– Compare and contrast the effects of two events or two policies.
– Compare and contrast the qualities of two famous people.
– Compare and contrast two big ideas like democracy and totalitarianism.
This organizer should help you get your thoughts together before you write a compare/contrast essay.
Step #1: Identify the topic and the two “items” to be compared and contrasted.
Step #2: Brainstorm everything you know about each of the two items being compared… one at a time. Write down everything you know. Look for additional information in your resource materials (textbook, notebook, other). You can do this work on your own but you’ll get many more ideas if you do it with other students. If you’re doing it with another student, you could also split the task and then share your ideas. Have one person brainstorm everything s/he knows about one item and the other person brainstorm everything s/he knows about the other item. Then compare notes and add other ideas.
Step #3: Sort the features you came up with in Step #2 into two categories: the things that are the same for each of the two items and the things about each item that are different.
Step #4: Identify a conclusion you’ve come to about the relationship between the two items. In the “Conclusion” portion of the graphic organizer, answer the following three questions. Your answers will describe the relationship between the two items.
a. “Do similarities or differences exist between the two items?”
b. “What were the important areas of similarity and difference?”
c. “Was one of the items you compared and contrasted better, more important, more effective, or equal to the other item…………and why?”