Compare and Contrast Essay
Step 1: Choose from the list of 1920’s fads and issues a topic that you will be able to
compare and contrast to today. Choose a topic that interests you, for you will be
doing additional research on your topic in the computer lab. Also, you don’t
want to be bored by the end of the process. When you write about something
interesting, you are more likely to write a better paper.
Step 2: Choose two similarities and two differences that you will focus on in your paper.
Step 3: Choose the format of your paper – alternating or block (these will be covered in
class). The essay needs to by typed (12 point, Times font, double-spaced).
Step 4: Create an essay that compares and contrasts the two works. The first step to a
great academic essay is a strong thesis statement. Some guidelines for your
Suppose you are taking a course on 19th-century America, and the instructor
hands out the following essay assignment: Compare and contrast the reasons why the
North and South fought the Civil War. You turn on the computer and type out the
The North and South fought the Civil War for many reasons, some of which were
the same and some different.
This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information. You
will expand on this new information in the body of the essay, but it is important that the
reader know where you are heading. A reader of this weak thesis might think, "What
reasons? How are they the same? How are they different?" Ask yourself these same
questions and begin to compare Northern and Southern attitudes (perhaps you first think,
"The South believed slavery was right, and the North thought slavery was wrong"). Now,
push your comparison toward an interpretation—why did one side think slavery was right
and the other side think it was wrong? You look again at the evidence, and you decide
that you are going to argue that the North believed slavery was immoral while the South