Comparison/Contrast Essay

(Total Value: 10%)


Due Date:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday Class: 9/28/07

Monday/Wednesday Class: 9/26/07


General Guidelines:

  1. Page count: 2 full pages minimum to 3 full pages maximum, plus an additional page, which is the works cited page. If your paper falls short of the minimum required page count the grade will certainly suffer.
  2. Make certain that the essay has a thesis.
  3. Use the formatting guidelines established during class lectures.
  4. Use MLA Style Guidelines.
  5. Title your essay in the form of a two-part title. The two parts should be separated by a colon, and neither part should read “comparison/contrast essay.”
  6. Your assignment is to write an argumentative essay about the opposing views surrounding the September 11th attacks, and you must make a convincing case that advances one of the two following views:

A) The attacks happened the way the government suggests.

B) It is more likely that conspiracy theorists have uncovered the truth.

About the comparison/contrast essay:

  • The final sentence of your introductory paragraph, of course, will be your thesis statement.
  • The remainder of your essay will persuasively argue to prove that your thesis is probably correct.
  • At its heart, this assignment is argumentative, so your focus should be on advancing a persuasive argument. You will compare and contrast opposing views, but further, you will use the conclusions you draw from that comparison/contrast to advance your argument.


Background, sources, and further requirements:

  • Your topic/problem is the controversy surrounding 9/11 attacks. The US government claims that these were the acts of Al Qaeda, and that the US government certainly knew nothing of the impending disaster. However, many people believe that the US government had foreknowledge of the impending attacks and allowed them to occur, and that the US government engaged in a cover-up.
  • Many websites supporting the conspiracy theories have cropped up on the web, and the US government also has a cite that includes The 9/11 Commission Report.
  • I will provide some sources, and you will locate one additional source on the web.
  • You will engage the following websites:


Your Works Cited page:

  • Your works cited page will certainly have at least three citations, for you will cite the two websites listed above, and the outside source on the web that you locate on your own.
  • I will provide instructions during class to help you compose the citations.



  • During class there will be much direct instruction from me, so you must attend class to be successful in this assignment. I will also assist you during peer revisions and I am available for questions via E-mail and before and after class.


How to turn in this essay: a paper copy is due during class on the due date. Additionally, an electronic copy is due, prior to the beginning of class, on the due date, and it must be turned in to as

a MS Word doc file. Use the “file upload” method on the submit screen. You will be instructed during class about how to create a account, and how to turn in your work. Your essays will be considered late until both the paper copy and the electronic copies are turned in. All other rules for late work, as delineated in section six of the course syllabus, also apply. Moreover, your electronic turn-in must be an exact duplicate of the paper copy. In other words, no further corrections or revisions will be accepted. Also, if the electronic and paper copies do not match up it will have a negative impact on the assignment’s grade.



Some important points:


  1. Remember to have a strong introductory paragraph that frames the topic of your paper.
  2. Remember that the final sentence of your introductory paragraph should be your thesis statement.

Due Date:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday Class: 9/28/07

Monday/Wednesday Class: 9/26/07