Category: Comparison Essay
Compare Two Texts

This course presented a significant opportunity to read different texts. The two texts compared in this essay are Critical Reading and Rhetorical Analysis by Richard Johnson-Sheehan and Charles Paine and Composition as a Write of Passage by Nathalie Singh-Corcoran. In tandem with this comparison, Johnson-Sheehan and Paine’s work has been chosen as the most effective in terms of the presentation of its content to the audience. On the other hand, Singh-Corcoran’s text is less effective because of the lack of supporting graphics and smooth flow of the argument. The criteria of comparison include their rhetorical situation, the organization of their main ideas, the logic of thought, and the language used.

This essay compares the most effective text Critical Reading and Rhetorical Analysis and the less effective text Composition as a Write of Passage.

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Summary of Critical Reading and Rhetorical Analysis (Text 1)

This text is the most effective in terms of the presentation of its content to the audience. The text is built around the theme that most people love arguing, but they do not seem to understand the different issues they plan to argue about (Johnson-Sheehan and Paine 68). The chapter offers guidance on the critical analysis of arguments and fair evaluation of the ideas presented by other people. It emphasizes that individuals are supposed to read arguments critically to gain an in-depth understanding of the issue. After critical reading, people can analyze them rhetorically and pay attention to the opinions of others. Accordingly, it is vital to understand the features of generative and persuasive arguments before presenting a personal opinion on the discussion. Overall, Johnson-Sheehan and Paine reiterate that arguments must be approached in a logical manner, as it plays a crucial role in the establishment of satisfactory conclusions.

Summary of Composition as a Write of Passage (Text 2)

The text is less effective in its overall presentation of content and appeal to the audience. It talks about the significance of the first-year compositions (FYC). The article is established on the theme that FYC is instrumental in preparing individuals for their future writing courses (Singh-Corcoran 24). Writing is a continuous process that people have to undergo even in their respective majors. The article also brings out the view that FYC affects all fields including engineering and medicine. They help individuals to understand the creation of new ideas, the identification of the audience, the incorporation of sources in the text, and the significance of feedback. The author concludes that FYC must be encouraged across all disciplines.

Critique and Comparison of the Texts

In terms of the rhetorical situation, the text by Johnson-Sheehan and Paine is highly effective in all aspects. The headline Critical Reading and Rhetorical Analysis are eye-catching in itself. The discussion focuses on arguments, and this topic exceptionally fits into the rest of the ideas presented in the text. The topic plays a vital role in pulling the audience to read the rest of the text to understand what critical reading and rhetorical analysis are all about. The purpose of the text is clear from the start. For instance, it states, “You have probably met people who claim they like to argue but they don’t seem to fully understand the issues they want to argue about”. The purpose of educating individuals about the nature of arguments is also evident in the introduction. The names of the authors, Richard Johnson-Sheehan and Charles Paine, are mentioned from the very beginning of the text, hence making it highly effective. Again, the text is open to all audiences interested in the subject of the argument. Accordingly, it talks to all people, as they tend to engage in arguments from time to time. The text was published in 2014, by Pearson, New York, and this information is also crucial in terms of appealing to the audience of the text.

On the other hand, Singh-Corcoran’s text is less effective in this aspect, especially in the presentation of the purpose of the topic. It is difficult for a reader to identify the purpose and the focus of the text. The opening statement, “The overarching goal of FYC is to familiarize you with academic discourse…” does not necessarily present a clear purpose of the text, hence making it less effective. However, the name of the author is clearly stated at the top as Nathalie Singh-Corcoran. The lack of the purpose makes it less effective, as texts can only be understood and appreciated in instances where they begin with a clear purpose directing readers.

The organization of the main ideas in the text by Johnson-Sheehan and Paine is extremely effective. The introduction, sub-topics, and the conclusion have been perfectly organized. They are separated in such a way that a reader understands the entire text. Several sub-topics highlighting the steps of understanding arguments make the entire text stand out. For instance, the subtopic Read the Argument, Asking Basic Questions helps in the understanding of the whole topic. The most notable supporting graphics to illustrate the topic is the one that presents the manner in which an individual looks at an argument. There is an illustration of a person’s head, looking at an argument backed with how and why questions. This kind of proper and logical organization helps the authors fulfill their purpose of teaching the audience about the best way of arguing. It is effective because of the progressive build-up of ideas from the introduction to the sub-topics and the conclusion where they are restated.

Conversely, Singh-Corcoran’s text lacks effective graphical support, hence making it less effective. The topic is open and would have been perfectly explained with graphical evidence to make the information more vivid. Singh-Corcoran only gives personal and other peoples’ examples without supporting them with graphical evidence that would have appealed perfectly to readers. For instance, the example, “I teach FYC courses at West Virginia University” could have been more effective with graphical evidence added to it.

The logic of thought in Johnson-Sheehan and Paine’s text is superb and highly effective compared to the logic embraced by Singh-Corcoran. Johnson-Sheehan and Paine present their thought on arguments and the need for critical analysis in the clearest manner possible. Their argument is proper with examples of the different steps for understanding arguments critically. For instance, they clearly argue for a simple method of critical thinking by presenting various steps that are vital in guiding readers to analyze arguments. They state, “Let’s keep it simple. Here are six steps that will help you look through … an argument”. Therefore, they justify the need for critical and rhetorical analysis of arguments. This good reasoning is supported by tangible evidence in the form of steps for argument analysis and a graphical image.

On the other hand, Singh-Corcoran’s text can be said to be a bit flawed because it mixes different ideas without clear transitions. The text cannot be understood clearly because of the swift movement from one idea to the next one without a clear indication of this movement. For instance, the text abruptly moves from learning how to write to essay 1 without informing readers about the intent. It poses a challenge to the understanding of the text in a perfect manner.

The language of the text, especially a variety of vocabulary used by Johnson-Sheehan and Paine, makes their work more effective compared to Singh-Corcoran’s one. For instance, they use effective vocabulary to distinguish generative arguments from persuasive ones, hence making them clear to readers. The lack of such vocabulary would not have taught people about the existing types of arguments. Again, the style of writing is professional and academic. They do not use personal phrases, hence appealing academically. The tone of the authors is excellent and highly educative. It generates an exceptional feeling when listening to the voice of the authors. The text offers an easier opportunity to learn new ideas through the effective use of language.

Nevertheless, Singh-Corcoran’s text is less effective because of the use of a more personal approach to the style of writing. Most of the ideas presented and the language used are centered on the author. For instance, the statement, “If I were never going to write papers like that again….” is indicative of the personalized use of language, which does not reflect academic writing. Therefore, the author’s voice is less effective in bringing about a special feeling among readers.


In conclusion, the text Critical Reading and Rhetorical Analysis is exceptionally effective in general terms. This text can have a positive effect on readers in terms of improving their arguments. It presents the required steps that individuals can follow when trying to come up with reasonable arguments that accommodate the views of other people. Every reader going through this text will come out more refined in the field of analyzing and presenting arguments in any given setting. On the other hand, the text Composition as a Write of Passage is generally lacking in terms of effectiveness. The lack of effectiveness will affect the readers’ ability to remember the content argued by the author in the text.

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