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Writing a Comparative Essay

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Writing a Comparative Essay
Comparing & Contrasting
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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 discussessimilaritiesbetween theseit identifies and discussesdifferencesbetween themit sometimes helps peoplechoose oneorform an opinionabout them
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You CanCompareorContrastMany Things
1.animals or people2.explanations or ideas3.stories or other writings4.results of two experiments5.places to visitCan you think of more things to compare?Choose two!
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Once you've decided what to compare,how do you begin?
Youbrainstorm! Youresearch!Youmake a list!Jot down ideas and findingsbefore you start writing the essay itself:whatever facts you already know about eachfacts that you learn when you look up your topics
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Making Your ListExample:Comparing two seasons
Spring:warmer, flowers bloom, trees bloom, before summer, beginningsAutumn:cooler, leaves change, brilliant colors, before winter, endingsSimilarities:bright colors, temperature changesDifferences:plants reviving in spring, plants fading in autumn; warming up in spring, cooling down in autumn
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Develop athesis statementfrom 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 Idiscoveredabout the two subjects?
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Create an initialthesis statementbased 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.
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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.
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Block OrganizationSample Outline
I. IntroductionII. SpringA. temperatureB. eventsC. time periodIII. AutumnA. temperatureB. eventsC. time periodIV. Conclusion
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Point-by-Point OrganizationSample Outline
I.IntroductionII.TemperatureA. springB. autumnIII.EventsA. springB. autumnIV.Time PeriodA. springB. autumnV.Conclusion
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Tipsfor Choosing yourOrganizational Style
Blockstyle works better for shorter essays.Pointstyle 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.
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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?
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More free ESSAY WRITING resources:the thesis statementthe introductionthe conclusiontypes of essays (narrative, persuasive, comparative, expository)Eight-week ESSAY WRITING courses:elementary schoolmiddle schoolhigh school
The end.
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Writing a Comparative Essay