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Comparative Essay Notes
- The time allotted for the essay is 40 minutes, 5 minutes of which should be spent planning and/or outlining the answer.
Unfree labor systems were widely used for agricultural production in the period 1450-1750. Discuss the major similarities and differences between TWO of the following systems:
North American slavery
West African slavery
Comparative Structure for Essay
II 1st Sentence for each body paragraph should be a comparative (a direct comparison sentence)
2nd sentence then explains/analysis the direct comparison in the first sentence
III Then subsequent sentences in the paragraph should provide at least 2 info
statements/evidence in each paragraph.
Keep in Mind:
* the thesis can only be counted as the thesis and not also as a direct comparison
* use linking comparative words such as “whereas” to help set up direct comparisons
* if in the comparative question there is a parenthetical qualifier such as (political, economic, cultural), it is not required that evidence is given for each. This parenthetical qualifier helps students think about what to write.
Thesis Statement Construction
A thesis statement must
§ Fully address the question asked (not the one you’d prefer to answer)
§ Take a position in answering the question asked
§ Provide organization categories to support your position (these categories will be the subject of the topic sentences in the main body paragraphs)
SAMPLE ESSAY TOPIC (COMPARE / CONTRAST)
Compare urban-based societies with pastoral/nomadic societies: political, social (class, labor, and gender), economic, religious, and cultural needs and organizational patterns.