Name/Period: comparison-contrast essay rubric



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Name/Period: _______________________________________
COMPARISON-CONTRAST ESSAY RUBRIC

CATEGORY

Exceeds the Standard (A)

Meets the Standard (B-C)

Does Not Meet the Standard (D-F)

Purpose & Supporting Details
_____/40 points

The paper clearly compares and contrasts points that are sophisticated, offers specific examples to illustrate the comparison, and includes only the information relevant to the comparison.

The paper compares and contrasts points clearly, but the supporting information is general, and/or the points are basic. The paper includes only the information relevant to the comparison.

The paper mostly compares and contrasts points clearly, but the supporting information is incomplete or missing, and/or may include information that is not relevant to the comparison.

Organization & Structure
_____/30 points



The paper breaks the information into point-by-point or block-by-block structure. It follows a consistent order when discussing the comparison.

The paper breaks the information into point-by-point structure or block-by-block, but may not follow a consistent order when discussing the comparison.

Organizational pattern not identifiable. Some details are not in a logical or expected order, and this distracts the reader.

Transitions

_____/10 points



The paper moves smoothly from one idea to the next and uses transition words and subtle transitions to show relationships between ideas.

The paper moves from one idea to the next, but may lack or misuse transition words to show relationships between ideas.

Transitions may be missing; connections between ideas are fuzzy or illogical.

Grammar & Spelling (Conventions)
_____/20 points


Writer makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Writer makes 1-2 errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Writer makes several errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Overall score: _____/100 Grade _____




COMPARISON-CONTRAST ESSAY ASSIGNMENT P. 424-430
“Write an essay that compares or contrasts two selections that you have read this year. Concentrate on key aspects such as setting, people or characters, events, or the writer’s style. Your essay should give your reader a new understanding of the selections.”
Selections to Compare

  • “The Monkey’s Paw” and “The Tell Tale Heart”

  • “Going Where I’m Coming From” and “My First Free Summer”

  • “Mi Madre” and “My Father and the Fig Tree”




  1. The essay must be clearly organized, either point-by-point or block-by-block format (see backside).

  2. Include a minimum of three points of comparison/contrast.

  3. Focus on smooth transitional words and sentences (see p. 430) that help illuminate and connect the relationships between the ideas in the paper.

  4. At this point in the year, I expect you to be capable of producing an error-free essay. More than five serious errors in grammar and spelling, including typos, will result in my returning the paper to you for correction, and it will be considered a missing assignment with a grade of zero until a corrected copy is turned in.

  5. Type your paper in Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced, with 1” margins. Otherwise, write neatly in black or blue ink, double-spaced, and use the paper’s margins.

  6. Staple your essay in this order (from top to bottom): rubric, final draft, prior draft(s), then pre-write(s).


VALUE: 100 POINTS ASSIGNED: 3/27/13 DUE: 4/18/13

NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED

Example Format: Point-by-Point (five paragraphs)

I.

Introduction stating your purpose, which is to discuss the similarities/differences between two reading selections from the Literature book.

II.

First similarity/difference (ex.: setting)
A.  Reading Selection #1 + support

B.  Reading Selection #2 + support



III.

Second similarity/difference (ex. character traits)

A.  Reading Selection #1 + support


B.  Reading Selection #2 + support

IV.

Third similarity/difference (ex. author's craft/style)
A.  Reading Selection #1 + support

B.  Reading Selection #2 + support



V.

Conclusion


Example Format: Block-by-Block Arrangement (four paragraphs)

I.

Introduction stating your purpose, which is to discuss the similarities/differences between two reading selections from the Literature book.

II.

Reading Selection #1
A.  Key aspect A (ex.: setting) + support
B.  Key aspect B (ex.: character traits) + support
C.  Key aspect C (ex.: author’s craft/style) + support

III.

Reading Selection #2
A.  Key aspect A (ex.: setting) + support
B.  Key aspect B (ex.: character traits) + support
C.  Key aspect C (ex.: author’s craft/style) + support

IV.

Conclusion



Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I double-space my essay if I’m typing?

A. In most word processing applications, before you start typing, go to the “Format” menu, select “Paragraph” and then use the pull down menu for “Line spacing:” and select “Double.” If you type your essay using single space accidentally, just highlight all the text and follow the steps above.


Q. How do I compare/contrast “sophisticated” points?

A. Mrs. Cowell has “Analysis Frames” for Author’s Craft, Character, and Setting that will help guide you to deeper analyses of these items.


Q. Do I need to title my essay?

A. No, but you can.


Q. Which comparison-contrast format is best to use?

A. It is up to you and your preferred style of writing. Typically, point-by-point, like the student model on pages 425-426, is easier for middle school students.


Q. Can I extend the due date by turning in an essay on time that I know will be returned to me for grammar and spelling correction?

A. Not really. Your essay will only be returned to you for correction of five or more serious grammar and/or spelling errors. You will not be allowed to otherwise improve your essay. Your score for the other categories before correction will still stand. Best advice—PROOFREAD again and again and again and again. Then have someone else do it, then someone else . . .
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