A Compare and Contrast essay


For extra help on completing your assignment, click your practice guide.


Write a compare and contrast essay about Don Anselmo from Juan A. A. Sedillo’s “The Gentleman of Río en Medio” and Mrs. Higgins from Morley Callaghan’s “All the Years of Her Life.”
  • Your assignment should discuss the similarities and differences of the two characters.
  • Remember to pay equal attention to each character. If you point out a trait in one character, you should compare or contrast this trait in the other.
  • Your assignment should be at least five paragraphs, written in 12-point font with standard margins.


Tips for Success

As you write, pay attention to tense and transitions.

Use the present tense. Make exceptions if you need to show a time relationship between events.

Transition words help you move from one idea to the next in your writing. Below is a list of transition words that are especially useful in compare and contrast essays.
  • but
  • however
  • like
  • unlike
  • similarly
  • in the same way


Self-Assessment Checklist

Read each question and evaluate your short response. If the answer to the question is yes, check the box to the left. If the answer is no, go back and revise your work. Your teacher will use these same guiding questions to score your short response.

Quality of Ideas

Did I demonstrate an understanding of the assignment by:
  Comparing and contrasting the two characters in the stories?
  Using transition words to move smoothly between ideas and sentences?
  Paying equal attention to each character?
Did I demonstrate the ability to think critically and creatively by:
  Using my language or ideas in a creative way?
  Going beyond basic information to make connections between ideas?
Did I demonstrate the ability to write a thesis statement by:
  Making a claim that requires support?
Did I demonstrate the ability to support my ideas by:
  Referring directly or indirectly to the reading or readings?
  Addressing all parts of the writing topic?
  Connecting each supporting sentence to the claim in the thesis statement?
Did I demonstrate the ability to conclude by:
  Summarizing the ideas and/or restating the thesis statement?
Did I demonstrate the ability to organize my writing by:
  Using transitions?
  Ordering ideas logically?

Form and Presentation

  Did I follow presentation requirements (12-point font, standard margins, length requirements)?
  Did I properly cite all quotations?


  Did I use a variety of sentence types (simple, compound, and complex)?
  Did I avoid run-on sentences and fragments?
  Did I check for spelling and grammar errors?
  Did I use an appropriate tone?