If you want to write a successful compare/contrast essay, you'll need to avoid writing about really obvious differences and similarities. For example:
A comparison shows how two subjects are similar; a contrast shows how two subjects are different. People compare and contrast in both writing and life. In writing, you must first decide whether you will compare, contrast or both. Follow these steps when writing a comparison / contrast essay.
Unless you're being asked to do some research as part of your compare/contrast project, make sure that you choose 2 things that you feel comfortable discussing, at length.
Subject by Subject (Whole-to-whole). Your write first about one of your subjects, covering it completely, and then you write about the other, covering it completely. Each subject is addressed in a separate paragraph. The points of comparison or contrast will be the same for each subject and will be presented in the same order.
Point by Point. Each point is addressed in a separate paragraph. You discuss both of your subjects together for each point of comparison and contrast. Maintain consistency by discussing the same subject first for each point.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Students imitate Dickens' famous opposite-filled opening (...best of times, it was the worst of times...") with creative topics or with topics they're studying in school.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Students create two arguing voices that might be heard inside one character's head, then create a descriptive scene that shows that character in action.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Two characters in Golding's classic story explore and experience the jungle setting with different eyes, showing the reader two distinctly opposite moods. Students imitate what Golding has done with a different setting.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Two uses of comparison and contrast here: 1) students compose two paragraphs about a setting description, each paragraph exploring a different aspect of the place; 2) students compare and contrast the voice used in the student samples that are provided.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Students brainstorm the pros and cons of different topics (modern day or historical), then plan a short comparative essay that explores these two opposites in an organized and well-paced draft.
If you use compare and contrast thinking as a method of pushing your students to "think deeper" about topics during the writing process, we want to hear from you. Twice a school year, we will choose several of our favorite ideas that were submitted by teachers, and we will send those teachers free copies of the NNWP's Going Deep with Compare & Contrast Thinking Guide.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Students explore similarities between abstract ideas and concrete nouns, ultimately creating a four-part poem that builds a metaphor.
Long before we published our Going Deep with Compare & Contrast Thinking Guide, Nevada teachers were already creating lessons for WritingFix that were inspired by having students compare and contrast. Below, we offer you our collection of lessons that require comparative thinking that have had a long history here at WritingFix.
Below, you will find six compare and contrast lessons that were proposed by teachers. The teachers used this when writing up a lesson. We invite teachers from all over to not only use the lessons below, but also to consider proposing their own lesson that we might feature here. Teachers whose lessons are accepted and posted will receive a complimentary copy of the Going Deep with Compare and Contrast Thinking Guide.