For my coursework, how should I go about comparing two authors?

Comparison is a key component of English Literature coursework. Usually it is important to compare the authors' ideas and themes, and also how the differences in how these ideas are expressed. For example, if your coursework is on the psychological effects of slavery in "Beloved" and "Twelve Years A Slave," you should consider whether the authors' offer different or contrasting views on trauma. One author might suggest that trauma can be overcome, the other may suggest that it cannot. Often it is beneficial to begin with their similarities and add nuance to the coursework through these comparisons, and to discuss when the authors may actively disagree with each other. Contrasting the language used by authors can add further depth to your writing. For example, one author may use the first-person in order to provide an intimate account of an event, but another author may be a cold, impersonal narrator. Comparing their word choices can be used to further develop your ideas about the differences between authors. Sometimes, authors may use very different techniques but share the same ideas, and therefore comparing language can be used to reinforce your argument about the similarity of the two pieces of literature. Because comparison is so important to English Literature A-Level, it's important to ensure that your question allows for comparison - if it doesn't, it might need changing.

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