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Write an essay comparing and contrasting two different items or ideas (there’s an extensive list at thoughtco.com).

by | Nov 12, 2022 | Other

 

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Compare/Contrast Essay Assignment Description
Details:
 All Papers Should be in MLA format (see MLA Essay template in Module 6 for a
guide)
 Must be 3-4 full pages long
 You MUST use at least two sources for this paper.
 Should be formatted as a Microsoft Word document (you can get Office for free)
 Due by 11:59pm on the date listed in the syllabus.
 Worth 100 points.
Explanation:
For this assignment, you will compose a 3-4 page essay that compares and contrasts two
ideas or items. You have a list of prompts to choose from below to get you started, but you
must decide how to structure your comparison and what points to compare.
Your goal with all of the research, annotating, and structuring is to come up with a thesis based
on your comparison.
 If you are comparing two versions of something (classic movie vs. reboot, book vs.
movie, etc), your thesis would make a claim about the effect of the differences and why
that is important to the reader/viewer.
 If you are comparing schools you looked at attending, your thesis might be about what
factors were important and whether you feel you made the right choice coming to WSU
Tech.
You can see that your thesis will have a different focus based on your prompt, but you must
remember that this essay will not be complete without a thesis that makes sense and makes a
claim that is arguable. I encourage you to reach out to me with your working thesis or with
questions so I can help you. You cannot just state a fact and call it a thesis, then write more
facts.
The other key part of this essay is using transitions effectively and bringing in your skills from
the narrative to keep this from being terribly boring. Look to the real-world examples in the
module for insight into how to be factual, but still have voice and paint a picture.
I suggest that you choose a topic about which you are interested but know very little as this will
help you do a more unbiased comparison and make you search for quality sources to help you
research. Then you will be engaged in learning and be more inherently objective. If you are not
sure about your topic choice, we can find a time to discuss what might be a good topic via
messages or Zoom or a phone call.
Steps to Follow:
1. Choose from the prompts below and start brainstorming your topic to respond to your
prompt.
2. Start researching and annotating sources so you can establish a basis for comparison
and select points for comparison.
3. Figure out what your thesis question might be. (What question can you ask that, when
answered, could become a thesis?)
4. Decide on the best structure for paragraphs and for the paper as a whole: point-by-point
or subject-by-subject.
5. Write your paper being very intentional about relating each of your paragraphs back to
your thesis while doing the comparison.
6. Conclude by discussing how your exploration contributed to your understanding of the
topic.
7. Be sure to include a Works Cited page and parenthetical (in text) citations
throughout the paper denoting where you use source information.
Prompts:
1. Write an essay comparing and contrasting two versions of the same material. It could
be a book and a movie, a classic and a remake, a song and a cover song. For this you
will want to look at the differences between the two versions and how they affect the
audience or change the meaning of the work the more differences the more points you
will be able to highlight but be specific with your examples. Your thesis for this will focus
on why these differences matter.
2. Write an essay comparing and contrasting two different items or ideas (there’s an
extensive list at ThoughtCo.com). Your thesis focus For a prompt like this will differ
drastically depending upon what two things you choose.
3. Compare and contrast WSU Tech to other schools you attended or considered
attending. What made you choose to attend Wichita State over the other schools,
meaning what factors did you consider. Provide evidence in specific examples of how
each school stacked up in these factors. Your thesis here may look at whether you feel
your analysis was good and whether you still feel you made the right choice.
4. Write an essay that compares and contrasts the viewpoints of two different generations
on a specific legal, ethical, or social topic. You will want to compare your views with the
views of either your parents, your children, or any siblings or friends who are from a
different generation as you. Your focus here is to highlight the differences and theorize
why that generation has a different view than yours. This can be a tricky prompt, but
very rewarding if you’re willing to do some research and some deep thinking!
5. If you have a suggestion for a different prompt, you must clear that with me first.
Checklist:
 Is your essay MLA formatted?
 Does your essay use at least 2 outside sources?
 Do you have a properly formatted Works Cited page? (See Purdue Owl
Sample Works Cited page for reference.)
 Is outside source information referenced within your essay?
 Are your in-text citations formatted correctly?
 Do you have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion?
 Does your essay have a thesis and topic sentences?
 Do your body paragraphs follow the 8 point paragraph format?
 Is your essay at least 3 pages long? (Excluding Works Cited page)
 Are your sentences complete sentences? (Fix your sentence fragments,
folks!)
 Are your sentences clear and concise (straight to the point)?
 Is your paper free of any grammatical/mechanical errors?

 

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