National Drinking Age-should the drinking age be lowered or remain as is

 National Drinking Age-should the drinking age be lowered or remain as is

You HAVE to pick one or the other for your WHOLE essay

Essay Assignment #4

The Comparison/Contrast Essay

As stated on your first day handout, there will be an essay generated by each of the five sections that we will be covering. Your forth assignment directly connects to our comparison/contrast unit. There are specific characteristics to a comparison/contrast essay, which are listed below.

If you want to complete a topic not on this list, you MUST get my permission first!

You are not required to answer the questions provided with the topics. They are provided just to get you thinking about the topic in general.

Common Ground: Both items used for comparison must have some common ground. So do not compare a pizza with a Mustang; there will not be enough similar details to compare the two.

Well-Chosen Details: All of the details that you intend to include in your essay must be well-chosen. In other words, all details that are included should support your thesis statement.

Block Pattern: The block pattern first presents all of the points of comparison for one item and then all of the points of comparison for the other.

Alternating Pattern: The alternating pattern presents a point about one item, then follows with a corresponding point about the other.

Specific Requirements:

For your comparison essay, you will pick one of the topics listed below.

Approved topics:

Home Schooling-is it beneficial or detrimental to the child?

Media Violence-does media violence perpetuate violence? (Choose one type of media, i.e. video games, television, or movies).

National Drinking Age-should the drinking age be lowered or remain as is?

Sex Education-should students be required to take and pass a sexual education course in order to graduate?

War on drugs-has the “war on drugs” been successful in combating illegal drug use? You can focus on the “war on drugs,” or you may argue for or against the necessity for medical marijuana.

GMO (A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques)-should companies, such as Monsanto, be able to modify the genetic code of the foods we eat? Are there benefits to GMOs?

Breed Specific Legislation- should municipalities be allowed to ban certain dog breeds?

Paternity leave: Should men get paternity leave from work?

Beauty Pageants: Are beauty pageants exploitative?

Language: Should English be the official language in the United States?

Public Schools: Should public schools be all year round?

Censorship: Should parents and teachers be allowed to censor textbooks and other forms of literature for children in schools?

Concealed Weapons: Does carrying a concealed weapon decrease crime?

Euthanasia: Should people have the right to take their own lives when faced with a debilitating disease?

Source Requirements:

 You are to select two, scholarly articles about your chosen topic.

 The articles can be on any side of the debate; since, this essay is about the quality of the articles, NOT the topic.

 You are to find your articles through the OCC library (article and subject databases will be your best modes for finding quality articles for this essay).

 You are not to have any additional sources beyond the two articles you are comparing.

Page length:

 3-4 pages, no more, no less


 MLA format

o Overall formatting

o In-text citations

o Works cited page (not included in your 3-4 page count; in addition to)

Essay Outline:

1. Introduction

 Starts with a strong introductory strategy

 Provides any background information about your selected articles

 Your background should provide a concise summary of both articles

o Make sure you mention the authors’ full names and the title of the articles in your introduction. Afterwards, only use the authors’ last names when referring to the individual articles.

 End with a thesis statement

o Your thesis statement should indicate which article you believe was more successful in proving its argument (state the argument) and the 3 reasons you will use to support your claim:

o Smith’s article is more successful than Jones’s in arguing that homeschooling is an effective learning approach through her use of statistics, personal anecdotes, and fair presentation of the opposition.

o Your criteria have to focus on HOW the article is written, NOT on your opinion of the topic.

o You may use anything in the article as a criteria

§ facts

§ statistics

§ bias

§ personal anecdotes

§ author’s personal opinion

§ the fairness/unfairness of the information provided

§ the overall quality of the written material

§ the author’s use of the three rhetorical appeals:

§ ethos: the author’s credibility

§ pathos: the author’s use of emotion to sway the audience

§ logos: the author’s use of evidence

§ If you are in doubt as to whether or not you have selected quality criteria, please reach out to me.

2. Body paragraphs (Either block or alternating pattern, NOT both)

 Starts with a topic sentence or a transition, depending on the placement

 Each paragraph should develop one of your criteria.

 Each paragraph should be well-developed, unified, and clear.

 Ends with a concluding sentence

 You may have more than one paragraph per criteria

3. Conclusion

 “Wraps-up” the essay by providing a summary of the essay’s main points

 Paraphrases, restates the main point/thesis

 Ends with a strong concluding strategy

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