Brainstorm different topics that you could explore through comparison and contrast. Select a topic that is significant and meaningful to explore thoroughly. Write a 2-4 page, double-spaced essay using comparison/contrast as the primary developmental pattern. In addition, use at least two other methods of development (narration, description, classification, process analysis, illustration/example, cause/effect, definition, argument) to support your thesis. For this assignment you could use either the subject-by-subject method or the point-by-point method. Remember to make this comparison purposeful. Answer the question so what? Your comparison should be a part of a more significant whole. Make sure you provide a reason for this comparison. Include reminders and transitions to help your reader connect the dots. Make sure that your essay is balanced between the two elements that you are comparing.
Option #2: Write a 2-4 page, double-spaced essay comparing two characters from short story, book, or movie. Use your comparison of these two characters to show how (1) two people who initially seem similar are different, (2) how two people who initially seem different are similar, or (3) how two people, though comparable in some ways, are unequal. For example, you might discuss how two characters each have likable traits, but one would be more preferable than the other as a friend, sister, mate, etc… based on certain qualities or actions. This, obviously, is a subjective judgment, but your essay should clearly and fluently point out the reasons why you believe this judgment is true. In other words, support your assertion about these two characters. Avoid making your essay too plot-driven. Note: Make sure to select a subject that has level of depth to be able to make your essay purposeful for your readers. Why should your audience care about these characters?
Your essay has a precise and limiting thesis statement in the opening paragraph.
Your essay uses comparison/contrast as the primary method of development.
You use at least two other methods of development (narration, description, classification, process analysis, illustration/example, cause/effect, definition, argument) as appropriate to develop your thesis.
You appropriately alternate topic and special paragraphs. Topic paragraphs contain topic sentences.
You use the appropriate organization format – one-side-at-a-time (A + B) or point-by-point (A/B, A/B) – for your topic and audience. With this organization, you discuss the same features for each object of your comparison in the appropriate order.
You use signal devices (also, likewise, in contrast, however) to highlight the similarities and differences being discussed. Proper transitions are used throughout the essay.
You use figurative language (similes, metaphors, analogies, personification, allusions) to strengthen your essay’s overall style. You don’t overuse these methods in an artificial attempt to include language variety, but rather you use them to increase the effectiveness of your thesis.
You use an appropriate mix of concrete and abstract details and an appropriate level of formality in your word choice/diction. If you do mix levels of formality, you do so for a clear purpose.
You use proper MLA format in your essay.
You use correct grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation/mechanics in your essay.
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