Two ways of seeing a river


Discussion 6 – Two Ways of Seeing a River


In Lessons 3, 4, and 5 we investigated some elements that will be important to your rough draft and final paper. This discussion is designed to allow us to recognize how a famous American writer, over 100 years ago, used these elements in a compare and contrast essay. Maybe you will gain some ideas or inspiration from his writing.


There are two parts to this discussion.

  1. By Friday you will make an initial post to the discussion based on the prompt given below. Note: You will not see the submissions of your classmates until you have posted to the discussion.
  2. By Sunday you will reply to one (1) of your classmates’ posts.

Both of these elements are graded. Answer everything in complete sentences.

Part 1: Your Initial Post (due Friday)

In your initial discussion post, answer only one (1) of the following questions, based on Reading 6—Two ways of seeing a river.  Write 4-8 sentences, using one direct quotation from the reading. The direct quotation should be less than 25% of your answer.  Direct quotations are always enclosed in quotation marks.

Do not answer all four of these.  Answer only one.

At the top of your post, indicate whether you answered number 1, 2, 3, or 4.

  1. What are the two subjects being compared and at what point in the essay do you first understand what these two subjects are (explain)? (Do not answer by only re-writing the title—that’s not good enough, because it only hints that there are “two ways,” but it doesn’t indicate what these two ways are.)
  2. What is the thesis? In other words, what is the central assertion that Twain makes throughout the essay? See the page Writing a Thesis Statement from Lesson 5.
  3. Describe one observation that Twain makes which goes beyond the obvious to offer insights which the reader may have never considered before?  See the page Going Beyond the Obvious from Lesson 4. 
  4. How does Twain use the concluding paragraph (3) to extend his ideas beyond a summary, to give the reader something more to think about? See the page Writing Conclusions from Lesson 3.
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