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Compare and Contrast literary paper !Hey Ive never written a literary paper and I am...

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bribabyuncut | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 2, 2009 at 8:25 PM via web

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Compare and Contrast literary paper !

Hey Ive never written a literary paper and I am doing one on Acquainted with the night and stopping by woods on a snowy evening by Robert Frost and I cant come up with a good thesis to get me started, I know that I am going to consider the symbolism between the two poems. Any suggestions?

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mshurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 3, 2009 at 7:31 PM (Answer #2)

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Is your assignment to compare AND contrast or to compare OR contrast? Makes a BIG difference!

compare=find similarities

contrast=find differences

So, in examining the poems in terms of symbolism, can you find similarities and/or differences?

Are both poems developed through symbolism? Yes? You can compare. (What are the most important symbols in each poem?)

Does one poem emphasize symbolism more than the other? Yes? If so, you can contrast. (Why do you think this?)

Do the poems contain any symbols in common or which are alike? Yes? This would be a similarity and you could compare on this basis.

Figure out how the poems are alike and/or different; then you can write a thesis. Your thesis is one sentence that states what you can explain and support with evidence from the poems. There are some excellent eNotes study guides about Frost and these poems. Good luck!


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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 18, 2010 at 2:20 AM (Answer #3)

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To pick up on #2, you need to brainstorm the differences and similarities between these poems - get a bit of paper and make some initial ideas. You might find it helpful to do a Venn diagram to help in this process - draw two overlapping circles, and write the similarities in the overlap and the differences in the other parts of the circles. This might help you visually get some ideas to start and plan your essay. Good luck!

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM (Answer #4)

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Since there are two pieces, you need to find a way to compare them.  Choose a theme that they have in common, such as how they address death.  Then develop 3 points around this topic and provide examples to support each one.

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