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As a student, you will encounter many different types of writing assignments, each with its own requirements. One of the most common is the comparison-contrast essay, in which you focus on the ways that certain things or ideas are similar to and/or different from one another. By writing such essays, you are being encouraged to do the following:
- Make connections between texts or ideas.
- Engage in critical thinking.
- Go beyond describing or summarizing.
When reflecting on similarities and differences, you can gain a better understanding of the items you are comparing--their relationship to each other and what is most important about them.
During the next five weeks, you will write and revise a five-paragraph comparison-contrast essay that incorporates at least three peer-reviewed academic sources. Each week, you must submit a different phase of your writing to complete the essay.
Refer to pp. 203 to pp. 220 of Ch. 10 of Wordsmith for ideas on topics you may wish to write about in your paper; however, feel free to come up with your own idea.
Decide on your topic.
Experiment with some of the prewriting methods found in Ch. 2 of Wordsmith to explore the topic you have chosen.
Write a 350- to 700-word document detailing your application of your writing process and chosen prewriting method (freewriting, brainstorming, listing, etc.) to begin exploring and writing about your topic. In this document, you should include the topic you have chosen and some examples of how you plan to compare and/or contrast.
*NOTE: This is an academic essay that will required to be written in the third person and contain research. Topics about yourself or based on your personal opinion will not be accepted. Consider comparing two historical figures or styles of music, anything that other people have written articles on.