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Comparisons and Contrasts

Page history last edited by missboeser@... 13 years, 10 months ago

Scroll down for Comparison/Contrast Essay suggested guidelines


Please note - when you are gathering evidence for your topics, please cite the page numbers of your quotations AND

make sure you tell who is saying what you are writing.


Remember to get OUTSIDE sources (not just Montana 1948) for your paper if you want a decent argument for your thesis.



Gender (Males and Females)


Race (Whites and Native Americans)


Age (Generations)


Class (Wealth and Poverty)


Power (Control and Submission)


Ethics (Loyalty and Betrayal)


Mortality (Life and Death)


Truth (Lies and Deceit)


Knowledge (Innocence and Wisdom)


Place (Country and Town)


Temperature and Weather (Heat and Cold)


Role (Hero and Villain)



Comparison/Contrast Essay



For this assignment you will write an essay with two partners on a topic that has been assigned from above.  Your paper must be more than 1,000 words (over three pages).  The best essays will include at least six documented (cited) examples form Montana 1948 and at least three outside sources that are related to research. (You may use definitions from an online source like www.dictionary.com or a quote from an unrelated source like www.brainyquote.com, but they will not count as research.)



Your paper will need a thesis.  Looking at the general topic above, each group will need to present the topic and show how the contrasting elements suggested in parentheses relate to each other.  You may want to show how the theme works in the world throughout history or in current events and use evidence from Montana 1948 to support your claim.  You can apply your topic to characters only in Montana 1948.  You may want to show how your topic affects the outcome of events in the book.  You could discuss how writers often use your topic as a theme in a book and use Montana 1948 as a representative example of that idea.  Some questions for your paper are supplied below to get you thinking about the topic.



When comparing two ideas, theories or elements in a text ask yourself these questions:


What does my topic mean (define the topic)? How does my topic apply to people in general?  How have other authors presented this theme in their texts?  How have teachers discussed these ideas in my classes?  Which groups of people generally discuss, present and/or defend issues related to my topic?



Some weblinks that may help you with ideas for organizing and drafting your paper:






Suggested Outline for your Comparison/Contrast Essay


Organize your paper in the traditional multi-paragraph essay format.  You will need MLA formatted in-text documentation to give credit to your sources for their information and ideas.


I. Introduction

•    You will need an interesting attention-getter (quote, anecdote, statistic, fact, etc.)

•    You will write some general but important statements that lead to your thesis.

•    Thesis statement (your opinion/claim/argument)

•    Plan of Coherence (POC) -- that states at least (at least three) supporting points: Your entire essay must “prove”/support your THESIS statement.

       This is a sentence that summarizes the three arguments (or supporting points) you will use throughout the project.


II. Body Paragraphs (You should have at least three--one per major point)

•    Each body paragraph begins with a topic sentence & transition.

•    Each topic sentence point is taken directly from your POC.

•    All topic sentence points are supported thoroughly using evidence from the text and any research-based information you get from other

      sources:  facts, specific case studies, policies, examples, statistics, direct quotations, testimony, etc.

•    You must give credit to your sources (at least six citations from Montana 1948) using in-text documentation.

  • At least one direct quote per paragraph
  • At least one paraphrase per paragraph
  • (You may include outside research in your body paragraphs as well)



III.    Conclusion

•    Start by restating your Thesis & POC (using different words)

•    Make some general statements and summaries,

•    End with a good clincher statement that ties back to the idea presented in the attention-getter.














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