmoop, Poetry.com, or other summarizing websites aren?t considered scholarly. (It should go without saying that websites that provide you with sample papers, such as AntiEssays.com or OPPapers.com, are unacceptable sources. If you use content from these sites, it will be found by Turnitin software.) You should be using the Ashford Online Library to gather your sources. If you are not sure how to use the library to gather research, the library offers tutorials to help you. If you click on the ?Library? link located in the left-hand column of the classroom and then choose ?Tutorials,? you will find the instructions for how to access the tutorials in the Ashford Online Library. If you still have questions, you can ask a librarian or me.
Step 4: Make sure you have an effective introduction with a thesis statement. Your introduction should tell the reader which literary works you are writing about, the authors of those works, and give a brief overview of what we can learn by comparing the two works. Remember, the assignment instructions ask you to provide ?deeper insight? into the topic of your paper. This means you want to do more than simply state what is the same and what is different about the two works. Here are a few good questions to ask yourself to help you find that deeper insight:
Why did the authors write these works, do you think? What did they want to tell us? (You do not want to state in your paper what the authors? intents were since you do not know for sure, but this can help you to analyze the works from your own perspective.)
What do we learn about the theme (i.e., the journey, marriage/gender relations, or race/ethnicity) by looking at these two works together? Do these works have the same message for us, or is one author trying to say something different than the other?
Your thesis statement will be the answer to one of these questions--it should make an argument about what we can learn about the theme from these two works.
Step 5: Double-check your conclusion. This paragraph is a summary; therefore, you should not introduce new analysis or information in this paragraph. Usually, the first sentence of the conclusion is a rephrasing of your thesis statement. The next few sentences should remind the reader what your paper was about. What are the main points of similarity or difference that you discussed? You want the last sentence to be a strong final thought. What can we take away from this study? How are we better off for reading these two works together?
Remember that writing is a process. This process includes drafting and revision. The Week 3 assignment is the draft from which you will be working. Remember to re-read your work carefully and look for any typos or grammar/punctuation errors. This is the basic editing step of the revision process. As a writer myself, I find that sometimes my brain works faster than my fingers causing me to leave out words that I thought but didn?t quite get typed. While spelling and grammar check can help you identify some of these errors, the best way to identify and correct mistakes like this is by reading your work out loud. When reading your writing on the screen, the brain can trick you into seeing something as correct when it is actually a typo. Reading your work out loud really helps you identify errors, because you will focus on the words more closely.
In addition to helping to identify errors in your work, reading out loud can help you adjust the rhythm of your writing. Each person has an individual style to his/her writing that includes how the writing sounds. While some sentence constructions may look good on the page, when you hear them out loud, they can reveal some of the mistakes in word choice and sentence construction.
The final area that you should focus on in your revision is the clarity of ideas. If the audience does not fully understand the ideas which you are trying to convey, the essay is less effective. In this step in the revision process, it will be beneficial to clearly identify the purpose and audience of your essay. Try to put yourself into your audience?s mindset. If you had no knowledge of the subject area, would you be able to understand the ideas in the essay?
This revision process is probably the most important step in the writing process. In fact, it is important even when writing emails or any other written communication. You may revise several times before submitting the final assignment, but that is okay.
Here are some additional resources that can help you as you work on your assignments:
Ashford Writing Center: This resource has useful guidance to help you as you write, such as the Thesis Generator, located in Chapter 3.3.
Writing Reviser: This resource helps to provide automated feedback on organization, style, and grammar.
Turnitin: This resource is used to check for originality and the proper use of citations in your paper. See the document below for details on how to use Turnitin.
The comments I had from the rough draft were below:
*For your final draft, make sure you are using the terms form (short story, poem, point of view, etc.), style (symbolism, tone, imagery, etc.), and content (character, setting, plot). These are part of the assignment description and need to be discussed explicitly. You discuss some of these elements already, but make sure you label them and organize ideas together more smoothly.
*I like the way you are already commenting on differences and similarities for these two pieces. Well done! I think for your final draft, it would help if you maybe cut back a little bit so that your intro stays focused and succinct.
*You have a great summary. I would trim this down a bit and get to your analysis and comparison. Remember, for this essay you should be comparing form, style, and content.
*Make sure you always offer analysis as you give plot summary.
*Nice comparisons towards the end. I would begin comparing the two sooner in this essay. Also, make sure you discuss style: symbolism, imagery, irony, metaphor, etc.
Once again my Username for Ashford University is LABUEP4318
My password is 1!Qqqqqq
The draft paper is below that was written:
The Comparisons vs. The Differences of Short Stories and Poems
This paper focuses on the similarities and differences of the representation of death and the impermanence in the short story ?A Father?s Story? by Andre Dubus, and the poem ?Because I could not stop for Death? by Emily Dickinson.? The reader finds two authors who are different, but produces a mental picture of death in the short story and poem. In ?A Father?s Story? the main character in the story is the father who ignores his religious belief in order to protect his daughter from the consequences of killing a man with her car. However, in the poem ?Because I could not stop for Death,? the author displays how the main character accepted death as a friend and a part of life until the end. The short story discuss the character?s life before it yields into the talk of death; however, the poem talks of death right at the beginning of the poem. The two pieces of literature imply an acceptance of the inevitability of death by both authors. Death, in these two pieces of literature, is more than just absence of the soul from the body. In the poem and the short story, there are three types of death experiences represented: emotional death, spiritual death, and physical death. Exploring these different kinds of death experiences shows similarities and differences between the two pieces of literature. The inevitability of death and the emotions involved are described in both of these pieces.
?A Father?s Story? is a short story describing the life of Luke Ripley who is a Catholic. Ripley loses wife and children to an obviously bitter divorce. This represents an emotional death experience in the story. He describes the feeling of loneliness
and pain of being in the house all alone with no family. He explains the aggravation in knowing that, being a catholic, he could not fill that void in his life with love of another woman because his faith teaches that he can?t marry twice. He goes on and on about how good life was in the days when he and his wife Gloria were together and his family was intact. He speaks as if the life, hope, and simplicity of life left with his wife and children in that U-Haul all those years ago. Luke is dead emotionally he constantly lives with the regret that his marriage didn?t work and he has to stay single for the rest of his life because of his faith. He confessed to the sin of fornication, which he admitted he willingly committed on two different occasions with two different women whom he did not love. Luke?s emotional death is triggered not by the divorce or the lack of a family life, but by the Catholic practice that once divorced, a Catholic believer can?t remarry. This eliminated all hope of loving again or picking up the broken pieces of his life and moving on happily with someone else. Ripley?s emotional death is seen as clearly as his sharp sense of self-awareness throughout this short story.
Luke later describes the frustrations of trying to live up to the expectations of being a true catholic. He explains that being a true Catholic is too hard and how he has never come across real saintliness, giving the synopsis that until the pope sells his house and everything in it, he would never respect a pope. He struggles trying to balance concentration in mass at St. John?s Church and thinking about what other things are going on outside the church. This represents spiritual death experience in the short story. Conversely to the open confession that being a real Catholic is too hard, it is obvious that he, because of ritual praying and habitual talking to God every morning that he has some kind of interest in knowing God on a personal level but because of the spiritual ineptitude, he is unable to live up to the standards that the Catholic church has set for the religion of Catholicism. His companionship with Father Paul is at risk because of his longing to love. He has a burning desire inside him to love and to be loved and that goes against what Father Paul and the Catholic Church teaches. Luke?s longing to love despite what he?s been taught to believe shows that he is spiritually dead because if he was spiritually alive and connected with the Spirit of God, he would obey the statutes that his religion teaches. In fact, at the end of the story when he vocalizes God speaking to him, Ripley gets bitter with God and says to God that if one of his sons would have come over due to the same circumstances that he would have met him at the crime scene with an ambulance. When God asks him why, he mocks Almighty God by saying essentially that any man could stand to see his son in pain and could stand there with pride as he took the whip and nails. He says with sarcasm that if God would have had a daughter, He couldn?t have borne her passion (as if to say God doesn?t know what it feels like to have a daughter). As God tells Luke that he loves in weakness, Luke defensively snaps back by saying, ??as you love me (Clugston, 2010).? This shows us that Luke, in fact, is spiritually dead because he is unable to recognize with whom he is speaking.
A visit from Luke?s daughter Jennifer, who comes home to visit her father more than any of her brothers, reveals that Jennifer had just caused the physical death of a stranger. A night out drinking with friends became a tragic experience for Jennifer in the short story. Once Jennifer dropped her friends? home, she drove through the hills toward her father?s house and she hit something that seemed to be a person. Upon her return home, Jennifer awakes her father to tell him of the accident. Luke calms his daughter down and tries to understand what has happened to her. She gives graphic detail about her driving experience including details about the weather before finally admitting to hitting something, or someone for that matter. Luke, being a seriously concerned and probably intoxicated father, goes out to the scene where Jennifer described the accident. He finds that it was a man that was hit by Jennifer and he was, in fact, dead. This is the physical death experience represented in this story. Luke seems to have a bigger respect for the physical death because he described himself as highly emotional when he sees that guy lying on the ground, face-down with one arm close to his body and his other arm extended from his shoulders. The description of the dead man was detailed so that without going any further, the reader could deduce that the guy was surely dead. Luke describes the guy as not having a pulse or heartbeat, having blood leaking from his mouth, and upon ear-to-chest listening, Luke describes the young man as having a gurgling water and air sound in his chest for a moment. The description of the young man was the description of physical death.
The poem ?Because I Could Not Stop for Death? opens by acknowledging the anonymity of death. There is an absence of emotion from the character because of the uncontrolled nature of death. The character who speaks from death is emotionally dead because there is no use for emotions in death. The character in the poem didn?t cry, mourn, or lament one time but spoke in a tone of acceptance to the inevitability of death. In the absence of emotions, the character spoke clearly on how she felt being dead. This represents the emotional death experience in this poem. The character speaks of having to put away her labor and leisure, passing the school where the children played at recess, and passing the fields of gazing grain. She speaks from her own perspective and not once did she expound on any emotional feelings toward what she saw as she passed those places. The character, instead, imputes those emotions on the reader and the reader can feel what the character would feel about what was seen if she wasn?t dead. The character almost pulls the emotions out of the reader.
There is a simple sense of hopelessness at the end of the poem when the author explains that the only stop they made was the stop at the grave plot which she describes as a house that seemed like a swelling of the ground. She explains that it has been centuries since they stopped there and yet each century seems shorter than the day she first concluded that she was riding through time and into eternity. She speaks with a tone of hopelessness because she obviously believes that where she is now is where she will always be. She describes her grave plot as a house, implying that she was now at her new home. There is no mention of God or any belief in a higher power in this poem, as opposed to the short story. Any believer in God knows that death and the grave are merely conduits through which we pass from this life here on earth to the eternal life in Heaven or Hell, but to the character in this poem, the grave is where the buck stops. There is no hint of faith or belief in God or hope in the Resurrection from the grave which signifies the spiritual death experience in this poem. The author doesn?t speak of anything other than the grave as the ultimate resting place. The character says that each passing century is not as long as the day she realized that the horses were navigating her into eternity as if she dreaded that day that she?d be escorted into eternity by this undeniable gentleman caller.
The character, however creative she is in describing it, is dead. The entire poem is based on the inevitable death of the character. This represents the physical death experience. The poem doesn?t get into detail about when, where, or how the character died but the final point of the poem was that the character, in fact, had actually died and was speaking first-hand about her physical death experience, which was decorated and glazed with a wonderful word play. She explains in the first stanza that ??the carriage held but just ourselves and immortality (Clugston, 2010).? This verse implies the solitude of the physical death experience and the fact that death is a lonely experience meant for one person at a time. It implies that physical death has no room for things accumulated in time by man and once death comes for a person, that person can?t take anything on the ?carriage ride to eternity (Clugston, 2010).? The character has a sense of respect for death. Seeing as how she can?t do anything about being dead anyway, she has no choice but to respect the arrival of her eternal escort. Physical death is the most apparent experience in this poem and is the biggest part of the dissection of what the poem really represents or means.
The two pieces of literature ?A Father?s Story? and ?Because I Could Not Stop for Death? both have some of the same tones and experiences by the characters. Though the differences in length are blindingly apparent, the meanings of both of these pieces of literature are similar in that by the conclusion of both of them; the reader will have acquired a mental picture of what death actually is and ultimately how inevitable death really is. The differences in the emotional death experiences in the two pieces of literature are clear in that the character in the short story once knew emotional awakening until his wife divorced him and left with the kids in a U-Haul. That experience was followed by the emotional death experience for Luke because he was a Catholic man taught to believe that he could never love or marry again after having married before. In the poem, the reader has to assume that the character knew emotional vitality at some point in her life because the poem opens with ?Because I could not stop for death? (Clugston, 2010)? implies that the character was enjoying her life. The fact that she couldn?t stop for death meant that she was too busy enjoying life and that she was enjoying it to the fullest. She later says how she had to ??put away my labor and my leisure too, for this civility (Clugston, 2010).? She had to stop enjoying the labors and leisure of life when death came for her.
The differences in the spiritual death experiences in these two pieces are also apparent because in the short story, Luke, although he confessed to not be a ?real catholic (Smith, 2007),? he still practiced some of the principles of the Catholic faith in that he followed the principle of marrying only once. He deemed the Catholic lifestyle ?unable to be lived, (Smith 2007)? in so many words. He was spiritually dead because although he wanted to find fulfillment the right way, at the end of the story he argues in arrogance with the very God who never spoke to him until that point. At the end of the story when he could hear God speaking to him, he insulted God by saying that He loved Luke in weakness. This was the seal that Luke was spiritually dead. On the other hand, in the poem, the character not once mentioned God or a belief in Him (or any deity for that matter) and the reader is left in the gray area on whether or not the character had any spiritual vitality before or after death. The reader, again, can only assume that because she failed to mention anything of faith that she had none. This can be very misleading because even though no deity is mentioned, the reader still has to consider the fact that she mentions ?eternity (Dickerson, 2011).? Eternity is forever in the absence of time but the author doesn?t say where she is spending eternity. She only mentions that with each passing century, nothing is longer than the day she realized that her carriage ride was into eternity.
There are also a lot of similarities and differences within the form of each of these pieces.
Dickinson?s ?Because I could not stop for death? is a poem. When reading this poem you will see a lot of aphorisms. Aphorisms are appointed statements that express a principle or observation. The first two lines in Dickinson?s poem can represent an aphorism when she said ?Because I could not stop for death, He kindly stopped for me?. With these lines she is representing the fact that death comes for everyone no matter if we want it to or not. Dickinson?s poem unlike Dubos?s story; represents death as a person coming to pick her up. Dubus?s piece is in the form of a short story. Short story unlike poems contains paragraphs that break down a story in to pieces and contains a clear time frame. Dubus story is considered a parable. Parables contain lessons or morals. The father is this story contains and speaks of his morals as a Christian and how he lost them to protect his daughter.
The differences in the physical death experiences are noticed because in the short story, the cause of death is obvious because Luke?s daughter hit the guy with her car. The reader has an explanation as to how death came to that boy in the short story. Luke actually considers that he could have possibly done something to postpone that boy?s death. He reasoned that if he had called an ambulance to meet him up there on the scene of the accident, the boy could have had a better chance at living. In the poem, the reader has no idea as to how the character died or where she was. What she was doing at the time of death was even a mystery because she just said that she had to put away her labor and leisure for death. All of these experiences are different in both the pieces of literature. In conclusion, when we as people think about death, we think only about the physical death experience. Death is all around us, even in living things. There may be some people among us on this earth living alright from a physical standpoint, but are emotionally or spiritually dead inside. For some, death is an escape from the responsibilities, burdens, trials, and tribulations of life and is looked at as a deserved rest in between time on earth and eternity somewhere else. The fact still remains that some of us are already spiritually, and emotionally dead, waiting for our physical lives to end.
Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey Into Literature. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUENG125.10.2/sections/sec1.2
Clugston, R. W. (2010), Poems for Comparison, ch.12, Journey into Literature, Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUENG125.10.2/sections/sec1.2
Dickinson, E. (2011), Shmoop University, Inc., Poetry, because I could not stop for Death, Retrieved from http://www.shmoop.com/because-i-could-not-stop-for-death/themes.html
Smith, V. (2007), Character analysis: Luke Ripley, A Father?s Story, by Andre Dubus, Helium: American Literature, Retrieved from http://www.helium.com/items/283992-character-analysis-luke-ripley-a-fathers-story-by-andre-dubus
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