I want to remind you that topics that rely on a particular religious belief are not acceptable. Likewise, topics that rely on purely emotional belief must be avoided. These include abortion, legalization of marijuana (in any form), and partisan political issues. These topic guidelines apply to all assignments during the quarter.
I reserve the right to approve all topics, so check with me if you have any doubts. The key is to be specific and detailed as you describe the topic, while remaining rational and sensitive in your evaluation.
This is what you need to include at the end of your paper to show what sources you have used in your text. You will need to cite the authors in-text, as we practiced in the summary. Then you will need to cite them in a list at the end of the paper.
If you want to write a successful compare/contrast essay, you'll need to avoid writing about really obvious differences and similarities. For example:
In order to understand how to start an essay, you must first have a full understanding of what you’re going to be writing about. In a compare and contrast essay, you are discussing both the similarities and the differences between two subjects. While you may be someone who can start an essay off of the top of your head with no problem, many people find it easier to sit down and write out an outline before beginning. The order in which you introduce your points in your introduction is the order in which you should introduce them in your essay, so it’s good to have the framework completed before beginning. Knowing how to start a compare and contrast essay is the first step to writing an interesting essay that will keep readers engaged all the way to the end.
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This activity will give you practice in writing an effective thesis and statement of organization—one that is neither too broad nor too narrow for the supporting points in an essay. An added value of the activity is that sometimes you will construct your thesis and statement of organization after you have decided what your supporting points or main ideas will be. You will need to know, then, how to write a thesis statement that will match exactly the points that you have developed, in other words a thesis statement and statement of organization.
The following is a model of a type of thesis that has a thesis statement and a statement of organization (sometimes referred to as T+ 3). The “statement of organization” is the thesis plus two, three, or more main ideas that will be discussed in the paper. This is the type of thesis statement I want you to use in your comparison/contrast essay.
The most important aspect of an academic essay is a clear, focused, and well developed thesis statement. A thesis is an action plan for your paper that states a conclusion or interpretation that will be proven. It establishes a relationship that you believe brings meaning to the material that you are working with. Once you determine this relationship, your goal is to demonstrate it in your paper. You may have two, three or more components for this proof. The significance of the proof suggests the consequences or implications of the thesis statement, or if the thesis can be proven we can expect (fill in the blank) to follow.
Please look closely at the exercise on the following page. It will give you practice in developing a clear, focused, and well developed thesis and statement of organization.
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The purpose of your comparison/contrast essay is to show how two subjects (things, people (famous or otherwise), events, ideas, systems, feelings) are similar in some ways yet different in other ways, hence the name, comparison and contrast. It is also to evaluate your subjects (persons, places, things, ideas), assess their relative strengths and weaknesses, and show why one is better or more successful or more popular than another. The comparison/contrast paper gives you a chance to practice developing a persuasive essay by showing why one thing is better than another (yes, your first argument!).
Often in your college writing for such classes as philosophy, history, or political science, as well as English, you will be asked to compare and contrast two subjects that belong to the same general theme but that differ in certain ways and show why one is more important, better, or preferred in some way.
Example of model above:
This activity is a form of prewriting to not only formulate your thesis and statement of organization, but to organize your thoughts and ideas so that the writing process will go smoothly.