2purposeA comparison essay notes either similarities, or similarities and differencesA contrast essay notes only differencesThese essays do one of the following:Explains something unknown or not well understoodLead to a fresh insight or new way of viewing somethingBring one or both of the subjects into sharper focusShow that one subject is better than the other
4Step 1: Brainstorm ideas Brainstorm everything you know about each subject and then go back and look for connections that show similarities and differencesStep 1: Brainstorm ideasSimilaritiesDifferencesDialogueBasic Storyline (same beginning, middle, and end)CharactersThemeSetting (Time and Place)Weapons (Swords vs. Guns)Characterization of main characters (Mercutio is a cross-dressing drug user, Friar Lawrence is a hippie etc.)ClothingMusical Element
5Step 2: Create a thesis statement This sentence is the most important sentence in your essay—it drives your essay.It needs to show some sort of comparison.Example:Although the Shakespeare’s tragic play, Romeo and Juliet, and the film Romeo + Juliet are based off the same story and use the same dialogue, there are many differences including the setting of the play, the props used, and the characterization of main characters.
6Step 3:Decide how to organize your essay IntroBody 1 SettingShakespeare’s Romeo and JulietDetailsFilm: Romeo + JulietBody 2 PropsBody 3 CharacterizationConclusionIntroBody 1 Shakespeare’s Romeo and JulietSettingDetailsPropsCharacterizationBody 2 Film Romeo + JulietConclusionBlock MethodPoint by Point Method
7Introduction Start with a hook to grab your reader’s attention Provide relevant background informationEnd your introduction paragraph with your thesis sentence
8Body ParagraphsStart each body paragraph with a transition word or phrase that leads into a Topic SentenceProvide specific examples/detailsAnalyze the differences
9ConclusionThe conclusion of your paper should include final connections about the two subjects and then a restatement of your thesisExample: Three of the major differences between Shakespeare’s tragic play, Romeo and Juliet, and the film Romeo + Juliet are that they occur in different places and time periods, the weapons used are more modernized, and the characters are more lively. There is a reason why freshmen study both of these pieces and it is because both works are considered classics of the time in which they were created.
10Step 1: Brainstorm ideas: The Crucible SimilaritiesDifferences
11Step 2: create a thesis statement What are two or three main differences between the play we read in class and the film we watched in class?