Article Comparison Essay
For this assignment, you will select two articles and write an essay that considers whether they would be good sources for your Final Research Paper. The Article Comparison Essay is both a comparative essay and an argumentative essay. It should compare specific aspects of the articles, present a position on their quality and usefulness as research sources, and support that position with well-chosen quotations and examples from the articles. Although the Article Comparison Essay is an argumentative essay, it should not take a position on a topic. For example, if you choose to analyze two articles on hydraulic fracking, it should not take a position on fracking. Instead, it should take a position on the quality and usefulness of the articles as sources for a research paper on fracking.
Follow the below steps to compose your essay.
1. Formulate a tentative research question.
Since this essay asks you to evaluate whether two articles would be good sources for a research essay, it is necessary to pick a topic and formulate a tentative research question before proceeding with the rest of the project.
A strong research question will be specific and open-ended. For instance, a student interested in the topic of hydraulic fracking might develop the research question “What are the environmental effects of fracking.” See the lecture notes on developing a research question (in the Week Six folder) for more guidance on formulating a research question.
2. Select two articles related to your research question.
Use the library search engine to locate two articles that could help you answer your research question. For example, a student researching the question “what are the environmental effects of fracking?” might select articles that discuss the effects of fracking on groundwater supplies. See the WSU library’s video tutorial on finding sources for help locating articles.
At least one of your articles should be a scholarly article. This means that it should be grounded in research (not an opinion piece or editorial) and published in a peer-reviewed academic journal. See the lecture notes on different types of sources (in the Week Six folder) for information on how to identify a scholarly article.
3. Read and evaluate the articles:
Carefully read the articles you’ve chosen. Pay particular attention to the authority, objectivity, timeliness, use of evidence, and relevance of each article. Below are some questions to consider as you evaluate the articles. They are meant to help guide your thinking and may serve as useful points of comparison between the two articles. However, you may need to develop your own follow-up questions to produce a well-rounded assessment of the articles’ quality and usefulness.
Questions to help you determine the authority
• What are the author’s credentials? Based on these credentials, does the author seem to be an authority on the topic? (In order to answer this question, you may need to do additional research on the author.)
• What kind of publication did the article originally appear in (a magazine, an academic journal, etc.)? (In order to answer this question, you may need to do additional research on the publication.)
• Is the publication affiliated with any organizations, or does it appear to have a particular political bias? If so, how might its affiliations affect its credibility? (In order to answer this question, you may need to research the publication.)
Questions to help you determine objectivity
• What is the purpose of the article? Does it seek to inform the audience of new research? Does it seek to persuade the audience of a specific perspective on an issue? Does it advocate for a particular policy or course of action? Does it seek to persuade the audience of something else?
• If the article is persuasive, does the author clearly state their perspective?
• Does the author use objective language, or does the author’s language contain hidden
Questions to help you determine timeliness
• When was the article published? Given your research topic, is the information presented in the article likely to be current?
Questions to help you determine the use of evidence
• Does the author cite his or her sources? If so, do the sources appear to be credible?
• Does the author reference the work of other researchers? If so, how does this contribute to the credibility of the article?
• If the author conducted an experiment or survey, does the author explain the methodology he or she used it?
Questions to help you determine relevance
• Is the article relevant to your topic? How will it help you answer your tentative research question?
• Does the article seem to be appropriate for a college-level research paper?
4. Draft your paper:
After you’ve carefully read and analyzed the articles, draft an essay that compares their quality and usefulness as research sources.
Your introduction should introduce your tentative research question and the articles you selected, summarize the main claim or conclusions of each article, and present your thesis statement. Your thesis statement should include an assessment of the articles as research sources and a succinct explanation of your reasoning.
Your body paragraphs should present your analysis of the two articles. Use your responses to the above questions as a starting place for this portion of the paper. Keep in mind, however, that you are composing an argumentative essay, not as a list of answered questions. This means that each of your body paragraphs should develop one supporting point, and it should be clear how your paragraphs are related to one another.
Comparison essays like this one typically follow a point-by-point or text-by-text organizational scheme. Whichever arrangement you choose, it is important to make connections between ideas throughout the essay. Your essay should ultimately work as a coherent whole and not read as two separate essays put together at the last minute.
Your conclusion is an opportunity to restate and elaborate on your thesis. Based on your analysis, which article is the better research source and why? Which of the articles, if any, would you consider using as sources in your Final Research Paper?
Why or why not?
5. Revise your paper.
Carefully re-read your draft to check your organization, citations, and use of academic style. Use these questions as a guide:
• Do I have an argumentative thesis (a thesis that takes a position on the quality and usefulness of the articles as research sources)?
• Is each of my paragraphs organized around a single point that supports my thesis? Is that point stated in a topic sentence?
• Does each paragraph have a transition that shows how it is related to the previous paragraph?
• Are all of my quotations correctly formatted and cited according to MLA rules?
• Have I included a Works Cited page? Does it follow MLA rules?
• Are there any unnecessary words or phrases I can eliminate?
• Have I maintained the same verb tense throughout my paper?
• Have I maintained a third-person point of view throughout my paper?
• Have I maintained a neutral tone, when possible, throughout my paper?
Your paper should be 4-5 full pages (not including your works cited page) and meet the following requirements:
• Times New Roman font, size 12
• 1-inch margins on all sides
• MLA-Style parenthetical citations for all quotations and paraphrases.
• Attached Works Cited page that lists all sources according to MLA style guidelines.
• Saved as a Word document.
Here is my introduction that I already wrote:
Due to the rise of Electric Vehicles and the adoption by major automakers to begin producing them as well, reflect on the following question: Considering the current level of technological advancement of electric vehicles, what is discouraging people from buying them? Two articles I have compared and contrasted that I believe shed light on this question are “Technology Adoption and Critical Mass: The Case of the U.S. Electric Vehicle Market” by Yiyi Zhou and Shanjuan Li as well as “Mass deployment of sustainable transportation: evaluation of factors that influence electric vehicle adoption” by Ona Egbue, Suzanna Long, and V.A. Samaranayake. The first article dives deep into market research in relation to electric vehicles and more specifically targets economics, whereas the second article puts more of an emphasis on polling potential customers of EVs to come to an understanding of dissuading factors of adoption. Both of these articles are recent and include applicable information to my research question. Both articles would be equally beneficial to a resource paper because they both provide insight into multiple facets of my question; both have very credible credentials and both have very detailed citations and sources.
IMPORTANT –> Research Question: Considering the current level of technological advancement of electric vehicles, what is discouraging people from buying them?
I have attached the two articles I’ve chosen to compare and described in my introduction.
NOTE: You may change my thesis that states the two articles are equally beneficial to my research question to preferring one or the other if you think it would be more appropriate.