Compare and Contrast Instructions
Topic and Structure:
Compare/Contrast Essay – Choose one topic provided in these instructions to compare and/or contrast.
The table below provides an extensive list of topic options from which you must select, and we recommend that you choose one from below that you are interested in beyond this course. For instance, if you are a Finance or Business major, you might be interested in the Dividends v. Capital Gains topic. If you are a Science major, you might choose Hybrid Seeds v. GMO Seeds. Or perhaps you’re taking StraighterLine’s Survey of World History course, in which case you might opt to research the similarities and differences between the United States and the Roman Empire. You will use at least two credible sources to support your claims, and remember, you must include your sources throughout the body paragraphs of your essay in a mix of cited quotes, paraphrases, and summaries. Both the support and research portions of the rubric will be negatively affected if you do not integrate your researched data.
· Rosa Parks vs. Harriet Tubman
· Treaties vs. Executive Agreements
· Roman Empire vs. United States
· Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” vs. Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”
· Verbal vs. Nonverbal Communication
· Biblical Old Testament vs. New Testament
· Leonardo di Vinci vs. Michelangelo
· Apple Ipad vs. Microsoft Surface
· Dividends vs. Capital Gains
· Marxism vs. Socialism
· Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox
· Jazz vs. Blues
· String Instruments vs. Wind Instruments
· Amphibians vs. Reptiles
· Charles Darwin vs. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
· Solar Power vs. Wind Power
· Hybrid Seeds vs. GMO Seeds
· Public School vs. Home School
Write an essay comparing or contrasting the two topics in your selection using EITHER the point-by-point OR the subject-by-subject method to organize the details and specific examples. Consider focusing on three to five subtopics and generate ideas through prewriting. Develop a strong thesis statement for your essay that includes your two topics from the list above; your three to five subtopics; and a claim about how they are similar, different, or both.
Sample Thesis Statements:
If you will argue that your two topics are mostly similar:
Topic A and Topic B share many similar characteristics, including (Supporting point 1), (Supporting point 2), and (Supporting point 3); while they differ in (Additional supporting point), the similarities greatly outweigh the differences.
If you will argue that your two topics are mostly different: