Cause/Effect or Comparison/Contrast Essay

Write either a comparison/contrast or cause/effect essay.

Write a comparison/contrast essay in which you contrast two things, X and Y, making one of the following arguments about them:

Contrary to what many people think, X is better than Y
Many people think that X and Y are different, while, in fact, they are quite alike
Many people think that X and Y are similar, while they are actually different
You need to develop your essay by comparing X and Y in important areas or categories. You should elaborate on each of these categories or areas in each one of your body paragraphs. For example, the sample essay “Virtues of Being Older” compares younger and older people in terms of three categories, 1. Appearance, 2. Life choices, 3. Self-concept.

Cause and Effect:

Choose an issue about the causes or consequences of a trend, event, or phenomenon.

Write an essay in which you explain the causes or consequences of your chosen phenomenon. You can imagine your issue either as a puzzle or as a disagreement. If a puzzle, your task will be to create a convincing case for an audience that doesn’t have an answer to your causal question. If a disagreement, your task will be to persuade your audience to accept your explanation rather than those of others. The sample essay “Americans and Food” treats the question of changing American food habits more like a puzzle and tries to offer a good answer for it. An example for disagreement about a causal issue can be found in the debate about the low number of female students in math and sciences. While some people believe that this low number is caused by biology, others believe that it is caused by culture. Elaborate on each of your effects and causes in a separate body paragraph.

For this paper it is mandatory that you see and work with our tutor, Danielle. If you meet with her, you will get 5 bonus points. If you don’t go and see her, you’ll lose 5 points from your grade for the paper. Bring a double-spaced printed copy of your draft to your meeting with Daniele. You can work on your draft much faster this way.

Note II:
You will need to have two sources for this paper. Correctly cite them in your paper and include a Works Cited page at the end. Use MLA style. For example:

Smith says that being older is better than being younger (3).


60% of the population believes that being younger is better than being older (Smith 4).

What will you be graded on?

Strong Introductory Paragraph: Clear and debatable thesis statement; Thesis and paragraphs are directly related (paragraphs prove your thesis);
Development & Organization: Strong / clear topic sentences; Logical sequence of paragraphs and ideas; Evidence and examples to support claims and conclusions;
Grammar & Mechanics: Count/Noncount Nouns; Articles; Verb Usage; Spelling; Capitalization; Evidence of Proofreading; Correct MLA citation

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