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Homework answers / question archive / English Composition: Compare and Contrast Essay Topic: To live in a dorm on campus vs

English Composition: Compare and Contrast Essay Topic: To live in a dorm on campus vs


English Composition: Compare and Contrast Essay

Topic: To live in a dorm on campus vs. renting an apartment off-campus.

There are two ways to write a compare/contrast essay. The writer may choose to separate the paragraphs, as done in the consecutive method or he/she can organize the points on a point-by-point basis, such as done in the simultaneous method. To write effectively, in both models, one must assure there are equal supporting points for both subjects in the comparison and contrasting paragraphs


For example:
In the consecutive method, you present your information on one of the subjects you are comparing and then, introduced by an appropriate transition word or phrase (such as similarly or on the other hand), you present the corresponding information for the second component of the comparison. The consecutive method allows you to have a paragraph for each item that you are comparing.

The points covered in each part of consecutive organization may follow the same order (A  1, 2, 3  + B 1, 2, 3 ) or they may follow an inverted order as in the model paragraph below (A 1, 2, 3 +B 3, 2, 1): compact (gas mileage, handling, and space); transition; SUV (space, handling, and gas mileage.)

     When the average American family goes to buy a new car, it is faced with a difficult decision because of the variety of automobiles. Not all, however, are suitable for the "average" family, with its middle income and 2.3 children. The flashy sports car and the luxury limousine are not practical in this instance. After weeding out the impossibilities, most families have to choose between the SUV and the compact, both of which have good and bad features. 


The compact gets excellent gas mileage, (from thirty to forty miles per gallon), and with the price of gasoline climbing rapidly toward $3.00 per gallon, this is no small consideration. For this reason, the compact would make an excellent second car to use on those around town errands without spending a fortune on gas. It would also make a good car for a teenager to take out on a date because he could spend his money on his girl rather than on gas. Handling is another positive factor. The compact's size almost guarantees maneuverability in traffic and the ability to squeeze into those halfspaces in the parking lot. Any city driver can appreciate easy handling in rush hour traffic. Lack of interior space is somewhat of a drawback. For the large family, the car pool, or the long vacation this car is not ideal. Four adults can fit in a compact—if they are not too tall. As for luggage, well, the owner had better plan to travel light.

The SUV, on the other hand, would be excellent for the large family, the car pool, or the long vacation. It has plenty of room to seat six adults with room left over for luggage, the family dogs, or sundries. For the family that needs plenty of space in a car, the SUV would be ideal. Obviously, this large size means handling is somewhat awkward. For scooting around town or finding a parking space at the ball game, this large car is a liability. Also owing to its size, the SUV does not get the gas mileage a compact does and the owner can expect to make more frequent trips to the pump. This factor would be a drawback in using this car as a second car for running around town in, and the poor teenager who has to take this car on a date had better find a girl satisfied with watching cars go through the carwash and getting a burger afterward.


Choosing between these two cars is a matter of what the family members want. If they want good mileage and handling but don't need much interior space, then the compact is ideal. If the family is more concerned with the amount of room inside the car than with the other two factors, then the SUV is the car for them. (CONCLUSION)



The simultaneous method uses a point-by-point comparison.  Each point of comparison appears with each component being compared simultaneously, within the same paragraph: gas mileage, compact/SUV.  This method allows the writer to combine both items, and their supporting details, into one paragraph; however, if you have 3 details, you must have 3 paragraphs in the essay’s body. So, the first paragraph would be about the compact car and SUV’s gas mileage. The second paragraph would discuss the handling differences between the compact and SUV. The third paragraph would then be a paragraph discussing the passenger space in both cars.



Your task:


Use one of the following four introductory paragraphs ideas as a start to you and your partner’s creation of a comparison and contrast essay.  Please create your essay using the consecutive method.  You will need to agree upon the supporting elements prior to starting your research.  Your essay should include this introduction, your supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.  UNDERLINE the thesis statement (your main, controlled idea with your supporting points).     


The following is a list of topic examples for your essay. 
Note: You and your partner must agree on the topic choice.  After you have your chosen topic, determine who will write what paragraphs.  This essay can be easily divided (one student take the introductory paragraph and the first main idea, while his/her partner writes the next paragraph and the conclusion. Then, it is just a matter of connecting them together using transitions and proofreading to revise).


1.  Most students are required to keep a paper portfolio, which contains all their work in college. However, today, more and more students are being asked to keep their portfolio in electronic format. Online and paper-based portfolios both have advantages and disadvantages.



2.  When the average college student elects to purchase a new phone, he or she is faced with a difficult decision because of the variety of telephones available.  Not all, however, are suitable for the “average” college student, with limited income and numerous calls made. Most college students easily narrow their choices through phone features, phone costs, and tower ranges.


3.  Today, many colleges are asking students to keep all their work online. Students, who are on a relatively fixed income, must determine the computer and software used early in their college education. After determining what is not practical for their educational needs, most students choose between a desktop PC or a laptop model, both of which have good and bad elements.


4.  Work, children, and preparing dinner are some of the concerns families with two working parents have to contend with. One solution to this dilemma is to hire a maid. Or is it? Although a maid and stay-at-home mother can have many similar functions, there are equally as many differences.

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