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Outlines for comparison contrast essay

Goal: To explore the similarities and differences between two texts.

To begin
Think about the arguments and evidence presented in each text. Try to identify each author's thesis statement.

Thesis Statement
The thesis statement of a comparison/contrast paper should contain an idea or claim that unites a discussion of the texts. The thesis statement should also include the argument that will be advanced in support of the claim that is being made.

Methods of Organization
Organization is critical to a Compare/Contrast paper. Because you will most likely be discussing a variety of evidence, you will have to be certain that your logic can be understood by the reader. Working from an outline might simplify your task and enable you to evaluate your own reasoning.

I. Introduction
A. Briefly introduce the significance of subjext matter
B. Thesis Statement
  • First supporting point
  • Second supporting point
  • Third supporting point II. First work
    A. Summary of work
  • Relationship of work to first point
  • Relationship of work to second point
  • Relationship of work to third point

    V. Conclusion
    A. Restate thesis
    B. Summarize how you proved your argument

    I. Introduction
    A. Briefly introduce significance of subject matter
    B. Thesis statement

    IV. First comparative point
    A. Relation of point to 1st work
    B. Relation of point to 2nd work

    VII. Conclusion
    A. Restate thesis
    B. Summarize how your proved your argument

    Let's look at a working example of the 2nd method, which is more commonly used.

    2nd method: Compare and contrast the Fascist regime created by Hitler and the Totalitarian system under Stalin, paying particular attention to their methods of creating and manipulating nationalism.

    I. Introduction
  • First work -- Hitler used parades, convention meetings and visual propaganda to unite a group of followers and create feelings of nationalism.
  • Second work -- Stalin also used visual propaganda to unite a group of followers; however, he also resorted to methods of mass terror, through purges and gulag camps, to create a feeling of Soviet nationalism.
  • Thesis statement -- In this paper I will argue that through the use of "brotherhood," charisma, education and propaganda, Hitler created stronger feelings of nationalism and loyalty among his followers than did Stalin, who relied far too much upon mass terror.

    II. Explain the Hitler regime, specifically the key characteristics that define it as a Fascist political system.

    III. Explain the Stalin regime, specifically the key characteristics that define it as a Totalitarian political system.

    IV. First comparative point -- How each leader made use of the concept of "brotherhood"
  • Relation of point to first work
  • Relation of point to second work
  • Use specific examples from the readings and texts to support your argument

    V. Second comparative point -- Charismatic qualities of each leader (same structure)

    VI. Third comparative point -- Use of education and propaganda (same structure)

    VII. Conclusion
  • Restate thesis
  • Brief summary of how you proved your argument
  • Contact me if you need assistance with your assignment.

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