Examine the ways in which “The Talented Mr Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith and the “collected works of billy the kid” by Michael Ondaatje show two main characters as mirrors of one another.

| November 26, 2014

Examine the ways in which “The Talented Mr Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith and the “collected works of billy the kid” by Michael Ondaatje show two main characters as mirrors of one another.

Structure of comparison essay:

Generally a comparison essay is used to bring into focus the meaning and specific differences and similarities between two works that share a basic common element. This shared element is the basis for comparing the two texts in the first place and should be mentioned in your essay’s introduction.

Moving beyond this basic similarity, your essay should explore a number of key points of similarity and difference that will ultimately support a claim (THESIS) about the relation between the two texts. The element they share forms a topic of discussion between them. The specific points of similarity and difference you explore in the essay body will illustrate what each text uniquely contributes to that discussion.

Keep in mind that the comparison essay is NOT just a list of similarities and differences. You will selectively examine points where the texts intersect or are meaningfully opposed to one another. In order to draw some conclusions about how each one builds a unique picture of their shared topic.

Narrow a list of parallel aspects of the two texts

Highlight subtopics and connections that seem most significant or show the strongest relationship.

Categorize and group your brainstormed list, highlight the points that seem most interesting. Think about how these connections relate to one another and what bigger picture they build.

Write a brief statement that summarizes the specific topic these texts share and what each one is uniquely contributes to it. This will become your working thesis. You can then select from your list the clearest examples to demonstrate support of your thesis and explore these in the body of the paper.

Your introduction

-overview of the topic at hand, framing the two texts being compared. Define the basic element both texts share.
-Narrow your focus: what terrain is being covered in this essay?
– define the relationship between the texts, how does each shed light on the other, how do they together create a more complete understanding of the issue at hand? Do they present opposed visions of this issue? Does each shed light on a different aspect of the topic?

Body Part 1

Explore details of Text A that contribute to the discussion. Three points about Text A
Conclude what has been said about Text A and gives a mini-introduction/reminder of what we will now explore in Text B.

Body Part 2

Explore parallel details of Text B that show meaningful similarities and differences with Text A.
– Make 3 points about Text B but always comparing to Text A. ex. In comparison with Text A, Text B…


Affirms thesis has been proven – a particular relationship between the texts has been shown. Discuss what it all adds up to- What is the different effect of each text on the reader. what different perspective does each take and what have we learned about each by viewing their details in comparison to one another?


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