Any topic (writer’s choice)

the first paragraph offers an engaging opening that leads to a suitable thesis of contrast

– the body of the essay develops the central purpose in a thoughtful, substantive, in-depth way

– the essay reveals the students good understanding and close engagement with both poems

– the student clearly differentiates between the two poems throughout the essay

– the comparison of the two poems goes beyond a mere listing of differences or similarities and enhances an understanding of the two texts and the issues involved

– the ambition and quality of the insights presented move beyond what is merely “safe” or “standard” and is thoughtful and perhaps even striking