#2: Comparison and Contrast

#2: Comparison and Contrast

Comparison and contrast is one of the most common modes of writing. Most likely, you have
already done this type of paper in a previous high scho
ol or college course, perhaps without
even realizing you were writing it. Comparison and contrast are basic thinking patterns we
use every day. In your daily activities, you consider similarities and differences between
persons, things, ideas, political le
aders, movies, restaurants, schools, instructors,
professions, and so on. Naturally, you turn to comparison and contrast in order to solve
problems, make choices, or persuade others to accept your ideas; therefore, your evidence
should logical, easy to fol
low, fair, and convincing.
Your assignment, then, is to compare and contrast
two subjects
.
Your paper should be
750
–
1500 words (app. 3
–
5 pages).
When grading, I will look for the following (also see page
229 of your text):
•
Purpose:
The purpose of your
comparison must be clear: why have you chosen the
two subjects you have, and what are you trying to show? The comparison should
ultimately aim to either explain two subjects or evaluate them against one another.
•
Thesis:
It is vitally important to have a
strong thesis that establishes a basis for
comparison and makes your purpose clear to your readers.
•
Organization:
Most comparison essays are organized either subject
–
by
–
subject or
point
–
by
–
point. I will be looking to see that your organization makes sen
se and feels
organic for the subjects you are comparing.
•
Balance and Flexibility:
Have you covered the same features of both subjects? At
the same time, have you avoided a rigid back
–
and
–
forth movement that could bore a
reader?
•
Clarity:
Be sure to use t
ransitions and other rhetorical techniques to make it clear
which subjects and points you are discussing. Your paper should flow smoothly and
be easy to follow.
**
You are required to include at least two outside sources for this essay and cite them
in proper
MLA format both in the text of your paper and in a Works Cited page.
**
You may choose any topic you’d like for this essay. If you find yourself stuck, here are a few
suggestions for possible topics:
1.
Compare and contrast two types of cars you would be interested in buying.
2.
Imagine you are the food editor for the local paper. Gather information about two
local restaurants and then write a review comparing/contrasting t
hem.
3.
Write a paper in which you compare two separate potential jobs that interest you.
4.
If you have traveled or lived in two different countries, choose something about
those countries to compare (the health care system, or public transit, or the school
sys
tem, etc.)
5.
Compare either two sports teams, or two separate players.
6.
Write a humorous and lighthearted essay in the same vein as Dave Barry
in which
you jokingly compare two types of people

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