A typical compare and contrast essay is constructed like this:
Introduce your two novels and give a sentence description of what each is basically about and who the author is. Keep it brief. End your introduction with a thesis statement. Something like: Although these two novels, Bread Givers and Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa have many differences, they both share the common themes of ________ and ________.
2. First Body Paragraph: Differences
In this paragraph, you address all the differences between the two books. Begin with a topic sentence that says that the novels have many contrasting elements. Then discuss aspects and themes of each book that are different. Do at least one different theme for each, and try to have at least two supporting sentences in which you explain the theme and why it is different.
3. Second Body Paragraph: Similarities
This paragraph will be just like the first body paragraph, except here you will discuss the two themes the novels have in common. Make sure you include a topic sentence introducing the paragraph.
4. Conclusion Paragraph
Wrap it all up. You could insert your personal opinion here about which novel that you ultimately related to more or liked better. Be sure to restate your thesis statement.
Possible Theme to consider: Cultural Identity, tradition, independence