TEXTS: Lost Connections by Johann Hari
Writing assignment 2: Comparing Perspectives
Library visit Thursday, 9.21
Annotated bibliography entry due Thursday, 9.28
Outline due Thursday, 10.5
Rough draft due Thursday, 10.12
Final draft due Saturday, 10.14
TEXTS: Lost Connections AND an outside source from a library database.
CONTENT: Johann Hari says: The author raises many issues in the course of an argument about the causes and cures for anxiety and depression. Pick one that interests you, and determine the Hari’s position on the issue. How is the position stated? What information is used to support it?
An outside source says: We will go together to the library and access the Internet and Cañada’s subscription databases to find articles and essays (i.e., short pieces of nonfiction writing) that present views and information on similar topics. You will find one short text that discusses the issue you chose from Hari’s book. Determine the author or authors’ position on the issue. How is that position stated? What information is used to support it?
You say: Compare and contrast the two texts. By your estimation, are Hari’s and the outside author’s positions similar or different? Do they present similar or different facts to support their views? Your thesis will be a conclusion drawn based on your comparison of the two texts.
Your body paragraphs will support that conclusion by discussing three sub-points that are raised by both authors. You must have at least three body paragraphs, each one focused on a different point and supported with quotes from BOTH authors. Use the templates offered in They Say, I Say if you find them useful.
Conclusion: End your essay by briefly discussing how the information in your body paragraphs proves your thesis.
Use a point-by-point method of comparison: There are two commonly used comparison-contrast structures. The Point-by-Point method is more difficult to write but easier to read; it forces you to make real comparisons and spell them out for your reader. The Text-by-Text method is easier to write and harder to read; you often end up summarizing and force your reader to make the comparisons for you. For this essay, you must use the Point-by-Point method. There is a sample outline on the back of this sheet.
PURPOSES: This assignment is designed to:
1. Develop your ability to compare and contrast different perspectives on similar issues.
2. Develop your ability to support your conclusions with relevant examples.
3. Evaluate your ability to follow directions.
4. Practice using the formal elements that make up a typical academic essay written for a humanities class.
5. Give you practice following MLA style guidelines.
6. Give you practice at editing and proofreading.