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Compare and Contrast Essay
Instructions and Ideas
What the Heck is It?
• The compare/contrast essay discusses the similarities
and differences between two things, people, concepts,
places, etc.
• The essay could be an unbiased discussion, or an
attempt to convince the reader of the benefits of one
thing, person, or concept.
• It could also be written simply to entertain the reader, or
to arrive at an insight into human nature.
• The essay could discuss both similarities and
differences, or it could just focus on one or the other.
• A comparison essay usually discusses the similarities
between two things, while the contrast essay usually
discusses the differences
• YOU ARE DOING BOTH
Prompts
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1. Compare and contrast your home town/country the way it was when you were a
kid, and the way it was now.
2. Compare and contrast two cities with which you are familiar.
3. Being a student is far better than being a worker. Do you agree? Explain.
4. Women today have more benefits than they did long ago. Do you agree? Explain.
5. Soccer is just as dangerous as football. Do you agree? Explain.
6. Compare fast-food restaurants, such as MacDonald’s, Taco Bell, Carl’s Jr., etc. to
sit-down, or family restaurants, such as Claim Jumper, Macaroni Grill, Spaghetti
Eddie’s, etc.
7. Compare and Contrast the way you have been raised to that of your peers. Do
you think that your parent’s were more strict or concerned than other
parents? Provide specific examples of similarities and differences.
8. Today’s television has been under fire in the past few years as it becomes more
violent, graphic, and, as some would argue, obscene. For this essay, interview a
person who is at least 25 years older than you, and compare and contrast the
television shows that he/she grew up with verses the television shows that teenagers
watch today. Some items that you may wish to explore include music videos, talk
shows, reality shows, cartoons, and other “children’s” shows.
9. Differentiate between two of your favorite TV programs.
10. Compare and Contrast two different careers.
Format
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MLA
Five paragraphs
Rough draft due: Friday, October 12th
Final paper due to turnitin.com
– Sunday, October 21st ; 8:00 p.m.
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