Compare and Contrast
Writing Activity


When your teacher asks you to write a 'Compare and Contrast' paper, what exactly do they mean?

 Well, when we learn about new things, our brain wants ever so badly to compare these new things to something that we already know about.. (What do they have in common?) 

Our brain also wants to know....How are they different (contrast)? 

The first step in a Compare and Contrast paper is a Venn Diagram. Let's Compare and Contrast soccer and basketball.


First ask yourself, "What do they have in common?"

This part goes in the middle of the Venn Diagram:

Now, for the "contrast" part. Put soccer on one side of the diagram, and basketball on the other. Each game's unique characteristics will appear under their title, and the facts listed will directly be contrasted against the other. Ask your self now, "How are they different from each other?"

Soccer Basketball
played with feet played with hands
ball kicked into net  ball is thrown into a net
a goalie defends the net a guard defends the net
"dribbling" means kicking "dribbling" means bouncing

Once we are done with our Venn Diagram, we can start writing our paper. A Compare and Contrast paper should have

Keep in mind, the reader does not want to just see a list of similarities and differences. BORING! don't just write,"In soccer, the ball is kicked into the goal for a point. In basketball, the ball in thrown into the net for a point." Try showingthe reader, instead:

"Dribbling the ball on the gym floor, the basketball player weaves in and out through the opposition, his final destination, a 10 foot high net, clearly in his sights. The soccer player, however, dribbles the ball with his feet, kicking his way down the grassy field, finally 'shooting' the ball with all of his might, past the goalie, and into the rectangular net at the end of the field."

Go to:
  Trades in Colonial Times or
Trades in Colonial Williamsburg

Select a trade that was common in Colonial times, and compare it with a common occupation today. For example, you could select printer and compare with a modern day printer. Or you could select a wheelmaker and compare it with a car maker today; or how about a shoemaker of yester-years with a shoemaker today? Create a Venn Diagram that shows how the jobs are similar, and how they are different today.