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Writing a Comparative Essay

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1 Writing a Comparative Essay
 Comparing & Contrasting  Time4Writing provides these teachers materials to teachers and parents at no cost. More presentations, handouts, interactive online exercises, and video lessons are freely available at  Consider linking to these resources from your school, teacher, or homeschool educational site. The rules: These materials must maintain the visibility of the Time4Writing trademark and copyright information.  They can be copied and used for educational purposes. They are not for resale. Want to give us feedback? We'd like to hear your views:     Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

2 What Does a Comparative Essay Do?
it takes a topic and narrows it down to a few (2+ people, 2+ places, 2+ things, 2+ ideas)  it identifies and discusses similarities between these  it identifies and discusses differences between them it sometimes helps people choose one or form an opinion about them  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

3 You Can Compare or Contrast Many Things
1. animals or people 2. explanations or ideas 3. stories or other writings 4. results of two experiments 5. places to visit Can you think of more things to compare? Choose two!     Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

4 Once you've decided what to compare, how do you begin?
You brainstorm! You research!  You make a list! Jot down ideas and findings before you start writing the essay itself:  whatever facts you already know about each  facts that you learn when you look up your topics  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

5 Making Your List Example: Comparing two seasons
Spring: warmer, flowers bloom, trees bloom, before summer, beginnings Autumn: cooler, leaves change, brilliant colors, before winter, endings Similarities: bright colors, temperature changes Differences: plants reviving in spring, plants fading in autumn; warming up in spring, cooling down in autumn  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

6 Develop a thesis statement from the comparisons
Ask yourself these questions: 1. Is there something important, significant, or interesting in the similarities and differences on my list? 2. What have I discovered about the two subjects?  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

7 Create an initial thesis statement based on your answers
Example: "Although there is exquisite beauty in both the seasons of spring and autumn, there are also important distinctions which make each season unique." This thesis statement may change as you learn more. But it gives you a starting point to work from.  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

8 Two Ways to Organize and Write Your information
1. By Block - Deal with each subject completely on its own, covering major points as they relate to that subject. 2. By Point - Deal with each major point one by one, comparing the two subjects under each point.  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

9 Block Organization Sample Outline
I. Introduction II. Spring A. temperature B. events C. time period III. Autumn IV. Conclusion  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

10 Point-by-Point Organization Sample Outline
I. Introduction II.Temperature A. spring B. autumn III. Events IV. Time Period V. Conclusion  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

11 Tips for Choosing your Organizational Style
 Block style works better for shorter essays.  Point style works better for longer essays. Two reasons the style is important: 1. It helps you stay organized as you write.2. It helps the reader to follow along.  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

12 After You Finish the Essay
Questions to ask: 1. Can the reader relate to the topic? 2. Will the reader understand what you've written? 3. Will the reader agree with your points? 4. Will the reader think you have good support for your conclusion?  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

13 The end. More free ESSAY WRITING resources: the thesis statement
the introduction the conclusion types of essays (narrative, persuasive, comparative, expository) Eight-week ESSAY WRITING courses: elementary school middle school high school  Copyright 2012                                       Copyright 2012 

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