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How to write a Compare/Contrast Essay

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Presentation on theme: "How to write a Compare/Contrast Essay"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to write a Compare/Contrast Essay

2 purpose A comparison essay notes either similarities, or similarities and differences A contrast essay notes only differences These essays do one of the following: Explains something unknown or not well understood Lead to a fresh insight or new way of viewing something Bring one or both of the subjects into sharper focus Show that one subject is better than the other


4 Step 1: Brainstorm ideas
Brainstorm everything you know about each subject and then go back and look for connections that show similarities and differences Step 1: Brainstorm ideas Similarities Differences Dialogue Basic Storyline (same beginning, middle, and end) Characters Theme Setting (Time and Place) Weapons (Swords vs. Guns) Characterization of main characters (Mercutio is a cross-dressing drug user, Friar Lawrence is a hippie etc.) Clothing Musical Element

5 Step 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.

6 Step 3:Decide how to organize your essay
Intro Body 1 Setting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Details Film: Romeo + Juliet Body 2 Props Body 3 Characterization Conclusion Intro Body 1 Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Setting Details Props Characterization Body 2 Film Romeo + Juliet Conclusion Block Method Point by Point Method

7 Introduction Start with a hook to grab your reader’s attention
Provide relevant background information End your introduction paragraph with your thesis sentence

8 Body Paragraphs Start each body paragraph with a transition word or phrase that leads into a Topic Sentence Provide specific examples/details Analyze the differences

9 Conclusion The conclusion of your paper should include final connections about the two subjects and then a restatement of your thesis Example: 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.

10 Step 1: Brainstorm ideas: The Crucible
Similarities Differences

11 Step 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?

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