Writing Comparison-Contrast Essays guides your students step by step through the process of creating an essay that closely analyzes two topics, showing their similarities and differences. Students select topics from their studies (language arts, social studies, science, or math) or from personal interests. Instructions, activities, examples, interactives, and downloads help students research their topics and use three different organizational patterns to create their essays. You can present this unit right from your interactive whiteboard.
First students warm up their thinking by brainstorming the similarities and differences between themselves and a friend. Then students read a sample comparison-contrast essay to see how the parts work together. After responding to the sample essay, students work step by step through the process of comparing and contrasting in essays of their own.
- Prewriting activities help students select two interesting topics to compare and contrast. They can select topics from class content or personal interests. Students then research their topics, reviewing a variety of sources and gathering similarities and differences. Afterward, they write a thesis statement to focus their thinking about the topics.
- Writing activities help students develop a first draft that catches the reader's interest, introduces the topics, and thoroughly compares and contrasts them. Students learn effective explanatory strategies for beginnings, middles, and endings and read a sample essay by another student.
- Revising activities help students use parallel structure as they analyze their topics. They also learn to use effective transitions for comparing and contrasting. A peer review and a revising checklist help student complete their revisions.
- Editing activities help students correctly use comparative and superlative modifiers as well as punctuate compound sentences. An editing checklist guides students in correcting punctuation, capitalization, spelling, usage, and grammar.
- Publishing activities encourage students to share their clean final copies with others and reflect on what they have learned.