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Writing Projects » Key Words » Compare and Contrast » Do Your Own

Get your assignment in front of you, then follow the instructions below. Type your answers to each task in the box below it. When you have filled in all the boxes, click on the button at the bottom of the page and you will be well on your way with this project.

Step 1: Think about what you need to compare and contrast — it could be two books, people, events, whatever. Next, list their important similarities and differences. Think also about which of the similarities and differences are obvious, and which might surprise your reader?

Step 2: Are you comparing and contrasting to prove a point or support a position? Do you have a thesis? Explain why you are comparing and contrasting in your assignment, and if you have a thesis, write it down:

Step 3: Which organization pattern will work best for your paper, the block or alternating pattern?

Step 4: Make a rough outline of your paper in the box below; write briefly what your first body paragraph will be about, and your second, and so on:

Step 5: If you have an idea of how you are going to introduce and/or conclude your work, write it here. If you want, you can write your whole introduction and/or conclusion:

If you have already written your first draft for a compare-and-contrast assignment and would like some help in figuring out how to revise it, Check Your Work might help.

Are you curious about how other instructors design writing tasks that ask students to compare and contrast? CUNY Assignments has some samples.

Also, the Compare and Contrast Workshop has more Do Your Own sections to help you gather ideas for your assignment, find a main idea, and organize your compare-and-contrast writing project.

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