Skip to main content

ENGL 015: Rhetoric and Composition (Thompson)

Paper 2: Comparative Analysis

The topic of guns is a complex issue that is often at the center of public debate, especially with the rise of school shootings in the U.S. There are many perspectives that range from gun control to gun rights, including: arming school teachers, the Second Amendment, guns in pop culture (e.g. TV/video/film), guns & video gaming, hobbyists, military weapons (e.g. drones), right to carry, “Stand Your Ground” laws, background checks, mental health, police shootings, mass shootings, etc.

For this paper, you will select one gun-related issue and identify two different articles, both representing opposing viewpoints on the issue. The paper should focus on analyzing the two articles to compare/contrast their arguments, identifying the values they have in common and using their shared interests to make an argument for how the opposing viewpoints can be reconciled in a mutually-beneficial way.

The argument must be organized using the Rogerian structure, containing the following four parts:

  • Introduction: The writer describes an issue, a problem, or conflict to show s/he fully understands and respects the range of alternative positions.
  • Contexts: The writer describes opposing positions and the contexts in which the alternative positions may be valid.
  • Claim: The writer states his/her position on the issue (i.e. thesis) and presents the circumstances in which that opinion would be valid.
  • Benefits: The writer explains how the opposing views would benefit from adopting his/her position.

This is a formal academic paper and thus should adhere to the following basic standards:

  • 3-4 typewritten pages, double spaced in 12-point Times New Roman font
  • Use formal language (i.e. no contractions, personal pronouns, or conversational words/phrases/sentence structures, etc.)
  • Use of standard academic English for grammar, punctuation, spelling, and syntax
  • MLA formatting, including first page (with title), pagination, in-text citations, and Works Cited page