English 99 Essay 3: 200 points


Write an essay in which you compare one author’s claims to another’s.

In the following articles, each author discusses a different aspect of how Westerners approach the food of other cultures. You will be reading these three articles along with the class, then selecting two to use in this assignment.

Your essay should present a substantial discussion of two of the articles, along with your own views. The purpose of your essay is to enable your audience to make a more informed judgment about how they should seek out and experience the food of other cultures.

This essay will be evaluated according to the English 99 Essay Rubric. It should be 700-800 words in length and conform to the standards of academic English.


  1. “The Rooster’s Head in the Soup,” by Tim Cahill, pg 336
  2. “Let’s Eat Chinese! Reflections on Food Colonialism,” by Lisa Heldke, pg 322
  3. “Dead Heads,” by Anthony Bourdain, pg 347

Instructions for essay content:

  • Paragraph 1: Introduction
    • The introduction should clearly identify the topic you are analyzing.
    • The thesis should make a clearly focused claim expressing your argument; it should not just restate the argument of either of your sources. The thesis should not include a list of paragraph topics. Examples of comparative thesis stems:
      • While Bourdain and Heldke agree on ________, Heldke’s arguments about _____ are more valid because ________.
      • Though Cahill and Bourdain agree ________, they fundamentally disagree about __________.
      • If Heldke is correct about _______, then Bourdain _________.
      • Cahill’s view on ___________ means that he would agree with Bourdain that __________.
      • While Heldke says _____ about __________, Bourdain would disagree, saying _____________.
  • Paragraphs 2&3: Summary
    • Give two brief paragraphs explaining the context and central arguments of each author
  • Paragraph 4: Compare
    • Explain how the two authors’ claims are similar.
  • Paragraph 5: Contrast
    • Explain how the two authors’ claims are different.
  • Paragraph 6: Analytical conclusion
    • Explain your views on the validity of each author’s claims.

Tips for success:

  • When discussing the source articles, use evidence in the form of summary, paraphrases, and quotes, correctly introduced and cited using MLA format; include a Works Cited page.
  • It may help to Include at least one plausible hypothetical example (“For instance, if…”) to illustrate benefits and/or problems you discuss.
  • Do not do any additional research for this paper.
  • Write your paper for an educated general audience.
  • Limit your use of the word “I” in this paper.

Guidelines for writing about a text

  • Assume that your audience has read the articles, so summary should be brief. However, you do need to include specific, detailed evidence from each article. Each thing you report from the article should be linked to the purpose of your paper.
  • Use what you have learned this quarter about introducing and citing source material.
  • Differentiate your own ideas from those of your sources. One way to do this is to keep them in separate paragraphs of your paper. If you mix them, be sure to be clear when transitioning from one to the other, giving credit to the source author for all of his or her ideas.

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