When you synthesize two or
more texts in an essay, you find connections between the texts.
You create a dialogue of sorts between the texts, showing how they
�speak� to each other.
is the purpose of synthesis?
Synthesis is a common
academic exercise. When you
synthesize texts, you come to a new or deeper understanding of those texts and
the ideas within them. When you look
at the ideas in one text alone, you focus only on your interpretation of that
particular author�s ideas. When
you open your analysis up to two or more texts, you can see the ideas in a new
light by looking at how multiple authors complement and/or contradict each
is synthesis different from compare and contrast?
In some ways, these two
activities are similar. But think of
synthesis as going beyond compare and contrast; in general, it is a more complex
intellectual task. Instead of
looking at two separate things and finding similarities or differences, you
focus on how these two things (texts, in this case) actually work together to create a deeper understanding of a theme or idea.
should I organize a synthesis essay?
Because you want to show a
strong connection between the texts and maintain that throughout your essay, I
would encourage you to follow the general organizational pattern below.
Notice that you�re going back and forth, from one text to the other, so
that connection is always there.
Introduction (introduce theme,
texts, thesis statement)
First point about the theme
Text #1�s perspective
on/treatment of that theme
Text #2�s perspective
on/treatment of that theme
Second point about the theme
Text #1�s perspective
on/treatment of that theme
Text #2�s perspective
on/treatment of that theme
may choose to focus on more than two points.
The number of points you develop should be dictated by the content of
your thesis, not by a formula. Because
of this, the number of points in each essay will vary from student to
on the complexity of your suppor
points, you may choose to write a paragraph
that introduces the point in general, then follow with a separate paragraph
for each text that develops the point.
depending on the complexity and number of your suppor
points, you may choose to write a paragraph
that introduces the point in general, then follow that with a paragraph (or
paragraphs) that refer to both
texts (in the same paragraph).
Sample synthesis thesis
Both Rudolfo Anaya, in Bless
Me, Ultima, and Allan Johnson, in Privilege,
Power, and Difference, argue that by taking a path of greater
resistance, people can fight against societal injustice.
In Bless Me, Ultima, the
characters of Antonio and Ultima challenge the choice of taking a path of least
resistance, as introduced by Johnson, by standing up against injustices.
Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston challenges the controlling image of the
lotus blossom as introduced by Yen Le Esperitu in �Ideological Racism and
George Orwell, in his classic
an Elephant,� describes how, as a police
officer for the British Imperial government, he acted against his own desires to
salvage his pride. In �Just Walk
On By� Brent Staples reveals how, as a black man, he has come to change his
behavior because white people are uncomfortable with his presence.
In critically examining these two essays together, it becomes clear that
both Orwell and Staples understand that most behavior is motivated by concerns
for how others view or judge us.
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- Glendale Community College
- English 191 – WRITING WORKSHOP II – Zimbler
English 191 – WRITING WORKSHOP II – Zimbler
ENGLISH 191: Writing Workshop II
Instructor: Joanne Zimbler Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: M,W,F 9:00-10:00 am (and by appointment) LB 217
Required Text: Foundations First – Kirszner, Mandell 4th Edition
Recommended text: college level dictionary
English 191 is designed for students who need to practice writing thoughtful and well organized short compositions in standard English. Conducted as a writing workshop, the class involves reading and discussion of lively articles, stories, and possibly longer works. The course will help you increase your familiarity with the style and organizational format of written English and improves your ability to compose, edit, and revise sentences, paragraphs, and short compositions. Writing is one of the most essential skills you will need to be successful in your professional and personal life. The assignments and readings we will cover this semester will strengthen your abilities and confidence as both a reader and a writer. I am here to help you succeed in this course. You are highly encouraged to meet with me throughout the semester, especially if you are having difficulty with the material.
Course Exit Standards
Upon successful completion of the required coursework, the student will be able to: 1. Analyze short essays (approximately 2-6 paragraphs in length) to identify thesis, topic, developmental and concluding sentences, as well as transitional expressions used to increase coherence; 2. Evaluate compositions for unity, sufficiency of development, evidence, coherence, and variety of sentence structure;;
- Organize and write an essay which: a) addresses the topic and is directed by a thesis statement b) has an introduction, body, and conclusion and demonstrates a basic understanding of essay organization c) shows some awareness of critical thinking and linkage of evidence with assertion;; d) develops ideas, moving from general to specific e) is easy to read and follow, though some errors in grammar, mechanics, spelling, or diction may exist f) uses a variety of sentence types
Student Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course the student will be able to: 1. analyze a short essay or passage such as the final exam prompt demonstrating knowledge of thesis, topic, developmental and concluding sentences, and transitional expressions 2. write a multi-paragraph length essay which addresses the topic, applies knowledge of essay organization conventions, and demonstrates a growing awareness of critical thinking through its development of ideas. Essay is also easy to read and follow 3. assess a composition for unity, development, evidence, and coherence
If you wish to be successful in English 191 (and beyond!), you must maintain regular attendance. It is very important that you do not miss class, or you will quickly become lost. If you are absent, you are still responsible for the material we covered. Please befriend a student whom you can contact for this information. Please do not email me to ask what you missed! If you do, I will refer you to the syllabus.
-You are allowed no more than three absences. Three tardies/early departures will equal one absence. If you are absent more than three times, I may exclude you from the class. -‐If you decide to drop this class, it is your responsibility to perform the necessary action via the Internet or Admissions. -‐This course will be based upon students’ needs; therefore our schedule is tentative.
If you are absent, you need to hand in the assignment the day you return. Essays will lose two points for class session they are late.
I do not accept work over the Internet, but I’m more than happy to answer questions about the material or meet with you individually to discuss your progress. Cell phones and electronic devices must be turned off at all times. No beeping, buzzing or texting! It is extremely distracting and disrespectful to your fellow students. Please recycle and throw away your own litter. Lastly, be respectful of your fellow students and teacher.
Please bring the required text, a notebook, and pen to each class. We will practice grammar together as a group; you must have the book with you to do this.
Flash drive for transporting the documents we work on in class.
English 191 is a four-‐unit course; the final grades are PASS/NO PASS. A missing assignment or a plagiarized one will receive an automatic 0. Please monitor your own progress, but feel free to meet with me at any point if you have questions about your grades or where you stand in this course. All take-‐home essays must be typed.
Your grade depends on:
6 Grammar quizzes ( 35 points each) 220 points
3 essay outlines (10 points each) 30 points
7 essays (out of class and in class) 294 points
Participation/ Attendance: 50 points
Final exam: 100 points
Pass = 485 points and above
No Pass= 484 points or below
*Students with a verified disability who may need any reasonable accommodation for this class are encouraged to notify me and contact the Center for Students with Disabilities at 818.240.1000, extension 5905 . All information will remain confidential.
*The schedule is subject to change (I will notify you ahead of time of any changes).
Wed 2/20 Introductions/ Review syllabus / Exchange emails with a classmate HW: Bring textbook to class on Friday
Fr 2/22: Writing & grammar diagnostic (no grade given)
M 2/25 Review diagnostics/ pg.27-49
W 2/27 Introduce the paragraph p. 51-72
Fr 3/1 Continue the paragraph p. 74-98
M 3/4 Grammar: the simple sentence p.217-222
W 3/6 Continue the paragraph / Finish the simple sentence p. 223-229/ Begin out of class – narration writing assignment #1
Fr 3/8 In class writing
M 3/11 Finish the paragraph/ Simple sentence quiz #1/ peer review of writing assignment #1
W 3/13 Introduce verbs p/ 365-379
Fr 3/15 In class writing / narration assignment #1 due
M 3/18 Continue verbs p. 380-396 / Begin out of class description writing assignment #2
W 3/20 Nouns and pronouns p.397-430 work on writing assignment #2
Fr 3/22 In class writing
M 3/25 Begin fragments p. 306-316
W 3/27 Continue fragments p. 317-324/ Nouns and Verbs quiz #2
Fr 3/29 In class writing – In class writing assignment #1 due
M 4/1 peer review of writing assignment #2
W 4/3 Finish fragments p. 325-327/ Spelling p. 530-540
Fr 4/5 In class writing/ description assignment #2 due
M 4/8 Begin classification essay – out of class writing assignment #3
W 4/10 work on classification essay and fragments
Fr 4/12 Fragments quiz; in class writing
SPRING BREAK – NO CLASS
M 4/22 Introduce compound sentence p.230-238
W 4/24 Continue compound sentence p. 239-247/
Fr 4/26 In class writing
M 4/29 Finish compound sentence/ Introduce adjectives and adverbs p. 431-435
W 5/1 peer review of classification essay due – writing assignment #3 Begin writing assignment #4; adjectives and adverbs p. 436-445
Fr 5/3 classification essay due; in class writing
M 5/6 / Finish adjectives and adverbs p.436-445/
W 5/8 Begin argument essay- writing assignment #4
Fr 5/10 In class writing – In class writing compare/contrast essay due; compound sentneces and adjectives/adverbs quiz
M 5/13 Introduce run-ons p. 289-295
W 5/15 Continue run-ons p.296-395
Fr 5/17 In class writing – exemplification essay
M 5/20 Introduce complex sentence p. 248-253/ Prep for final exam
W 5/22 Run-ons quiz #5/ Finish complex sentence p. 254-260/ Prep for final exam
Fr 5/24 In class writing / in class writing – exempification essay due
M 5/27 Memorial Day – no class
W 5/29 complex sentence quiz #6/ Introduce fine tuning sentences p. 261-265 / Prep for final exam / peer editing for argument essay – writing assignment #4 Continue fine tuning sentences p.266-277
F 5/31 prep for final exam
M 6/3 grammar final arguement essay #4 due
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- Last Updated: Aug 28, 2017 9:32 AM
- URL: https://campusguides.glendale.edu/zimbler
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This Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Will Help You Beat Writer’s Block
It’s paralyzing. Moving forward seems impossible, and self-doubt creeps in. You feel like a lost puppy, unsure of what to do next.
When writer’s block strikes, it can be doggone demoralizing. But the good news is that an outline is your best friend for getting organized and ready to write.
In this post, I’ll show you how to develop a compare and contrast essay outline that lets you kick writer’s block to the curb and craft a structurally sound essay about anything.
Let’s start with making sure everyone’s on the same page about what makes up a compare and contrast essay. Ready?
What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay?
In the simplest terms, a compare and contrast essay takes two subjects (i.e., objects, events, people, or places)—closely related or vastly different—and focuses on what about them is the same or what’s different or focuses on a combination of similarities and differences.
It’s not, however, just a simple comparison – that’d be too easy, right?
It must serve a larger purpose by doing one of the following:
- State something unknown.
- Clear up a misunderstanding.
- Show that one thing is superior to another.
- Lead to a new way of doing/seeing/understanding something.
- Argue a point with supported facts.
There are several formats for writing a compare and contrast essay , but I’ll use point-by-point organization to make my outline.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Point-by-Point Organization
The point-by-point comparison focuses on comparing and contrasting one aspect about both subjects at the same time.
It’s typically easier for readers to follow this structure. It provides a clear, easy-to-follow structure. To keep things simple, I’ll use a 5-paragraph essay structure to create a compare and contrast essay outline.
The outline consists of three parts:
- Body Paragraphs
- The first difference between subjects
- The second difference between subjects
- The third difference between subjects
Now that you have the basic structure down, let’s break down the components using my two favorite four-legged beasts: Molly and Morgan.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Introduction
The introduction is where you introduce your topic both in broad and specific terms. It’s also where make your thesis statement. The thesis statement provides the main point of or ideas within your essay.
The introduction has three key elements. I’ll go through each separately.
1. Introduction to the main topic
To introduce your main topic, you ideally want to start with a hook sentence and then detail the specifics of the topic itself.
Comparing and contrasting Morgan and Molly, my opening lines to introduce the topic might read something like this:
“Do opposites really attract? The law of attraction says they do, but is this phenomenon limited to humans? It’s definitely not, nor is it limited to romantic relationships. Dogs with drastically different personalities and habits form close attachments all the time.”
2. Specific subjects to compare and contrast
Next you need to identify who or what you’re comparing and contrasting specifically under the main topic and theme.
The next lines in my introduction might look something like this:
“The dogs in my household, while similar in many ways simply because they’re dogs, are vastly different creatures. Molly is a 70-pound bully who likes to pounce, lick, and paw at canines and humans until she gets her way. Morgan, on the other hand, is a 50-pound sweetheart who is content with whatever is going on. Despite their differences, the two dogs are strongly attached to one another.”
3. Thesis statement
Finally, to wrap up your intro, you want to express the specific aspects you’re comparing and contrasting. This provides a clear idea of where your essay is going.
My thesis statement focuses on three specific habits/characteristics of my rambunctious dogs. It might be something like this:
“Most notably, Molly and Morgan differ in how they accessorize, what their favorite toys are, and how they deal with downtime, yet the two have a strong bond as ‘sisters’ who cuddle at every opportunity.”
Whew! The introduction is often the toughest part. It’s where you’ll lay out the structure of your essay. (For this reason, it’s usually a good idea to write the introduction last.) Since that’s done, we’ll move on to Part B, the body paragraphs.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: The Body Paragraphs
Since I’m focusing on just three aspects about Molly and Morgan, I’ll have three body paragraphs. Under the point-by-point organization for a compare and contrast essay outline, you’ll need as many paragraphs as the number of aspects you’re comparing and contrasting.
Each paragraph will have a topic sentence focused on the aspect you’re comparing and contrasting. Each paragraph will also have two details about each subject as they relate to the aspect:
Body paragraph #1
The topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. The topic sentence of my first paragraph might look like this:
Aspect #1 – Topic sentence: “The first difference between Molly and Morgan is the way they accessorize; while both are budding fashionistas, each of the girls has her own personal style.”
If you can ignore their cuteness (yup, I’m biased, but you have to admit they’re pretty adorable, right?), we’ll dive into the two details for each dog. My detail sentences might look like this:
Subject #1: Molly
- Detail #1: “Molly takes the sporty approach and is perfectly content with her owner’s baseball cap firmly on her head.”
- Detail #2: “Her choice in headwear is indicative of the brute, in-your-face interactions with her sister and owners.”
Subject #2: Morgan
- Detail #1: “On the other hand, Morgan prefers the downhome, classic country look of a bandana.”
- Detail #2: “Her accessory preference speaks to her humble, attention-loving and passive demeanor.”
See how easy crafting a paragraph is when you break it down?
You could write paragraphs in your sleep now, right? No? Okay, let’s do the same thing for the second and third body paragraphs.
Body paragraph #2
Aspect #2 – Topic sentence: “Another difference between the girls is their favorite toys; even though they are both equally protective of their favorites, their choices contradict their personalities.”
Subject #1: Molly
- Detail #1: “Molly prefers to cuddle up with her favorite stuffed animal (which changes over time as she eats them).”
- Detail #2: “She often can be found protectively cuddling the stuffed animal in her sleep and making sure her owners give it plenty of love, too, by pushing the drool-covered plush in their faces at any opportunity.”
Subject #2: Morgan
- Detail #1: “Conversely, Morgan prefers the traditional rawhide bone.”
- Detail #2: “She will growl, snarl, and bare teeth to protect it from anyone (even her owners!).”
Two body paragraphs down – only one to go. If you’re struggling, just take a breather.
Take your time, and work through the outline one section at a time if you need to.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your compare and contrast essay outline doesn’t have to be either (unless you’re a procrastinator).
Body paragraph #3:
Now we’ll look at my third body paragraph. The final body paragraph wraps up the last aspect identified in the thesis. Mine might be constructed something like this:
Aspect #3 – Topic Sentence: “The final difference between the two pups is how they deal with downtime, more specifically, their ability to just chill while ignoring (or not ignoring) distractions.”
Subject #1: Molly
- Detail #1: “Molly isn’t content unless she’s getting attention, even if that attention is simply having a warm human body next to her; she’s frequently found flopping on the couch looking pensive and bored out of her pay-attention-to-me-now-or-I-will-lick-your face-endlessly mind.
- Detail #2: “While it’s sometimes possible to catch a photo-op with her sandwiched between pillows wearing a pleading look, breaking out the camera usually produces a face-licking attack before the shot is even focused.”
Subject #2: Morgan
- Detail #1: “Morgan, however, handles downtime differently. Perfectly content without constant attention, Morgan takes it as an opportunity to curl up and catch some ZZZs.”
- Detail #2: “A heavy sleeper who snores and runs in her sleep while dreaming of chasing squirrels, Morgan is happy sleeping for hours and is undisturbed by camera flashes and clicks.”
That’s it. The body paragraphs are complete. Not so bad, was it?
While I had three body paragraphs, your outline might have only two. Or it might have five. It depends on the number of points you’re comparing and contrasting.
Now we’re ready to wrap things up with the conclusion.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Conclusion
Hot diggity dog! If you’ve made it this far, you’re in the home stretch—developing the conclusion of your compare and contrast essay outline.
The conclusion is the easiest part. You’ve already set the stage for it with your thesis statement and body paragraphs. It’s just a matter of putting it all together while focusing on three areas:
1. Summary of main points
First, you want to summarize your main points. It’s more than a simple summary, though. You want to synthesize your thesis with the information in your body paragraphs.
I might summarize with a few sentences like this:
“In conclusion, these three aspects clearly show how Molly and Morgan go about their doggy lives in different ways. While Molly likes to accessorize with baseball caps, cuddle with stuffed animals, and sit around looking bored, Morgan prefers rawhide bones, relaxing solo, and sleeping contently whenever she can.”
Next, you want to evaluate what you’ve discussed or talk about possible future developments.
This is where you show the greater purpose of your topic. Your conclusion should answer one question: What does it all mean?
As you work on this part, keep in mind that your conclusion should bring things full circle to your introduction.
My compare and contrast essay outline requires just focusing on an evaluation.
My evaluation sentences might look something like this:
“In some ways, the differences parallel their personalities—Molly as a brute and Morgan as a sweetheart. The differences also show how both dogs sometimes stray from their normal behavior, notably through how they interact with their favorite toys. Taken collectively, however, their differences don’t stop the law of attraction from coming into play. Though they like a different look, like to play with different toys, and like to relax differently, they adore each other and cuddle up together at every opportunity.”
Finally, you need to show the significance of the differences. What was your end goal in showing the differences? (Hint: Refer back to your introduction and thesis statement if you’re stuck here.)
I might use one sentence to show the significance, tie everything back to the intro, and create finality all in one swoop by writing something like this:
“This shows that opposites really do attract—even among canines.”
Download Template for Your Own Compare and Contrast Outline
Have your own compare and contrast essay to write? Make the process easier, and banish writer’s block by downloading this compare and contrast essay outline in MS Word or PDF format to get started.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template (.doc)
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template (PDF)
Whether you’re ready to write or still flushing out your topic, using an outline keeps you on-task. It keeps you on-topic to create a logical, easy-to-follow format.
Additional Help for Your Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
Still struggling? Try reading some completed example compare and contrast essays . If that doesn’t work or you’re still feeling a bit unsure, read more about this type of essay .
Finally, don’t forget about editing and proofreading! Even the best writers make mistakes or have difficulty recognizing weak points in their own writing .
If you’re aiming to put your best paw—err draft—forward, have one of our talented Kibin editors edit your essay for grammar, logic, clarity, and flow.
Write on, and best of luck!
Psst… 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays .