What is the best way of structuring a comparative language analysis essay?
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This is a great question. In all papers, you will need a few elements.
First and most important you will need a thesis. So, after you read all three articles, create a strong thesis statement. In a word, a thesis statement is a the main point of your paper, the very point that you are seeking to prove.
Second, after you have a thesis statement, seek to prove your thesis based on the three articles that you have read. Also keep in mind that you can draw from other sources. The more cogent your points are the more persuasive your thesis will be. You supporting points (body paragraphs) will be the meat of your paper.
Finally, you should conclude your paper by summarizing your argument. Let me give you an example. If you are arguing that one word in language x was transformed to another word in language y and z, then you will seek to prove this point with evidence. You might ask: "how do you know this?" "What is the evidence?"
A comparative language analysis is a form of rhetorical analysis. To structure your essay, you need to decide first on two things, your major thesis and what particular features of the language of the three articles you will be analyzing to support that thesis. This leads to two possible structures:
- An introduction, one section on each article, and a conclusion.
- An introduction, one section one each of three to five major aspects of the language of the articles, and then a conclusion.
The first method is somewhat weaker, as it is not structured analytically, and tends to fall into summary rather than analysis. The second method allows you to focus more clearly on language features, using the articles to illustrate your points.
How much you need to use metadiscourse and structural transitions depends on the length of your essay. For a short essay, of under 1,000 words or so, you can simply using headings; for a longer essay, the end of your introduction should include a structural preview of what you intend to argue in what order.
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