1. An INFORMATIVE INTRODUCTION that gives a minimum of background on the debate; introduces the essays you will analyze, their authors, and their credentials; and contains a thesis statement that summarizes and contrasts their opposing positions.
2. A careful ANALYSIS of the arguments that support the opposing positions and of their motivating factors–the values, ideals, or fears that underlie them. To exemplify the difference, a position would be that “hate speech should not be allowed on campus”; an argument to support that position could be that “hate speech attacks the humanity of minority groups,” and the motivating factor for the argument that “the collective public good is more important than individual rights.” This type of analysis will require that you quote and comment on words or phrases in the articles that suggest a belief that plays an important role in the arguments you are examining. To help you identify position, arguments, and motivating factors in your articles, you will complete a Comparative Analysis Chart for your essays. See p. 178 for the chart and p. 188 for a sample completed chart.
3. A CLEAR ORGANIZATION. As in other essays, a thesis with a forecasting statement and heading may help the reader navigate through your analysis. Additionally, since this is a comparative analysis of two articles, you will want to use an alternating pattern of organization, focusing on one article in a paragraph (or section of a paragraph) and then on the other in the next paragraph (or section of a paragraph). Just as importantly, use cues to signal comparison and contrast, among others, both, although, whereas, while, instead, in contrast etc.
4. Finally, remember this is an analysis and not a position paper, which you will write for the next assignment. For now, refrain from taking a stance on the issue. You will want to be fair and impartial in the presentation of both positions, including the one you disagree with. That will mean, for instance, that you will want to devote roughly the same amount of space to both views.
Required Length: at least 3 pages, double-spaced in Times New Roman size 12. The Works Cited page does not count.
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