How do I write a compare/contrast essay?
Struggling with the Internal Assessment(IA) submission - IB World Literature Assignment 1.
a. Don't know how to set the questions
b. Don't know how to start
c. Topic on unnatural death of the protagonists
d. Do not know how to formulate the Point of Comparison
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The first place to start, with any essay, is the six basic parts, which should be memorized to become second-nature: Outline (optional), Thesis Statement, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, Bibliography. In this case, I strongly advise you to start with an outline, since it will allow you to form your essay without laboring over the writing until later.
In outlining a compare/contrast essay, you should first know exactly what you are comparing. In this case, you seem to be focusing on the deaths of the protagonists in the novel Madame Bovary, so take the facts of those deaths and literally compare them: what do they have in common? How do they differ? In what ways do they reflect the overall plot? Questions like these will help you write your thesis statement, which then becomes the driving force behind the essay. Your ultimate goal is to prove or disprove the thesis, although here you could get by with something as simple as "Charles dies more easily than Emma," since by arguing the thesis you are by definition comparing the deaths.
After you have a thesis, you should briefly state each of your points in the outline. Bullet points or numbered lists are helpful here. The links below have information about useful outlining. Once the outline is finished, all that remains is filling in each point with the necessary quotations and arguments. Remember that in this case you should almost always have two points per paragraph; compare or contrast Charles's death to Emma's. Use the study guide linked and the eText linked below for research, and don't forget to cite all your sources both in the body and in the bibliography.
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