Notes on this prompt's comparison and contrast features: Once your students have learned the basics of the haiku format, require them to write dueling haikus--two haikus on topics that can be compared or contrasted.
Notes on this prompt's comparison and contrast features: Once your students have learned the basics of the acrostic poem format, require them to write dueling acrostics--two acrostic poems on topics that can be compared or contrasted.
Plan A: Use Plan A if you have many small similarities and/or differences. After your introduction, say everything you want to say about the first work or character, and then go on in the second half of the essay to say everything about the second work or character, comparing or contrasting each item in the second with the same item in the first. In this format, all the comparing or contrasting, except for the statement of your main point, which you may want to put in the beginning, goes on in the SECOND HALF of the piece.
Plan B: Use Plan B if you have only a few, larger similarities or differences. After your introduction, in the next paragraph discuss one similarity or difference in BOTH works or characters, and then move on in the next paragraph to the second similarity or difference in both, then the third, and so forth, until you're done. If you are doing both similarities and differences, juggle them on scrap paper so that in each part you put the less important first ("X and Y are both alike in their social positions . . ."), followed by the more important ("but X is much more aware of the dangers of his position than is Y"). In this format, the comparing or contrasting goes on in EACH of the middle parts.
Sample thesis statement for compare/contrast paper: While both Facebook and MySpace allow you to meet other users who have similar interests, only MySpace allows you to demonstrate your personal style.
In 2008, we began offering a new lesson-building workshop and in-service class in Northern Nevada. As part of this class, where participants receive a complimentary copy of our Going Deep with Compare and Contrast Thinking Guide, each teacher propose a new lesson, and the best of those lessons are posted here at WritingFix.
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As you generate points of comparison, consider the purpose and content of the assignment and the focus of the class. What do you think the professor wants you to learn by doing this comparison/contrast? How does it fit with what you have been studying so far and with the other assignments in the course? Are there any clues about what to focus on in the assignment itself?
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.
Making a Venn diagram or a chart can help you quickly and efficiently compare and contrast two or more things or ideas. To make a Venn diagram, simply draw some overlapping circles, one circle for each item you’re considering. In the central area where they overlap, list the traits the two items have in common. Assign each one of the areas that doesn’t overlap; in those areas, you can list the traits that make the things different. Here’s a very simple example, using two pizza places:
Objective: After comparing and contrasting poems and lyrics, s tudents will then compose an original poem and original lyric, inspired by already-published examples of each.
"The writing process is another set of 'matches' for our students. I have found comparing and contrasting to be highly effective in increasing students’ ability to formulate ideas during the pre-writing stage. Shirley Dickson’s article, ',' reminded me how students need to be presented with text structures to fully understand how to write in the genre form we are asking of them. Having students compare one text structure with another and allowing them to use this as a launching pad for writing is a way to support all of our students in becoming better writers.
Sometimes you may want to use comparison/contrast techniques in your own pre-writing work to get ideas that you can later use for an argument, even if comparison/contrast isn’t an official requirement for the paper you’re writing. For example, if you wanted to argue that Frye’s account of oppression is better than both de Beauvoir’s and Bartky’s, comparing and contrasting the main arguments of those three authors might help you construct your evaluation—even though the topic may not have asked for comparison/contrast and the lists of similarities and differences you generate may not appear anywhere in the final draft of your paper.