Your essay′s focus needs to be on the similarities or differences in the stories’ theme, setting, plot, characterization and/or symbolism.

Your essay′s focus needs to be on the similarities or differences in the stories’ theme, setting, plot, characterization and/or symbolism. For example, you might choose to contrast how Christina Diaz Gonzalez’s The Red Umbrella and Andrea Davis Pinkney’s The Red Pencil depict the effects of oppressive forces on families. Or, you might choose to compare how Andrea Davis Pinkney and Christina Diaz Gonzalez use the color red symbolically. These are just two of the many possibilities for this assignment. You will not be conducting any research. You will, however, heavily rely on the texts (the stories above) for your arguments and support. You will want to ′prewrite′ ahead of time to collect and to sort your ideas about the story and the topic. Create a trial thesis from the general ideas in your prewriting. Ask yourself a question about the ideas; then, briefly answer the question. The combination of the answer and the question becomes the trial thesis. Keep the following in mind as you write your essay: Introduction/Thesis: The paper must have a thesis (main idea) statement about the topic above. This is a statement of your idea(s), theory or claim about the story. The thesis is usually the last sentence at the end of the introduction paragraph. A thesis is never a question, but it might be the answer to that question. Support The paper needs to have several specific references to and quotations from the two stories you choose. This will work as evidence to substantiate /prove your thesis. The evidence from the stories function as your support–your explanation of why. This is a comparison/contrast essay. As such, you will be focusing on the similarities (comparison) or differences (contrast) and how they relate to the elements of fiction in the directions above. Format Paper must follow the traditional academic essay format: introduction (with thesis), at least three body paragraphs, and conclusion. Paper should be between 750-1,000 words. Include in-text citations after quotes, paraphrases and/or summaries, and a works cited at the end. Your sources will be the two texts you choose. The paper must follow MLA format, including correct heading and title. Write the paper in third person, which means no ‘I’ or ‘you.’ It is not necessary to say I thought. The whole paper is about what you think. Do not write a plot summary.

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