RWA13: Overview of Sources

RWA13:  Draft Overview of Sources Essay (6 paragraphs)

You have read and taken notes on three sources.  You have also written brief summaries of each source for your annotated bibliography.  It is now time to begin understanding and analyzing the ways in which your sources discuss the key issues involved in the topic you are researching.

This week, you will draft what I call an Overview of Sources, but which some others refer to as an Essay of Evaluative Comparison.  In this essay, your goal is to compare and contrast two to three texts in order to:

1/ Identify and Name the Specific Shared Issues in Each Text, i.e., the key issues involved in the discussion of the topic you are researching

2/ Compare Each Author’s Position on These Shared Issues (Agreement/Disagreement)

Here is one possible structure for this essay:

Paragraph 1:  Introduction to the Research Question and Why It Is Worth Researching

Paragraph 2:  Introduction to the Two to Three Texts That You Will Be Comparing and Contrasting

Paragraph 3:  Overall Assessment of Two to Three Texts: Is there more agreement or disagreement?  Discuss specific examples of agreement or disagreement using textual evidence (quotes and paraphrasing).

Paragraph 4: Introduction and definition of the key issues and the relative importance of the issues in each text.  Do the texts agree on the issues?  Do they agree on their importance?

Paragraph 5: Further discussion and analysis of the key issues and how they are discussed in the texts

Paragraph 6: What you have learned from this analysis and comparison about the issues involved in the topic you are researching.

You will want to begin preparing to draft this essay by re-reading your notes and possibly your sources in order to compile notes that you can then use to write each paragraph.

This essay will be assessed on your ability to:

Clearly and coherently explain the key issues discussed in the three sources

Follow guidelines for writing about texts, particularly regarding the use of textual evidence (both quoting and paraphrasing) in your writing

Structure introductory, body and concluding paragraphs according to the assigned goals and purposes for each paragraph

Edit and proofread sentences to attend to the needs of your audience to clearly and completely understand the contents of your essay

 Here is a SAMPLE STUDENT Overview of Sources essay on the topic of Internet Usage and Reading Habits:

Before drafting this essay, you may also want to consult Charles Bazerman’s discussion of Evaluative Comparison, which you can access here: tk