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The Compare and Contrast Essay
Transcript of The Compare and Contrast Essay
The Compare and Contrast Essay
-You can focus on similarities, but remember that it's the DIFFERENCES that make your paper interesting.
How to Create an Effective Thesis for CC Essay
Find an overarching SIMILAR theme, and then show how each work deals with that similarity in DIFFERENT WAYS.
However, Book 1 argues that race is a social construct
Book 2 promotes racism by arguing
that race is genetic
James Baldwin's and Ralph Ellison's both show how blacks were treated as inferior.
HOWEVER, in Baldwin's work, the whites fear him and segregate him,
while in Ellison's work,
the whites humiliate the black narrator by mocking him, laughing at him and using him for their entertainment.
Points to Remember:
While both Russia and China built strong centralized governments after breaking free from the Mongols
Russia imitated the culture and technology of Europe
while China became isolated and built upon its own foundations.
THREE Main Methods:
Body 1,2: ALL Similarities
Body 3,4: ALL Differences
Topic 1 ONLY
(First Book, Article, Point, etc)
Topic 2 ONLY
BOTH WORKS - Compare in 1 paragraph, then contrast in next paragraph
Body 1: First similarity
Body 2: First difference
Body 3: Second similarity
Body 4: Second difference
No Name in the Street
Don't choose an OBVIOUS
similarity or contrast.
Step 1: Brainstorm:
-Choose two (or more) topics/works that are
SIMILAR in some way, but still DIFFERENT
enough to be interesting
-It is better to choose a theme or point to focus
on for your thesis/entire paper, which connects
How Do You Begin a Compare/Contrast Essay?
Most likely, you're having trouble with:
-Figuring out how to organize comparisons and contrasts
Today, we will figure out how to
come up with differences that are
interesting enough to use for a
C&C paper, and how to organize them in paragraphs.
Differences create CONFLICT
in the paper that gets us curious,
keeps us wanting to read more.
The Difficult Part
-One work is a poem, while the other is a novel
-Both works are about racism, but one takes place in the 60s and the other takes place in the 90s.
Step 2: THESIS (Continued)
Point by Point Strategy Example
Body 1: First similarity:
In both works, African-Americans were treated as inferior
Body 2: First difference:
Baldwin shows how the whites feared him, and how they segregated him to the back of the restaurant
(Quote, Show evidence, Explain)
Ellison shows how the whites humiliated the black narrator by mocking him
(Quote, Show Evidence, Explain)
Body 4: Second difference:
In Baldwin, whites
show control by ordering him
to the back so
they don't have to see him near them/separated from them
In Ellison, whites
show control by making the black man the center of attention
, where the whites can laugh at him
SEPARATELY discuss how the main theme you have chosen (such as race, etc) is shown in EACH work
Body 3: Second similarity:
Whites show control in both works
1. Pick a theme/point that connects both works
2. Show how the theme/point is shown
in each work
3. Structure body paragraphs whichever way you prefer:
A. Book 1, Book 2, ALL Similarities and Differences together
B. ALL Similarities, ALL Differences
C. First similarity, first difference, second similarity, second difference, and so on.
Hope that helped! =)