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Goal: To explore the similarities and differences between two texts.
Think about the arguments and evidence presented in each text. Try to identify each author's 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.
A. Restate thesis
B. Summarize how you proved your argument
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
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
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"
V. Second comparative point -- Charismatic qualities of each leader (same structure)
VI. Third comparative point -- Use of education and propaganda (same structure)VII. Conclusion