61 10. Writing the Comparison/Contrast Essay

Writing the Comparison/Contrast Essay; Due Oct. 22


For writing assignment 4, you are going to pick two items and make a comparison/contrast between them. Comparison means you are looking at similarities, and contrast requires you to look at differences.

Pick two items that have some kind of connection: two friends, two siblings, two courses you’ve taken, two teachers, two similar products (the Big Mac and the Big King burgers), two favorite movies or songs or books you’ve seen, heard or read. Then look at how those two items are similar, different and/or both.

You can use several methods to develop this kind of essay:

q Case pattern (one side at a time)

q Alternating pattern (point-by-point)

q Opposing pattern (specifying similarities/differences)

The case pattern separates the two items you are looking at. Half of your paper

will deal with one item (Coke) and the second half will deal with the other item (Pepsi). You need to organize your paper so similarities and differences are clearly identified.

The alternating pattern means you pick sub topics and arrange your paper according to those. You may have these three topics on Coke and Pepsi: taste, popularity and cost. You would have one section in your paper on taste and look at both products. Then you would do the same with popularity and cost. Organization requires you to always use the same order of information in each sub-topic: Coke first, Pepsi second.

The third, opposing, is the most difficult. You have to have some kind of balance between similarities and differences. Usually there is not a balance. But give it a try, if you think you’d like to separate the items this way.

You can use a research component for this essay, though research will be required for the final essay, the Argumentative. If you choose to borrow information from a source, remember to use MLA format. For instance, if you’re comparing your two twin siblings, perhaps you can find research on the psychology of being twins.

Remember your format for submitting papers, and always have at least one rough draft to submit with the final. Have fun.

Grading summary

Participants 11
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Due date Tuesday, 24 October 2017, 11:55 PM
Time remaining 105 days 4 hours


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