Comparative Essay – • American Dreams and Nightmares (poems on pages 1166 – 1183)

Comparative Essay

To compare a set of poems dealing with the same theme.

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Comparative Essay – • American Dreams and Nightmares (poems on pages 1166 – 1183)
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Poetry explores the human experience in all of its complexity. For this essay, compare two poems that explore the same theme. Choose one of the following themes, and then choose two of the poems associated with this theme to compare:

• The World Around Us (poems on pages 852 – 860)
• Technology and Human Identity (poems on pages 931 – 936)
• Love and Hate, Men and Women (poems on pages 972 – 981)
• Innocence and Experience (poems on pages 1016 – 1025)
• All in a Day’s Work (poems on pages 1045 – 1053)
• American Dreams and Nightmares (poems on pages 1166 – 1183)
• Law and Disorder (poems on pages 1282 – 1291)
• Journeys (poems on pages 1326 – 1339)

As you compare these poems, discuss elements such as form, figurative language, meaning, etc. to support your opinion. You may also briefly consider the poet’s biography as provided by your textbook. Use correct essay form. Remember: focus on analyzing the significance of similarities and differences. Don’t just list ideas; explain them.

Grading Specifics
• Content: The analysis focuses on two poems from the same theme. The thesis clearly states the significance of this analysis.
• Organization/Clarity: The essay has an introduction paragraph, body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. Each paragraph begins with a topic sentence and develops one major idea. The ideas are clearly organized according to patterns discussed in class.
• Completeness: The essay is 4 pages long and presents an insightful analysis based on concepts discussed in class.
• Grammar & Mechanics: Sentences are complete, clear, and easy to read.
• Documentation: The body paragraphs clearly and meaningfully reference examples from both poems regularly.
• Delivery:
o 1” margins on all sides
o Typed in 10 – 12 point Times New Roman, Calibri, or Arial font
o Double-spaced throughout
o Your first and last name, course name, and due date in the upper left corner
o Title centered and with title capitalization
Criteria Accomplished
4 Proficient
3 Developing
2 Beginning
A Content Topic is tightly focused and relevant; contains accurate information with no factual errors. Topic is adequately focused and relevant; major facts are accurate and generally complete. Topic would benefit from more focus; contains some factual errors or omissions. Topic lacks relevance or focus; contains multiple factual errors.
B Organization / Clarity Ideas are presented in logical order with effective transitions between major ideas; clear and concise presentation; appropriate introduction, body, and conclusion. Most ideas are in logical order with adequate transitions between most major ideas; generally clear and understandable. Some ideas not presented in proper order; transitions are needed between some ideas; some parts may be wordy or unclear. Ideas are not presented in proper order; transition is lacking between major ideas; several parts are wordy or unclear.
C Completeness Provides good depth and detail; ideas well developed; facts have adequate background; presented within specified length. Provides accurate depth; few needed details are omitted; major ideas adequately developed; presented within specified length. Additional depth needed in places; important information omitted or not fully developed; too short or too long. Does not provide adequate depth; key details are omitted or undeveloped; too short or too long.
D Grammar / Mechanics Contains no grammatical errors; sentences are free of jargon, complete, and easy to understand. Contains no serious grammatical errors; sentences are mostly jargon-free, complete, and understandable. May contain some grammatical or mechanical errors; sentences may contain jargon; sentences may be too long and/or hard to follow. Contains several major errors in grammar/mechanics; sentences are long, incomplete, and/or contain excessive jargon.
E Documentation Effective message support provided in the form of facts and visual aids; sourcing is current and supports major ideas. Adequate message support provided for key concepts by facts and visual aids; sourcing is generally adequate and current. Some message support provided by facts and visual aids; sourcing may be outdated or thin; visual aids need work. Little or no message support provided for major ideas; visual aids are missing or inadequate; little or no sourcing provided.
F Delivery Professional appearance; supporting documents used effectively. Professional appearance; supporting documents used adequately. Adequate appearance; supporting documents could be improved. Unprofessional appearance; supporting documents poorly used.

Grading Scale
(100%) A
(95%) A-
(92%) B+
(88%) B
(85%) B-
(82%) C+
(78%) C
(75%) C-/D+
(68%) D
(65%) F

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