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Teacher Tips and Answers

Revising Comparison-Contrast Essays

After you've completed a first draft of your comparison-contrast essay, take a break before you begin revising. You need to see your work objectively, because when you revise, you make big improvements to your ideas, organization, and voice. These activities will help you revise.

Revising from General to Specific

Your writing will sound more knowledgeable and interesting if you replace general ideas with specific facts that your readers might not already know.

  • General idea: Whales are really long.

  • Specific fact: Whales can grow up to 115 feet long.

  • General idea: Dolphins and whales use sounds.

  • Specific fact: Dolphins and whales use echolocation sounds to communicate and warn of danger.

Choose interesting facts.

Read the following facts about penguins. Underline the three most specific facts that a writer could use to sound more knowledgeable. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. Penguins use their black and white color as camouflage. Penguins use their black and white color as camouflage.
  2. Penguins are great swimmers and can move quickly in the water. Penguins are great swimmers and can move quickly in the water.
  3. The Gentoo Penguin can swim at speeds of 22 miles per hour. The Gentoo Penguin can swim at speeds of 22 miles per hour.
  4. All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere. All penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere.

Replace general ideas with interesting facts.

Replace at least two general ideas from your essay with specific facts. You may need to do new research to complete this activity. Check books and Web sites for new facts. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

This lesson is a part of the Writing Comparison-Contrast Essays unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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