What do we make of the fact that Jacob wrestled and struggled physically and Arjuna engages in a philosophical debate?

ENGL 205: Long Paper Assignment: 300 pts due by midnight on Friday, April 16

(file must be in DOC, DOCX, or RTF format)

Examining differences between texts often generates significant insight, especially when there is much in

common. For example, while both the Jacob of Genesis and Arjuna come face to face with a divine being,

What do we make of the fact that Jacob wrestled and struggled physically and Arjuna engages in a philosophical debate?

Your job is to examine two authors/texts and discern what significant meaning is generated by a meaningful

difference. In choosing your texts, you must identify a significant similarity that allows the difference to

highlight a meaningful idea.

In the above example, the significant similarity is that both Genesis and Bhagavad Gita feature characters

having face-to-face meetings with a deity. That similarity marks a significant area of comparison.

The difference between a physical struggle and a mental struggle then is an area of meaningful

comparison. The thesis would be your answer to the question “what do we make of that difference?”

or “what is the significance of that difference?” or “What does that difference teach me?”.

Each student will write a 2,600-word essay (approx. 8 pages, properly formatted) based on one of the

following choices:

1) Narrative

Compare/Contrast TWO of the following:

• Beowulf

• Don Quixote

• Sunjata

• Tale of Genji

• The Thousand and One Nights

2) Poetry

Compare/contrast TWO of the following:

• a selection from The Classic of Poetry

• Francis Petrarch

• A Tang Poet (Li Bo, or Du Fu)

3) Religion/Philosophy

Compare/contrast TWO of the following:

• Augustine’s Confessions

• Bhagavad-Gita

• Confucius Analects

• The Qu’ran


Your paper must…

 be 2,600 words long (NOT COUNTING WORKS CITED PAGE) (approx. 8 pages)

 quote, summarize, and/or paraphrase from the following sources: o the two primary sources—(the literary text or texts you are analyzing) o at least 2 books/ebooks (secondary sources) o at least 5 peer-reviewed articles from scholarly literary journals (only one article from The

Explicator is allowed). Book reviews do not count. (secondary sources)

 have a descriptive title

 provide a reason for comparing the two texts in the introduction

 contain a clear interpretive thesis statement that summarizes your conclusions

o remember that your thesis claim should be specific and significant

 explain and support its main points with specific examples and/or quotations from the texts

 use the alternating format for compare/contrast papers rather than the block format (see below)

 contain unified, coherent, well-developed paragraphs with strong topic sentences

 cite the literary texts in proper MLA documentation format

 be formatted according to the MLA guidelines

 be submitted in Blackboard on time.

Structure Notes for Compare/Contrast Papers

There are two ways to organize compare/contrast papers.

Do NOT use this format:

Block: organized by texts

A. Introduction and Thesis B. Background Information C. Stuff about Text A

a. Point 1 b. Point 2 c. Point 3…

D. Stuff about Text B a. Point 1 b. Point 2 c. Point 3…

E. Conclusion

DO use this format:

Alternating: organized by ideas/points

A. Introduction and Thesis B. Very Brief Background Material, if

appropriate (Background may be historical,

thematic, or theoretical, depending on the

topic selected. Make sure that it is relevant to

the argument that follows).

C. Analysis a. Idea 1 (point of comparison)

i. Discuss BOTH texts. b. Idea 2

i. Discuss BOTH texts. c. and so on…

D. Conclusion

Please note that letters and numbers in this outline refer

to sections of your paper, not paragraphs. Each section

may include one or more paragraphs.