One of the first things you need to do when thinking about writing the comparison/contrast
essay is think about why you would write one. Often, the thesis becomes the purpose statement, in which you call your reader's
attention to the fact that there may be similarities and differences between two things, but YOU want to show something in
particular to them. Remember, the audience determines what is included in the paper--and if you have a purpose for the topic
to be discussed, then you have a better handle on your audience's needs.
For example, you may want to help someone
decide whether to join the military or go to college out of high school. The audience would probably be 17 or 18, high school
senior and wondering what will happen after graduation. Your purpose should be more than just SHOWING the differences between
the two choices, but it should help them decide. You can either tell the audience in your thesis which "side" you believe
is the better choice (for them), or you could wait until after the essay is developed and reiterate the positive points of
one side or the other as part of the conclusion.
The following pages here have sample essays and hints for peer or