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Writing the Comparison & Contrast Essay. Choose one of the following essay topics: Shopping at a mall and shopping online Your mother's or father's childhood and your own Two pets.

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slide2
Choose one of the following essay topics:
  • Shopping at a mall and shopping online
  • Your mother's or father's childhood and your own
  • Two pets
slide3
Write a list of at least 10 brainstormed ideas about your topic statement making sure to think of examples that are both similar (comparisons) and different (contrasts).
slide4
For example, if the thesis were "My two grandfathers," you might brainstorm a list that looked like this:
    • both were born in the country
    • both had false teeth
    • one had three daughters and the other had three sons
    • one was a farmer while the other was salesman
    • both smoked cigars
    • both came from big families
    • one drove Chevy trucks and the other drove Ford trucks
    • one was from out West while the other was from the South
    • one loved to hunt while the other loved to fish
    • one was big and muscular and the other was small and wiry
slide6
For example, you can organize these ideas in this way:
  • Family life
    • one had three daughters and the other had three sons
    • both came from big families
  • Things they liked
    • both smoked cigars
    • one drove Chevy trucks and the other drove Ford trucks
    • one loved to hunt while the other loved to fish
  • Background
    • both were born in the country
    • one was a farmer while the other was salesman
    • one was from out West while the other was from the South
  • Physical characteristics
    • one was big and muscular and the other was small and wiry
    • both had false teeth
slide8
By Subject
  • Introduction
  • Grandpa #1
    • Background
    • Family life
    • Physical characteristics
    • Things he liked
  • Grandpa #2
    • Background
    • Family life
    • Physical characteristics
    • Things he liked
  • Conclusion
slide9
By Point
  • Introduction
  • Background
    • Grandpa #1
    • Grandpa #2
  • Family Life
    • Grandpa #1
    • Grandpa #2
  • Physical characteristics
    • Grandpa #1
    • Grandpa #2
  • Things they liked
    • Grandpa #1
    • Grandpa #2
  • Conclusion
slide10
Write three possible thesis statements for your organized list. Be sure each is a complete sentence, includes a controlling idea, is specific.
slide11
Write a topic sentence and organize (and add, if necessary) at least three specific details for your first paragraph group.
  • Write a topic sentence and organize (and add, if necessary) at least three specific details for your second paragraph group.
  • Write a topic sentence and organize (and add, if necessary) at least three specific details for your third paragraph group.
  • Write a topic sentence and organize (and add, if necessary) at least three specific details for any other paragraph groups.
slide12
Organize the thesis statement along with the topic sentences and events and details you have chosen for each paragraph into an outline or plan (as shown above in step #3).
slide13
Choose at type of order (time, space, or order of importance) and revise the outline or plan to reflect the ordering.
  • Write a first draft of the essay, paying particular attention to transitions in and between the paragraphs (use the examples from the boxes on page 120).
  • After going back and rereading your first draft for organization and clarity, proofread for grammar and spelling errors.