AP Language & Composition

Comparison Contrast Notes
Hawthorne Biography
Scarlet Letter Criticism
In Depth...Machiavelli Biography
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Vocabulary Lesson 1
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Vocabulary Lesson 3
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AP Practice Test Calendar
Multi Choice Tips and Hints
Ethos, Pathos, Logos - The Foundation of Argument
AP Language & Composition
Your Study Habits
Tone and Attitudes
Active Reading and Annotation
AP Prose Style Calendar
AP Prose Style Chapter Outlines 1-6
AP Prose Style Chapters 7-12
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Glossary Presentations How To
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Passage Analysis Quick Guide
Patterns of Development Schedule, Term 2
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Comparison Contrast Notes
Classification and Division
Cause and Effect
Outside Reading Schedules/Booklists (scroll all the way down)
Persuasive Speech/Researched Argument
They Say/I Say
They Say I Say Slides Introduction
Cornell Notes How To
Creative Writing


Prepare your notes this way


Explanatory: makes subjects clear through similarities and differences; does not take a position on the relative merit of the subjects.

Evaluative: establishes subjects’ advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses; takes a position on the subjects and usually concludes with a preference or course of action.

*Comparison must treat two or more subjects in same general class or group.
Class likeness ensures that subjects share enough features to make comparison worthwhile

EX: Points of comparison for diets may be forbidden foods, allowed foods, speed of weight loss, nutritional quality.

Points of Comparison:
using division to identify the features shared by the subject (attributes of the class)

Thesis(controlling idea):
governs choice of class, points of comparison, specific similarities and differences while making the comparison worthwhile to the reader.

Explanatory Thesis:
Though rugby requires less strength and more stamina then American football, the two games are very much alike in their strategies and rules.

Evaluative Thesis:
The two diets result in similarly rapid weight lost,but Harris’ require much more self-discipline and is nutritionally much riskier than Marcini’s.

*Generally, give subjects equal emphasis when they are equally familiar or are being evaluated.

*Generally, stress similarities and differences equally when all the point of comparison are equally familiar or important.


*Subject-by-subject: group the points of comparison under each subject so that the subjects are covered one at a time-good for comparing impressions of subjects.


In a subject-by-subject arrangement, if you devote two paragraphs to the first subject, do the same for the second subject.


Try to cover the points of comparison in the same order and group the same ones in paragraphs.

Point-by-point: group subjects under each point of comparison so that the points are covered one at a time- good for longer papers requiring precision.


Balance the paragraphs as you move back and forth between subjects

If you treat several points of comparison for the first subject in one paragraph, do the same for the second subject


If you apply a single point of comparison to both subjects in one paragraph, do the same for the next point of comparison.


Are especially important with comparison/contrast

When shifting between subjects finding resemblances, use…






When finding differences, use…



In contrast






When you are moving on to a new point, use…

In addition





This way of drafting…

Helps you achieve balance in your comparison

Helps you see where you may need more information to flesh out your subjects and your points.


The draft starts to sound too rigid,

You can loosen it up as you go.

Write down these questions about comparison/contrast writing

Are your subjects drawn from the same class?

Does your essay have a clear purpose and say something significant about the subject?

Do you apply all points of comparison to both subjects?

Does the pattern of comparison suit your reader’s needs and the complexity of the material?

The End




If a handout is available online (e.g., a newspaper article) I might include the appropriate link to the information students need on this page.