Essay Assignment 4: Compare/Contrast Essay

Published by Essaygrid on

English 101

Essay Assignment 4: Compare/Contrast Essay

Topic and Structure:
Compare/Contrast Essay – Choose one topic provided in these instructions to compare
and/or contrast.
The table below provides an extensive list of topic options from which you must select,
and we recommend that you choose one from below that you are interested in beyond
this course. For instance, if you are a Finance or Business major, you might be
interested in the Dividends v. Capital Gains topic. If you are a Science major, you might
choose Hybrid Seeds v. GMO Seeds. Or perhaps you’re taking StraighterLine’s Survey
of World History course, in which case you might opt to research the similarities and
differences between the United States and the Roman Empire. You will use at least two
credible sources to support your claims, and remember, you must include your sources
throughout the body paragraphs of your essay in a mix of cited quotes, paraphrases,
and summaries. Both the support and research portions of the rubric will be negatively
affected if you do not integrate your researched data.
Rosa Parks vs. Harriett Tubman
Treaties vs. Executive Agreements
Roman Empire vs. United States
Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” vs. Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”
Verbal vs. Nonverbal Communication
Old Testament vs. New Testament
Leonardo di Vinci vs. Michelangelo
Apple Ipad vs. Microsoft Surface
Dividends vs. Capital Gains
Marxism vs. Socialism
Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox
Jazz vs. Blues
String Instruments vs. Wind Instruments
Amphibians vs. Reptiles
Charles Darwin vs. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
Solar Power vs. Wind Power
Hybrid Seeds vs. GMO Seeds
Public School vs. Home School
Write an essay comparing or contrasting the two topics in your selection using EITHER
the point-by-point OR the subject-by-subject method to organize the details and specific examples. Consider focusing on three to five subtopics and generate ideas
through prewriting. Develop a strong thesis statement for your essay that includes your
two topics from the list above; your three to five subtopics; and a claim about how they
are similar, different, or both.
Sample Thesis Statements:
If you will argue that your two topics are mostly similar:
Topic A and Topic B share many similar characteristics, including (Supporting point 1),
(Supporting point 2), and (Supporting point 3); while they differ in (Additional supporting
point), the similarities greatly outweigh the differences.
OR
If you will argue that your two topics are mostly different:
While Topic A and Topic B have (Additional supporting point) in common, they are
mostly quite different; in fact, they differ in characteristics such as (Supporting point 1),
(Supporting point 2), and (Supporting point 3).
OR
If you will argue that your two topics have many important/interesting similarities and
differences:

Analyzing Topic A and Topic B reveals many fascinating similarities as well as
differences; for instance, they share (Supporting point 1) and (Supporting point 1), but
are vastly different when it comes to (Supporting point 3) and (Supporting point 4).
Tips
To brainstorm, you might consider using a Venn diagram or a simple list to show what
your topics have in common and how they differ. Then you can select the most
prominent or interesting characteristics that you want to highlight in your paper.
Be sure to avoid beginning your comparisons or contrasts in the introduction.
Your thesis is the only place in the introduction where you will include this information.
Use the introduction to get your reader’s attention, and consider using a good strategy
that leads into the topic. For instance, you might relate a short anecdote to illustrate
your topic, an interesting quotation that relates to your topic, or perhaps a surprising
statistic that reveals something about your topic.
Then, in the body paragraphs remember to support your claim(s) outlined in the
thesis. For instance, if one of your points says the city and the country are different interms of transportation, be sure the topic sentence of one body paragraph presents a
similar statement. In addition, spend equal time on each subtopic in each body
paragraph, and one way to develop organized body paragraphs is to focus on one topic
before moving to the next one so that the paragraph support is split 50/50. In other
words, using the example above, you would explain the transportation options in the city
in full, and then, you would detail the types of contrasting transportation in the country.
End each body paragraph with a strong concluding sentence that synthesizes that
paragraph’s discussions.
The conclusion should sum up the specific supporting points as well as your overall
assessment of why these points are important. Consider what kinds of interesting or
new conclusions you can draw from your comparison. In other words, your essay must
reveal why your comparison is important. A well-developed paragraph often contains a
minimum of five sentences. Note that any of the main sections below labeled with
Roman Numerals (I, II, III, IV) could be more than just a single paragraph.

Point-by-Point
I. Introduction
A. Thesis
B. Additional information to introduce your topic and gain the reader’s attention
II. Supporting point 1
A. Topic 1
B. Topic 2
III. Supporting point 2
A. Topic 1
B. Topic 2
IV. Supporting point 3
A. Topic 1
B. Topic 2
V. Supporting point 4 or Additional point
A. Topic 1
B. Topic 2
VI. Conclusion
A. Reiterate your thesis (but do not simply restate it from the introduction)
B. Give your overall assessment—the “so what” factor—about your topic. For
instance, is one topic better than the other for some reason? Is one topic
misunderstood? Subject-by-Subject
I. Introduction
A. Thesis
B. Additional information to introduce your topic and gain the reader’s attention
II. Topic 1
A. Supporting point 1
B. Supporting point 2
C. Supporting point 3
D. Supporting point 4 or Additional point
III. Topic 2
A. Supporting point 1
B. Supporting point 2
C. Supporting point 3
D. Supporting point 4 or Additional point
V. Conclusion
A. Reiterate your thesis (but do not simply restate it from the introduction)
B. Give your overall assessment—the “so what” factor—about your topic. For
instance, is one topic better than the other for some reason? Is one topic
misunderstood?
Here’s an example of how you might organize using these methods for an essay
about cats versus dogs as pets (remember, this topic is not one of the options for
this essay)

Point-by-Point
I. Introduction
A. Thesis: While cats and dogs are both clear winners when it comes to pet choices,
these animals are vastly different when it comes to noise level, exercise needs, and
cleanliness.
II. Subtopic 1: Noise level
A. Topic 1: Cats are quiet
B. Topic 2: Dogs can be noisy
III. Subtopic 2: Exercise
A. Topic 1: Cats do not have to be walked
B. Topic 2: Dogs require exercise

IV. Subtopic 3: Cleanliness
A. Topic 1: Cats groom themselves
B. Topic 2: Dogs need to be bathed
V. Conclusion
Subject-by-Subject
I. Introduction
A. Thesis: While cats and dogs are both clear winners when it comes to pet choices,
these animals are vastly different when it comes to noise level, exercise needs, and
cleanliness.
II. Topic 1: Cats
A. Subtopic 1: Noise level
B. Subtopic 2: Exercise
C. Subtopic 3: Cleanliness
III. Topic 2: Dogs
A. Subtopic 1: Noise level
B. Subtopic 2: Exercise
C. Subtopic 3: Cleanliness
IV. Conclusion
Format Requirements:
Remember to apply the concepts you’re learning in the course, including elements of
grammar, punctuation, thesis development, and other skills.
Length: This assignment should be at least 500 words.
Sources: You need a bare minimum of two credible sources for this assignment.
Header: Include a header in the upper left-hand corner of your writing assignment with
the following information:
Your first and last name
Course Title (Composition I)
Assignment name (Comparison and Contrast)
Current Date

Page Layout:
MLA style documentation (please see the tutorial in the course topic)
Last name and page number in upper-right corner of each page
Double-spacing throughout
Title, centered after heading
Standard font (Times New Roman or Calibri)
1″ margins on all sides
Save the file as .docx or .doc format
Underline your thesis statement.

Topic suggestion tool

Instantly find great topics for your essay

Categories: Questions

Open chat
You need help?