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How to Contrast and Compare in an Essay

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How to compare and contrast essay

As you generate points of comparison, consider the purpose and content of the assignment and the focus of the class. What do you think the professor wants you to learn by doing this comparison/contrast? How does it fit with what you have been studying so far and with the other assignments in the course? Are there any clues about what to focus on in the assignment itself?
Here are some general questions about different types of things you might have to compare. These are by no means complete or definitive lists; they’re just here to give you some ideas—you can generate your own questions for these and other types of comparison. You may want to begin by using the questions reporters traditionally ask: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? If you’re talking about objects, you might also consider general properties like size, shape, color, sound, weight, taste, texture, smell, number, duration, and location.
Two historical periods or events
When did they occur—do you know the date(s) and duration? What happened or changed during each? Why are they significant? What kinds of work did people do? What kinds of relationships did they have? What did they value? What kinds of governments were there? Who were important people involved? What caused events in these periods, and what consequences did they have later on?
Two ideas or theories
What are they about? Did they originate at some particular time? Who created them? Who uses or defends them? What is the central focus, claim, or goal of each? What conclusions do they offer? How are they applied to situations/people/things/etc.? Which seems more plausible to you, and why? How broad is their scope? What kind of evidence is usually offered for them? Two people
Where are they from? How old are they? What is the gender, race, class, etc. of each? What, if anything, are they known for? Do…...

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