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A Brief Overview to Writing A Comparison/Contrast Essay Similarities and Differences . Comparison-and-Contrast Essay at a Glance. Introduction. Conclusion Restates the main idea or draws a conclusion. Subject A Only. Subject B Only. Both Subjects.

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slide2

Comparison-and-Contrast Essay at a Glance

Introduction

Conclusion

Restates the main idea or draws a conclusion

Subject A

Only

Subject B

Only

Both Subjects

  • Identifies the subjects being compared
  • Tells the purpose for the comparison

RUBRIC

A successful comparison-and-contrast essay should

  • identify the subjects being compared
  • establish a clear purpose for the comparison
  • include both similarities and differences and support them with specific examples and details
  • follow a clear organizational pattern
  • use transitional words and phrases to make the relationships among ideas clear
  • summarize the comparison in the conclusion
slide3

Brainstorm

Brainstorm everything you know about each subject and then go back and look for connections that show similarities and differences.

slide4

Develop a Thesis

The thesis statement will evolve from the brainstorming. Look at your list and ask yourself some questions.

  • "Is there something important, significant, or interesting in the similarities and differences on my list?
  • What have I discovered about my two topics?"
slide5

Weak Thesis Statements

  • They are both somewhat alike and somewhat different.
  • I can see some similarities and some differences too.

Strong Thesis statement

Although Sally Strict & Larry Lax are both respected teachers at our school, their teaching styles and expectations for students differ significantly.

BE SPECIFIC about the elements you are comparing/contrasting

slide6

Dogs

Degree of dependence on owner

Eagerness to please

Trainability

  • Cats
  • Degree of dependence on owner
  • Eagerness to please
  • Trainability
slide7

Organizing the essay

There are two primary ways to organize the body of your paper:

• the divided pattern/ subject-by-subject

• the alternating pattern/point-by-point

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Divided/Subject-by-Subject Comparison

A subject-by-subject comparison is, in effect, two separate essays about the same subject. Of course, the essays are linked with a transition and cover the same points. For example, to compare and contrast dogs and cats, you might organize your information in the following way:

Introduction: Thesis statement - Even though dogs and cats are both popular pets, they have vastly different characteristics that require owners to deal with them in different ways.

        Dogs Point 1: DependentPoint 2: Eager to pleasePoint 3: Easily trained

        Cats Point 1: IndependentPoint 2: Indifferent about pleasingPoint 3: Not easily trained

        Conclusion: Restatement of thesis

slide9

Alternating/Point-by-Point Comparison: When you write a point-by-point comparison, you write about each major point for both subjects before moving on to another main point.    

Introduction: Thesis statement - Even though dogs and cats are both popular pets, they have vastly different characteristics that require owners to deal with them in different ways.

        Degree of dependence on owner                    Dogs                    Cats

        Eagerness to please            Dogs                 Cats

        Trainability             Dogs              Cats

        Conclusion: Restatement of thesis