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Copy of Compare/Contrast Essay

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Lauren Matyola

on 3 March 2015

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Transcript of Copy of Compare/Contrast Essay

Comparing historical texts and historical fiction on Revolutionary War America
Compare/Contrast Essay
Body Paragraph
In your introductory paragraph, you want to do three things:

1) Introduce your historical fiction text

2) Introduce your historical text

3) State your claim/thesis statement (explaining that there are both similarities and differences between the texts)
1) "Chains", by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a historical fiction novel which tells the story of a young African slave girl, Isabel, living in New York during the time of the American Revolution. "Chains" follows Isabel's fight for her personal freedom as she sees the Patriots around her fighting for their political freedom from Britain.

2) "Toward Independence", a chapter in History Alive!: The United States, describes some of the key events and documents of Isabel's time.
Introduction: It looks like this:
Last sentence of your introduction: Your claim/thesis statement:
1) "Chains" and "Toward Independence" mention Thomas Paine's document "Common Sense". Both texts portray it as a daring document urging the colonists' fight for independence. "Chains", however, also describes the documents' impact on the thinking of slaves--those who enjoyed no freedom at all in the colonies.
Body Paragraph topic sentence: It looks like this:
In your body paragraphs, you want to do
three (3) things:

1) Begin with a topic sentence that introduces
the particular fact/experience/event that you
will be comparing/contrasting in the paragraph,
and explains how it is represented similarly and/or
differently in both texts

2) Provide text evidence from
texts to

3) Include an
of your evidence and a transition sentence which introduces what the next paragraph will be about (your next comparison).
"Chains" and "Toward Independence" have both similar and different portrayals of the key events leading up to the American Revolution.
Body Paragraph: Evidence
2) In "Chains", Isabel describes the document: "...the words were dangerous, every one of them...Mr. Paine ...went right after the king and attacked the crown on his head" (p. 270). Similarly, "Toward Independence" describes Common Sense as "a fiery pamphlet" which "scoffed at the idea that Americans owed any loyalty to King George" (p. 82). "Chains" also describes the effect Common Sense had on Isabel, a slave girl: " 'If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?' " (p. 270). In contrast, "Toward Independence" only mentions the document's impact on "colonists", urging them that "independence was not only sensible, but the key to a brighter future". (p. 82)
Body Paragraph: Analysis and Transition sentence

This shows that while both texts portray Common Sense as a powerful, inspiring, and motivating document, only Chains discusses the idea of a nation fighting for freedom that values slavery, and the impact that notion had on members of the slave community.
4) Transition
In addition to the way both text describe Common Sense, there are both similarities and differences in the way both texts portray the lives of young slaves.
Concluding Paragraph
Your conclusion will include three (3) parts:

1) Re-stated claim/thesis statement

2) Re-cap of similarities and differences between texts

3) "So What?": Offer insight. Why do you think the author of your historical fiction text might have written the book the way they did, both similar and different to historical texts?
Concluding Paragraph: It looks like this
1) "Chains" and "Toward Independence" have both similarities and differences in the ways they portray the lead up to the Revolutionary War.

2) While both texts mention important historical documents and describe them in a similar way (for example Common Sense as daring or risky), "Chains" focuses more on the ways in which events leading up to the Revolution affected slaves.

3) "Chains' " focus on a slave perspective that is left out of "Toward Independence" helps readers view history from a perspective that may be less often represented in historical texts. Chains reminds readers that groups of people throughout history experienced events differently. Often, these different experiences are not the stories told. Historical fiction such as "Chains" can provide a valuable opportunity to hear these stories.
Quick Write:
Compare and Contrast the 3 types of
essays you have written in class this year.

1. Informational
2. Argument
3. Compare and Contrast

What similarities and differences
do you find between the 3?
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