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Comparison/Contrast Essay

When you write about similarities and differences, you are writing a comparison/contrast essay.

thumbs up graphicGood Comparison/Contrast:

  • Uses subjects that have enough in common to be compared and or contrasted
  • Serves a purpose-either to help readers make a decision or understand the subjects being compared and/or contrasted
  • Presents several important, parallel points of comparison/contrast
  • Arranges points in a logical organization

Exercises & Handouts: These are 2 Venn Diagrams that you can use to see what your topics have in common and how they are different. Each circle represents one of your topics. In the area where the two circles intersect is where you can fill in their similarities. In the outside space of each circle is where you can fill in what makes each different from the other. One sample is a PDF file that you can print and use and the other is an interactive Venn Diagram that you can create using your computer.

PDF Venn Diagram (PDF document)
Interactive Venn Diagram (interactive)

*These Venn Diagrams come from the ReadWriteThink Web site which was established in April of 2002. It is a partnership between the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the MarcoPolo Education Foundation.

Sample Comparison/Contrast Essay:
Student Writing Sample - click the link to see a sample of a comparison/contrast essay.

Sample Rubric:
checklist graphicComparison/Contrast Writing Rubric (PDF document) - use this checklist to self-edit your comparison/contrast essay.

book cover imageCheck pages 202-204 in Writer's, INC. if you think you need help with any one of the criteria on the rubric.

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