Comparison and Contrast Essay

Assignment: Write a five paragraph, 500 to 700-word comparison and/or contrast essay on one of the topics listed below.

Guidelines: Keep the following in mind when writing this essay.

  • The essay must be written in third or 1st person, depending on the topic chosen. 
  • The essay must be 500 to 700 words in length.
  • The essay must be typed and double-spaced. This is to allow the instructor space to type comments on your paper. If the essay is not double-spaced, the instructor will not put comments on your paper.
  • The following file formats are the only formats accepted. If you submit a file in a format not listed below, your paper will not be graded and will result in a zero for that paper.
    • .doc
    • .docx
    • .rtf
    • .pdf
  • Your paper should have an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
  • The following elements are required for this essay:
    • two (or more) written sources,
    • three (or more) in-text citations, and a
    • Works Cited Page.
  • You must use MLA documentation (see Module 4).
  • Essays not written on one of the topic choices listed below will not be accepted. 

Steps: The following steps will help steer you through the writing process for the comparison and contrast essay.

  1. Make sure that you have read through all of the material in Module 5. This is extremely important for your understanding and the success of this essay.
  2. If you do not understand what sources, quotes, paraphrase, summary, works cited, in-text citations, and MLA documentation are, please revisit Module 4.
  3. Choose a topic from the topic choices below. Papers submitted on other topics will not be accepted.
  4. Research the topic. Your task is to find a source (article) to use in addition to the source listed in the topic that you choose. The second source (article) should be an academic source (article).
  5. After finding a source (article) that you deem suitable, email your professor the second source for approval. You may do this by copying and pasting the link to the article that you find in the body of a PAWS email. The instructor must be able to easily access the article for which you are seeking approval.  *Note: It is not wise to wait until the last minute to seek approval. This should be done well in advance.
  6. Next, navigate to the Quizzes page here in PAWS and take the quiz labeled “Summary of second article used for CC essay.” In this quiz you will summarize the source for question #1 and describe how you will use the source in your essay for question #2. See Quizzes.
  7. Complete a pre-writing activity to help you gather and organize your ideas.
  8. Write a working Thesis Statement. Navigate to the discussion board and post your thesis to the Thesis Statement for Compare and Contrast discussion. Make sure that you give at least two of your fellow classmates feedback on their thesis statements. Go back periodically to the thesis statement discussion to see the comments of your professor and classmates. 
  9. Organize your essay using the point-by-point organizational plan attached to this Dropbox. Save your outline and upload to this assignment folder.
  10. Write your first draft.
  11. Navigate to the Discussion board – Comparison/Contrast – The Writing Process. You will post two separate discussion postings and respond to two students each.
    • Post one of your body paragraphs with in-text citations. Name this “Body Paragraph.” Respond to the “Body Paragraph” postings of at least two classmates.
    • Post the Works Cited page on the same discussion board. Name this “Works Cited.” Edit the “Works Cited” page postings of at least two classmates. Use your text as a resource.
  1. Revise and Edit your paper. Fill out the Revision Form for Comparison Contrast (Word attachment in this assignment folder), save, and upload to this assignment folder.
  2. Write a final draft, and type your paper. When typing your final draft, make sure that it is double-spaced. I do not put comments on papers that are not double-spaced. (This means between lines, not between words.)
  3. Submit as separate, labeled files the point-by-point outline, first draft, editing form and final paper through PAWS Assignment (Comparison and Contrast). Make sure that the Works Cited page is in the SAME document as the final paper. It should be the last page of your final paper.
  4. Instructions for accessing feedback once your essay has been graded may be found in the Getting Started Module under Content. Feedback takes time and is not instantaneous. Please be patient.