Basic/Mini Essay - Compare & Contrast

level IIi

This page updated:  1/19/2020


Prewrite:  Purpose & Audience

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The Goal


You will use the purpose and audience described below to complete your second compare and contrast writing.


Your Audience:  


Your audience will be peers who have slightly less knowledge than you about the topic(s) you chose.  You will teach the audience something they likely didn't know.

Let me introduce you:

What do you know about your audiences' age, gender, location, education, professional position, and so forth?

Your audience is your peer group who have a strong interest in the topic(s) you've chosen.  Generally, they know the "lingo" associated with the topic.

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What is the audiences' current point of view on the issue?

Your audience equally enjoys the topic(s), but they haven't has as much experience with the topic(s) as you have.  They are looking to you to learn something they likely don't know.

What personal information about the audience might influence their position or feelings on the issue?

The audience's DOK is slightly less then yours, so, while they know "about" the topic(s), they may not have considered the categories you are presenting or the relationships you are showing.

What will the audience want to know about the issue and why?

Because they know YOU have more knowledge on the topic then they do, the audience is looking forward to learning what you present.  They want to learn more because it interests them.


Do your best to imagine an actual audience member.  Think about what they would say/ask as they hear your writing.


You will use your depth of knowledge at the NEED TO KNOW (minimum level) to TEACH others about two items/topics which you will compare and contrast.  You will use categories to present the items, and within these categories, you will show us the relationships between the topics.


1.  Once you have identified your topic(s), and you have a good understanding of your purpose and audience, review the clarifying questions you jotted down in your Venn Diagram.  These are the questions your audience would be asking if they were talking with you face-to-face.  BE SURE TO CREATE MANY CLARIFYING QUESTIONS, as these will help you identify potential categories that will become the "point-by-point" part of the writing.

3.  Once you have a collection of CQs, physically group them together in possible categories.  Play with your groupings until you feel you have a good number of CQs to create a category and describe the topic  to the audience.   

4.  Use the printable and writing scaffold docs to help you see example categories. 


Be ready to add to your Venn Diagram now that you know your purpose and audience.  Remember to SHOW not tell.

5.  PLEASE send Mrs. G the list of CQs you have created for your writing.