The Essential Guide to a Compare and Contrast Essay: Introduction to the Series (Topic and Claim)

The assignment? A compare and contrast essay. The goal? Survive. While this seems dramatic sometimes, most of my students are really excited about their creative writing assignments that involve creating their own dystopian worlds. However, many are not as excited as the complementary assignment of a compare and contrast essay with comparing our modern American Society with the Uglies Dystopian Society. I have a secret...I may be more excited about the academic formal paper (and you know I love creative writing). This will be the introduction to a ten-part series about how to craft a Compare and Contrast essay with a focalized topic. Here is the topic given to my students for this paper:

Is our modern American society more similar to or different from the Uglies Dystopian Society/World?

I am so excited about this topic! Especially with fierce political debates popping up in and out of the classroom, students get really excited about discussing current events. Our socially aware students give me life.

Now step one to this assignment to this assignment is choose a topic and brainstorming. I had students do a double bubble in small fire groups to brainstorm reasons. If they choose more similar, they will look at the center of their double bubble maps. If they choose different from, they will look at the outsides of this map.

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This will help with claim statement setup now.

After the initial brainstorm is done, students will move on to making a claim statement and forming an introduction.

I like to use this resource from Santa Barbara City College Writing Center for Compare and Contrast formatting.

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Students will then write drafts of their introductions and receive feedback. Stay tuned to the next post that will feature Part 2: Introduction Peer Review