Compare And Contrast Rough Draft


The grade you receive for the rough draft is a small portion of your overall class grade, and you will not be graded on the quality of your writing. Your grade will be based only on whether you meet the minimum requirements specified on the grading rubric below.

The purpose of the rough draft, then, is to give you a chance to get your thoughts on paper so I can offer comments. One of your classmates will also review your rough draft. Then you will be prepared to revise the draft into your best possible final paper.


Complete the rough draft as a Word document and submit it to Canvas by the due date.

You are required to include 2-4 in-text citations of outside sources. At the end of the draft, include the correct website URLs that link to each of the in-text citations. If you already know how to format a reference page, according to any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) then feel free to do so.  If you don’t know how to format a reference page that’s okay—just give me the website URLs.

As you write the rough draft, it is preferable (but not required) that you use both the new elements introduced in Lessons 4-6 as well as the older elements introduced in Lessons 1-3. Doing so will give me a chance to comment on your technique. If you give me more to comment on, you will get more guidance for the final paper.

Viewing my comments

When I return your draft with my comments, I highly recommend viewing the comments on a full-size screen, not on a phone or a tablet. Some of my comments will be in the right margin, and these may or may not be visible on a phone or tablet. If you view them on a laptop or desktop computer, you will be sure to see everything.

Elements to consider: Lessons 1-3

Paragraphs: Write paragraphs which are unified by a main idea. See the page entitled Developing Paragraphs – Main Ideas, Unity, and Topic Sentences from Lesson 3.

Introduction: Introductions should be 1-2 paragraphs long, should catch the reader’s attention, and let the reader know the purpose of the essay. Do not refer to the process of writing the essay itself. See the page entitled Writing Introductions from Lesson 3.

Rhetorical techniques: Consider incorporating any rhetorical techniques you used in the Extended Definition Paper to help you to express yourself and make your meaning clear. You may find that illustration and analogy are particularly useful when comparing and contrasting. See the page entitled Techniques to Develop the Rough Draft from Lesson 2.  You are NOT required to use any particular rhetorical techniques in the rough draft nor in the final paper.

Conclusion:  It is fine to summarize in the conclusion, but the conclusion should also go beyond just a summary of main points. See the page entitled Writing Conclusions from Lesson 3.

Elements to consider: Lessons 4-6

Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to compare the similarities between two subjects and to contrast the differences between the same two subjects. See the page entitled The Compare & Contrast Paper from Lesson 4.

Insights: When you choose points to compare or contrast—go beyond the obvious. Offer the reader your insights. See the page entitled Going Beyond the Obvious from Lesson 4.

Thesis: Develop a thesis statement which will control the direction of your essay. Required in the rough draft:  Underline the thesis statement.  See the page entitled Writing a Thesis Statement from Lesson 5.

Organization: Use block organization, point organization, or a combination of both to structure your essay. Use an outline to help you visualize the structure of your essay. See the pages entitled Essay Organization: Block Organization and Essay Organization: Point Organization from Lesson 6.

APA in-text citations: Use APA in-text citations to indicate information in your essay that comes from an outside source. Also, at the end of your essay, include the website URL for each article you cite in-text See the page entitled APA In-text Citations—Show Who is “Talking” from Lesson 6.

Formatting Guidelines

The formatting guidelines specify how your paper should look. I will not deduct points from the rough draft for formatting errors. However, it is preferable to follow the formatting guidelines, anyway, so that I can point out any errors and you can correct them for the final paper.

The formatting guidelines for the Compare & Contrast Paper are the same as for the Extended Definition Paper.

  • Margins — All four margins should be set at 1 inch (2.54 cm).
  • Font — Use Times New Roman, 12-point font.
  • Line spacing — Use double spacing throughout the paper. Do not add extra space between paragraphs.
  • Indentation — Indent the first line of each paragraph about 5 spaces.

Grading rubric

Your grade for the rough draft will be based ONLY on the following rubric.

ELEMENTEXPLANATIONVALUEName & assignmentThe student’s full name and the assignment should appear at the top of the first page. This assignment is called “Rough Draft of the Compare & Contrast Paper.”Worth 3%.Due dateThe draft must be submitted by the due date.See the syllabus for the late submission policy.Word countThe draft must be between 400 and 800 words long, not counting the heading or reference page.

Points are deducted as a percentage under the minimum word count. For example, if a rough draft is turned in with only 300 words, that is 25% under the minimum, so 25% would be deducted from the grade.

No points will be deducted for exceeding the maximum word count.

Purpose of the assignmentThe draft must compare and contrast two subjects.If a reasonable attempt is made to compare and contrast two subjects, then no points will be deducted.APA citation

Include information from 2-4 outside sources. Cite each source in-text. At the end of the paper, add the website URLs that link to each article. No more than 20% of the information and ideas in the paper may come from outside sources.

If you use a direct quotation, the copy/pasted text must be enclosed in quotation marks and then given an in-text citation.  See the page APA in-text citations – Show Who’s “Talking” 

At least two different sources are required.

If only one source is cited in-text, 10% will be deducted from the grade.

If no sources are cited, 15% will be deducted from the grade.

10% will be deducted for each missing website URL.

10% will be deducted for each direct quotation missing quotation marks.

No points will be deducted for citation formatting errors. Any reasonable effort to cite the sources will be given full credit.

Points will not be deducted for unintentional plagiarism. See the syllabus for the policy on intentional plagiarism. Some points will be deducted from papers which exceed the maximum use of outside sources.

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