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ENC 0017C - Prof. Forbes: Comparison/Contrast Essay

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Select one of the five topics for your comparison/contrast essay

  1. Rock Music vs. Rap Music
  2. Dogs vs. Cats
  3. Soccer vs. American Football
  4. Ovens vs. Microwaves
  5. Public vs. Private Transportation

For this MLA formatted, 3-page essay, you will need to conduct research and provide at least 1 academic research source. You will likely need more than one source. You must have at least one quote, but again, you may need more than one quote to help prove your thesis. The thesis must be the last sentence of the first paragraph. You will need to adjust the titles based on the point your thesis statement makes.

 *Additionally, see chapter 6, pp. 195 – 201 for further information and essay examples of comparison / contrast essays.

Below are some comparison and contrast thesis statement examples. You may follow the styles depending whether you intend to compare or contrast.

  1. Compare: Both Edward Snowden and Julius Ceasar played an instrumental role in the inevitable demise of the powerful institutions in which they functioned–Snowden the 21st-century United States of America and Ceasar the Roman Republic.

Contrast: Snowden fights for the rights of the people, while Ceasar fought against the people in his quest for ultimate power.

  1. Compare: Maya Angelou and Alice Walker are both well-known African-American authors. They are credited with contributing important fictional and non-fictional texts on the issues of what it means to be black in the United States. They are both inspirational political and civil rights activists. They are both recipients of the Pulitzer Prize.

    Contrast: In addition to writing, Angelou is also known for her work as an actress and film and television producer. Even though they addressed similar topics in their writings, the two authors wrote in very different styles from one another; each with her own unique voice.

  1. Compare: Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey are both American television personalities who have hosted their own daytime talk shows. Both women have been extremely successful in their careers.

   Contrast: As a comedienne, DeGeneres relies on witty humor and sarcastic criticism to convey her messaging, while the more serious Winfrey relies on inspiration, insights, and "aha moments."

  1. Compare: Plato and Socrates were both ancient Greek philosophers. They are considered to be the founders of Western philosophy.

   Contrast: Socrates was Plato’s teacher and mentor. Socrates expounded on the wisdom of “I know that I know nothing.” Plato philosophized that the world of ideas was the only constant and that the world of  senses is changeable.

In order to do well, please follow these directions:

  1. Build Background Knowledge: Investigate topics before you begin your outline or Venn diagram in order to have some background information.
  2. Gather similar and dissimilar (different) information about each topic.
  3. Organize the information you have collected.
  4. Decide on your thesis (the point you wish to make).
  5. Use the library resources to find academic articles and other sources such as books, eBooks, documentary videos, etc., to fill in your supporting details, thus adding interest to your essay.

Creating a Venn Diagram and Creating an Outline