I have to write a compare & contrast essay about buying a new car compared to fixing a broken car from accident. I need help with pre-writing and a thesis.

Expert Answers

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I find that the best way to tackle the pre-writing of any essay is to create open-ended questions revolving around the topic of the essay then answering them as fully as possible.  This always helps me determine what I know and what I need to possibly research.  It also helps to organize ideas.

In order to help you get started on this essay, I'll give you a couple questions I would probably ask if I had to write on the same topic:

  1. What are all the pros (benefits) of buying a brand new car?
  2. What are the cons (drawbacks) of buying a brand new car?
  3. What are the pros of fixing the broken car?
  4. What are the cons of fixing the broken car?

Looking at your lists of answers, you will want to create categories that logically organize information that is similar.  You should also be able to determine which is the best choice (buying new or fixing broken) based either on the number of reasons or the strength of each reason.  When writing your essay, you will need to present both sides, but logically lean toward the side you believe is the best choice.

Your thesis statement may or may not reveal the side you will choose.  (Perhaps you will save this for your conclusion.)  It will, however, present the fact that you are looking at two sides.  Look at the sample thesis below and feel free to adapt it to the specific information you brainstorm (and the categories you come up with to organize your information):

When making a decision between buying a new car versus fixing one that is broken, it is important to consider several factors.  These include finances, personal preferences, and the long term value of each choice.

Hopefully this will at least get you started.  The more information you can brainstorm in your pre-writing, the easier the organizing and writing of this essay will be.  After you complete this important first step, if you run into further problems or need more specific advice, feel free to use Enotes again for help.

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