How could a student write an essay comparing and contrasting our society to the society in The Giver?

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Writing a compare and contrast essay means discussing similarities and differences.  As far as I can see from what you have provided, it looks like your second paragraph should be about the similarities between the two societies, and the third and forth paragraph should be about the differences.  Your first paragraph, which must have a thesis statement, should let the reader know what similarities and differences you are going to cover, and your fifth paragraph should remind the reader what you covered. 

First, let's talk about similarities between the two societies.  One similarity is that in our society we have leaders and so does the Community. Another similarity is that our society has rules and regulations and the Community does, too.  Still another similarity is that most people have jobs to do and they do them responsibly.  In our society and in the Community, everyone gets an education, too. 

Next, we can look at the Community and how it is different from our society. One difference is that people's jobs are chosen for them by the Community.  Another difference is that people's children are selected for them.  People in the Community are released when they are no longer useful. And they feel no emotions because of the drugs that they take.

In our society, people choose their own job, and they have their own children, the old-fashioned biological way.  We do not release people who are no longer useful to society, and we feel the full range of human emotions because no one forces us to take drugs to stop this from happening. 

Once you know what similarities and differences you want to focus on, writing a thesis statement is easy.  I can give you an example of this.  If I were writing a compare and contrast essay about my sons, I might have this as my thesis statement:

My sons are very much alike in their appearance and sense of humor, but they are very different in their personalities, their tastes, and their interests. 

My thesis statement tells the reader how my sons are alike and how they are different. This is what you need to do, too, in your thesis statement.  Decide what similarities and differences you want to discuss to compare and contrast the two societies. 

Once you have your introduction, ending with your thesis statement, this gives you the outline to follow for the rest of the essay. The second paragraph will be about all the ways the two societies are alike. The third paragraph will be all about the Community, what is different about it, and the fourth paragraph will be all about our society, the ways it is different from the Community.  Then your fifth paragraph will review all of that for your reader. It is always good to have an outline for a compare and contrast essay, to help you keep things organized and to help your reader follow along much more easily. 

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