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English 101 : 

English 101 Lecture Five: The Comparison/Contrast Essay

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast: 

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast Write an essay in which you compare two subjects to argue that one is better than the other or to make an arguable point about both Make sure to use three separate criteria for comparing the two subjects Write about something that you can write about for the required length of the paper (750 words)

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast: 

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast comparisons are similar to reviews, except that comparisons are usually done to make an evaluation of two things, to make a decision between two things, or to reach a conclusion about two subjects having a research question is absolutely essential, and you must have a clear thesis that the comparison will support compare two subjects that actually have a solid basis for comparison. Comparing apples and oranges works - both are fruit

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast: 

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast set criteria or points of comparison for the two subjects. Use at least three criteria - these then become the three reasons that support your thesis limit your comparison to two subjects - doing more than two is too difficult

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast: 

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast Ex: comparing high school and college Thesis: High school is more difficult than college Criterion #1: Classes - Students must take courses in all subjects, not just those they choose Criterion #2: Time - Students must attend class five days a week, for several hours a day Criterion #3: Freedom – Students are both under the supervision of parents and administrators at school because of in loco parentis

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast: 

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast Ex: comparing high school and college Thesis: College is more difficult than high school Criterion #1: Classes – Courses are far more intensive than in high school Criterion #2: Time management - Students must make up their own schedules for classes and for studying Criterion #3: Personal responsibility – Attending class and passing courses is completely up to the student, since parents and administrators are no longer totally in control

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast: 

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast Comparison papers can be organized either according to subject by subject or point by point. Subject by subject: for a comparison of apples and oranges, the three criteria might be size, taste, and shape. take each criterion separately and cover it for both subjects, giving each a paragraph, then move on to the next one, and so on: apples: size, taste shape oranges: size, taste, shape

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast: 

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast Point by point: take the criteria in basically the same order for each subject, giving each a paragraph, but you'd cover the criteria for each of the two subjects before moving on to the next one: apples: size oranges: size apples: taste oranges: taste apples : shape oranges: shape

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast: 

Paper #3: Comparison/Contrast criteria also have to be set based on two things: what needs to be proved, and who needs to be convinced or persuaded. Ex: If you're trying to prove that private schools are better for students' education than public schools, then you'll need to choose criteria such as GPA's, literacy, and so on; but those criteria might change for a different type of private vs. public related topic. Similarly, your criteria may change depending on the audience you are writing for. Even who you are yourself may change those criteria, too.


Discussion/Exercise Buy at least five or six Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Kisses with Almonds. Come up with a thesis and three criteria for comparison as if you were writing for ONE of the following three groups: five year-olds, dieticians, and people without teeth. Then post your results as DB #27. Respond to a peer’s responses as DB #28. Post your Paper #3 topic as DB #29 and respond to a peer’s response as DB #30

Potential topics: 

Potential topics Comparing travel by car vs. travel by airplane Comparing two Presidential candidates Comparing life in two different cities Comparing a book and its movie version (or comparing two different movies of the same book) Comparing two different kinds of car Comparing two different colleges Comparing renting vs. home ownership Comparing online vs. traditional classes

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