General Overview:

Comparative Essay Assignment

This essay will involve researching a particular issue of your choosing. It can be from your English

course or from another course your are taking or just from your major in general.

The essay will explain the issue and its significance to the reader. The essay will integrate information

from a variety of sources to explain the different perspectives on the issue.

The essay should not merely present the different views on the issue. It should contrast the views. It

should explain how they differ and why. If possible, it should explain the evidence that exists to

support each view.

Finally, the essay should offer a reasoned opinion about the issue. It could be a prediction of the

future of the issue. It could be an opinion on which of the various views are correct. Students may

not be able to offer a reasoned opinion on which view is correct (due to lack of expertise). You may,

however, be able to discuss what researchers/thinkers are currently working on in the area of this

issue and what new research may tell us about the issue.

Functional Details

The essay should be approximately 1800 words (+/- 100 words)

It should be written in the APA format.

It should cite numerous and varied academic sources.


The essay should include references to many sources.

They should be reliable sources.

Generally, they should be academic sources (although non-academic sources are at times appropriate

when illustrating ideas, or when non-academic sources do not (yet) exist).