Comparing Two Student Papers Concerning Types of Literature

Essay by inodapsUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, March 2006

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Upon my first reading of the two student papers I could tell that "Initiation into Adulthood" does not conform to the convention of writing about literature discussed in this chapter as "Hard Choices" does. Grammatically speaking neither of the student papers was inadequate. "Initiation into Adulthood" simply did not fit the "prompt" and was a more basic paper.

Midway through the second paragraph of "Initiation into Adulthood" I knew it was the less sophisticated of the two papers. The dead giveaway and most obvious error was the entire paper was a general, and boring, plot summary of each short story. It did tell all of the characters actions and decisions but did not go into any description or analysis of the reasoning behind those actions. Upon further scrutiny of "Initiation into Adulthood" I discovered other less noticeable errors concerning the use of sources and basic conventions of writing about literature.

Rarely did the author of this paper use present tense when discussing the short stories in the different paragraphs. One other error, I noticed after a repeated reading, he did not use a single direct quote to support his paper. Lastly, no works cited list was present to assist the reader in further researching the paper.

On the complete other end of the spectrum "Hard Choices" flowed like a prehistoric river through a jungle. The author bored the reader with just enough plot summaries to set up his ideas while livening up the summary with discussion concerning the reasoning behind the characters decisions. In addition, when the author is discussing literature he correctly uses present tense. Unlike "Initiation into Adulthood," "Hard Choices" uses specific literary terms from the short stories to support his notions. He correctly uses those literary terms so not to confuse the reader. In order to...