Using an alternating pattern, compare and contrast two objects, concepts, or ideas related to your field of study or a field of study that interests you.
Essay #2: Comparison-Contrast
Summary of assignment
Task: Using an alternating pattern, compare and contrast two objects, concepts, or ideas
related to your field of study or a field of study that interests you.
Length: 1000-1500 words
Sources: Minimum of 2
Outcomes you should achieve by completing this assignment
As you complete the tasks required for this assignment, you will be working towards the various
• Write a comparison-contrast essay to inform or persuade an audience on a main idea
expressed in a thesis statement (Course outcome 1)
• Develop focused body paragraphs in support of the thesis statement, following the
alternating pattern of organization (Course outcome 2)
• Select sources, use them to support your ideas, and document them in APA style
(Course outcome 4)
• Demonstrate accurate grammar and mechanics in writing (Course outcome 3)
• Participate in the process of receiving feedback and revising your writing (Course
Choosing a topic
When choosing a topic for this essay, ask yourself, “Does it make sense to compare/contrast these two
subjects? What might I accomplish through this comparison?”
Here are some examples:
• Joseph is considering comparing correspondence courses with online courses. He knows they
are both methods of distance learning, but he is not sure what distinguishes them. By
researching and writing this essay, he will learn – and explain to readers – what correspondence
courses and online courses have in common and how they are different. This is a good topic.
• Sharisse is considering comparing cash accounting and accrual accounting. She knows both are
ways to track transactions, but the essay will help her – and her readers – understand their
differences and when it might be appropriate to use one or the other. This is a good topic.
At the end of these instructions is a list of possible topics to get you started.
After you have selected your two subjects of comparison, you will need to identify at least three points
of comparison/contrast. These are the dimensions that you will use to compare/contrast your two
subjects. Here are some possible points of comparison for the example topics given above:
• In comparing and contrasting correspondence courses and online courses, one might examine
(1) the media and technology used to deliver course material, (2) students’ interaction with the
teacher, and (3) students’ interaction with other students.
• In comparing and contrasting cash accounting and accrual accounting, one might look at (1)
when transactions are recorded in each method, (2) the tax implications of each method, and
(3) in what contexts each method is most commonly used.
Organizing and supporting your essay
Organize your essay into several paragraphs, including the following:
• an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement
• body paragraphs that support the thesis statement
o The body paragraphs must follow the alternating pattern of organization, as
taught in class and shown in Slide 13 of this
o The body paragraphs must be supported by referring to the two (or more)
sources on your reference list. Quote and/or paraphrase your sources, and
include citations, as taught in class.
• a concluding paragraph
Support your ideas with at least two sources. Include in-text citations whenever you use your
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