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Thread: Theses for Literary Comparison papers

  1. #1
    Are these thesis statements for the literary comparison papers on the right track? If not, do you have any suggestions as to how they can they be modified and improved? I have a 14yo ds and a 16yo ds writing; this is their first attempt at this genre.

    #1: The way in which Edgar Allen Poe and Matthew Arnold use artistry, stress, and metrical feet is greatly affected by the ideas each is presenting in his poem.

    #2: The content and style of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" and Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "The Blessed Damozel" feature sharp contrasts as well as striking similarities.

    Thank you!
    Susan in La
    Mom to 18yods (ToG graduate), 17yods (R), 15yodd (R), 13yodd (D)
    Redesigned 2

  2. #2
    You are definitely on the right track, but the first one especially might need some revision. Here are a few thoughts:

    On the first one: "stress" is part of "metrical feet," so those two really wind up being the same thing. Maybe you could choose "imagery" and "metrical pattern" instead? Also, "artistry" is a pretty broad category, so your student might be tempted to wander. It's not that you CAN'T do artistry; it's just that the paper might get a bit lopsided because there's tons to say about artistry and relatively little about stresses/imagery and metrical feet/metrical patterns.

    If you wanted to significantly revise the first thesis, I might suggest switching it to an examination of the way these two authors ideas influenced their choice of imagery, metrical patterns, and tone (i.e. both poets are expressing sad ideas and the tones of both poems are sad or melancholy as a result). I think you could certainly get something for each of those three points and it would all be pretty evenly balanced. Just a thought. :-)

    Also, on that first one you might want to include in the thesis the titles of the two poems (not just the two authors) being compared.

    The second one looks great, but if it gets too long and (or) confusing for your student, you could narrow it down to a comparison of ONLY content or ONLY style. :-)

    Hope this helps!
    Christy Somerville

  3. #3
    Thank you! I was concerned that #1 may be too broad and #2 get too long, so I'll pass along your suggestions. We really appreciate them!

    Susan in La
    Mom to 18yods (ToG graduate), 17yods (R), 15yodd (R), 13yodd (D)
    Redesigned 2

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