NOTE: The following is general information about the rhetorical mode. It is not meant to take the place of any specific instructions given by your instructor for this assignment. If your instructor wants you to write your paper in a different manner, then by all means do it the way your instructor requires you to do it.
The Comparison/Contrast Essay
When writing a comparison essay, you are trying to describe two things (or people or places or whatever) against each other. Remember these important ideas: 1. Select only TWO topics to compare. 2. The two topics must have at least a basis of similarity to them. 3. Select something with which you have direct personal experience. 4. Your essay must make a point about the two items being compared. The overall framework for this essay is not a story or narrative; instead, you are writing a regular expository essay simply informing the reader about the similarities or dissimilarities between two “things” and drawing some sort of conclusion (i.e., your point) from that comparison. Comparison is a form of descriptive writing, so remember everything we learned about writing a good description. You should definitely include some description in your comparison essay, but it does not have to be as intense or extensive as the description in your description essay. Your comparison must follow either the one-at-a-time approach or the back-and-forth approach. One-at-a-time First, talk about (describe) Item A in great detail and in every aspect that’s important to the point of your paper. Don’t mention anything about Item B. Just keep on talking about Item A until you have exhausted everything you wanted to say about it. The whole first half of the essay should be only about Item A. Then, after you are finished with Item A, do the same thing for Item B. Describe it, examine it, and tell everything you want the reader to know about it. Do not go back to Item A at all. This second part of your essay is for Item B...
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