A comparison essay (or a essay) is a commonly used type of writing assignment in various classes of high school and college, from art to science. In a comparison essay you should critically analyze any two subjects, finding and pointing out their similarities and/or differences.
Depending on your assignment, such essays can be comparative only (looking only at similarities), contrasting only (pointing out the differences) or both comparative and contrasting.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Two uses of comparison and contrast here: 1) students compose two paragraphs about a setting description, each paragraph exploring a different aspect of the place; 2) students compare and contrast the voice used in the student samples that are provided.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Students brainstorm the pros and cons of different topics (modern day or historical), then plan a short comparative essay that explores these two opposites in an organized and well-paced draft.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Two characters in Golding's classic story explore and experience the jungle setting with different eyes, showing the reader two distinctly opposite moods. Students imitate what Golding has done with a different setting.
Compare and contrast the roles and relationships of the following pairs of characters: George and Lennie (of Mice and Men) and Holmes and Watson (Sherlock Holmes stories).
When we first begin thinking about a subject, we generally start by listing obvious similarities and differences, but as we continue to explore, we should begin to notice qualities that are more significant, complex, or subtle. For example, when considering apples and oranges, we would immediately observe that both are edible, both grow on trees, and both are about the size of a baseball. But such easy observations don't deepen our knowledge of apples and oranges. An interesting and meaningful compare/contrast paper should help us understand the things we are discussing more fully than we would if we were to consider them individually.
Comparison and contrast are processes of identifying how ideas, people, or things are alike (comparison) and how they are different (contrast). Although you have probably been writing compare/contrast papers since grade school, it can be a difficult form to master.
As examples, one can compare and contrast the two mythologies in terms of characters, form and structure, creation myths, and mythology’s relevance to life.
If you use compare and contrast thinking as a method of pushing your students to "think deeper" about topics during the writing process, we want to hear from you. Twice a school year, we will choose several of our favorite ideas that were submitted by teachers, and we will send those teachers free copies of the NNWP's Going Deep with Compare & Contrast Thinking Guide.
Notes on this prompt's comparison and contrast features: Once your students have learned the basics of the acrostic poem format, require them to write dueling acrostics--two acrostic poems on topics that can be compared or contrasted.
Notes on this prompt's comparison and contrast features: Once your students have learned the basics of the haiku format, require them to write dueling haikus--two haikus on topics that can be compared or contrasted.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Students imitate Dickens' famous opposite-filled opening (...best of times, it was the worst of times...") with creative topics or with topics they're studying in school.
Notes on this lesson's comparison and contrast features: Students create two arguing voices that might be heard inside one character's head, then create a descriptive scene that shows that character in action.