Comparative Analysis Paper: The purpose of this paper is to learn how to use multiple sources analytically. Often students organize research papers source-by-source, discussing the research of one author followed by another. This paper asks you to move away from this method and instead organize your paper around a topic, discussing the contradictions, similarities, debates and points-of-view that scholars hold on this topic.
Choose two articles from the class readings that address a common theme or topic. You must choose a different article from the one you used in the first assignment. Also note, you cannot use Peggy McIntosh’s article for this assignment either. Before you begin your analysis, make sure you understand each author’s central research question and their thesis. Also make note of contradictions and debates within the articles themselves and between the authors.
Use the following questions to guide your research:
• What research question guides each author? How are these the same or different?
• What is the thesis or central argument of each author? Do they agree or disagree?
• What is the scope or range of their discussion? Are they talking about the same historical time period? The same groups of women? The same issue or problem?
• What might one author have to say to the other author?
• Ultimately, what have you learned about the topic, our society and ourselves from this pair of readings?
What to Include in Your Comparative Analysis:
•Your paper should attempt to compare the perspectives of the authors, acknowledging each throughout your discussion, but using your own voice to discuss the topic.
• Organize the paper around the themes and ideas that come up in each of the articles. As you discuss each of these sub-topics/themes/ideas, highlight the similarities and differences of the various points of view, arguments and/or research methodology.
• When you take each author’s position into consideration, what have you learned about the topic and/or issue? What is the significance of this learning experience in terms of your own intellectual development?
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