Comparative Analytical Summary: Walter Benjamin’s chapter, “A Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” and Karen Stanworth’s essay, “Insight of Visual Culture”
As always, your introductory paragraph sets the stage for your readers. Acknowledge both authors with a brief reference such as professor, author, philosopher. Acknowledge the respective essay and chapter that you will be summarizing and comparing. Is there an overarching theme that unites these two works, such as visual culture? If so, acknowledge this briefly in your introduction. Specify that you are carefully comparing the writings to highlight the perspective and philosophy of each respective author. Keep in mind that you are not inserting yourself, your opinion, in this comparative summary. We refer to this as analytical summary writing. While you will be analyzing the content of Stanworth’s essay and Benjamin’s chapter, you are not creating an argument, other than to how they are similar and different. Your goal is a reasoned comparison substantiated with specific examples from each text. Note that the introductory paragraph has no major heading other than the title of the paper in bold-face font.
You may choose to use secondary headings to present a summary of each of the writings.
Review the “The Critical Paper” by Friedman and Steinberg for suggestions about how to probe the writings for relevant information. The sample essay on Frantz Fanon will give you a model for writing style, though you may not be comfortable developing a full critique of Stanworth and Benjamin at this point. This section of your paper may run 2-3 pages.
Comparative (objective) Summary “analysis”
Next, compare the commonalities of one writing to the other followed by the distinct differences of each of the writings. You do not need to critique the writings, but you will need to demonstrate analytical thinking in order to write a thoughtful comparison. Be sure to substantiate how each author demonstrates your points by using specific examples from their text. This section of your paper may run 1-3 pages.
After having carefully compared and “analyzed” both articles, what conclusions do you make regarding the overarching theme inherent with these two articles?