Ms. Gokturk

Advanced Composition

Multi-Genre Essay


YOUR TASK: Write a multi-genre essay comparing the two works we read. Your essay should be approximately 1000 words and use direct quotes and evidence from the works, The Stranger and The Misunderstanding. Be sure to incorporate the literary elements/devices/terms we discussed through our studies to demonstrate an understanding of the authors purpose.


The multi-genre essay.

You will write a comparative essay in which you will analyze the two of the pieces of literature we read. After reading and analyzing the pieces, create a controlling idea about what you see (a thesis statement) that will drive your essay.



      Use specific evidence from BOTH texts to establish a controlling idea (thesis) that finds common ground between the two works. This controlling idea should establish the basis for your analysis. It should be interesting and manageable.

      Use specific and relevant evidence (TBE) from the works to develop your thesis.

      Show how the author uses specific literary elements (characterization, symbolism, irony, repetition, etc.) to portray how the theme(s) is/are developed.

      Be sure to follow the assertion/evidence/analysis or commentary structure we have previously discussed.

      Organize your ideas in a coherent way.




We often tend to look at literary elements separately: structure (plot), symbolism, point-of-view, setting, theme, etc. In general, though, its often wise to combine these elements in an analytical essay. You may also write about character as long as you are combining it with an analysis of one or more of the above elements. Therefore, you can choose to focus on one of these elements, or you can write an essay which considers two or more of these elements. Which element(s) you choose to write on is entirely up to you, as is the choice of story, but if you choose to combine elements, you must show how these elements are related (for example, how setting helps us to understand how a character acts).

You probably want to begin by formulating a question, then answering that question in your thesis. Your question can involve any element of fiction: you can analyze how the storys setting impacts the plot; the effect of a certain point of view upon the narrative; whether the first-person narrator is reliable, unreliable or naive; how a central symbol functions in the story; why the story is structured oddly or non-chronologically; and so on.

No plot summary allowed; assume that your reader is somewhat familiar with the texts and provide what is needed for contextual understanding. Be sure that thesis and topic sentences must all be related analytical assertions; all assertions must be supported with textual evidence.


General Questions & Literary Elements to Consider:









Language Use





Look through your notes for more!