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How Do I Write an Informative Essay Linking Two Texts?

by Stacy Alleyne

Essays can be informative, persuasive or both. But writing an essay that achieves these purposes can be challenging when you also have to compare or contrast two texts. In this situation, organizational skills are important. To keep yourself and your reader from becoming confused, plan and organize your essay before you begin writing.

Planning

When using two texts to write an essay, it is important to plan where you want particular information from each text to fit into your essay. You can handle each text separately or combine the two in the body of your essay. When making contrasts between two texts, it is often better organizationally to keep references to both texts in two separate sections of your essay in a text-by-text comparison. But if you want to show how two texts are similar, then weaving both texts into the body of your essay using a point-by-point comparison works as well.

Thesis Statement

How you handle writing your thesis statement when using multiple texts is important. For example, if you were writing an informative essay on how "The Hunger Games" and "The Most Dangerous Game" are similar in plot and theme, then your thesis needs to give a concise statement of your claim. Your thesis should not be unwieldy. A good thesis for this might be "Survival of the fittest is a major theme in the plots of both 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Most Dangerous Game' because both deal with hunting, humans and survival."

Structure

In a typical five-paragraph essay, organizing the information from two texts is relatively simple. When comparing two texts, you can either discuss each text in separate paragraphs, or conduct a point-by-point analysis of both texts at the same time in each paragraph.

Coverage

If you provide more information from one text than the other, your essay may not have the desired effect, so cover each text equally. This is especially true if you are making a point-by-point comparison. Use your concluding paragraph to restate your thesis and reiterate any major points.

About the Author

Stacy Alleyne is a certified English teacher with a BA in English and graduate work in English, education, journalism and law. She has written numerous articles and her own dining column for the "Gazette."

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