Compare/Contrast essay provides the chance for you to find the similarities in things and the differences between things. Do not, however, confuse this essay for a checklist. The C/C essay allows you to argue for a purpose: to explain similarities and differences between two things; or to choose between two things (or evaluate them). The subjects must have a clear basis for comparison: two ways of paying for college; two schools of political thought; two ways of recycling, etc. This is where the old adage comes from: “You can’t compare apples with oranges.”
Read Greenfield, “An Argument Against Veganism…,” pp. 609-614, as an example of a C/C essay.
As with any other argument, you must have a thesis that explains WHY you are comparing/contrasting two subjects. What is your purpose? What do you hope to uncover or evaluate by comparing/contrasting? For example, you might compare/contrast two movies to persuade your friend to see one and not the other. You might compare/contrast two ways of paying for college to explain the various ways a person could go about it.
It’s important to organize your essay in a clear, understandable manner: either subject by subject or point by point. Subject by subject would explain all the advantages and disadvantages of paying for college using loans; then it would explain all the advantages and disadvantages of paying for college by getting a job. Point by point organization would take up the individual advantages (loans: have more time for school work, don’t have to be paid until after college is complete; easy to apply for) and THEN take up all the disadvantages before doing the same thing with getting a job. I strongly encourage you to write an outline, no matter how brief, to organize your thoughts before you start writing. Don’t forget a good title!
This 750 word (minimum) essay can be written without sources. If you decide to use sources, provide a Works Cited page and in-text citations (see Chapter 22: Documenting Sources). It is due June 26 at midnight.

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