Comparing Contrast Essay TopicsComparing contrast essay topics for your course is a process that most teachers have to go through at some point. It is simply impossible to look over a bunch of essays that all have the same subject matter and will appear on the same day as if you were grading them individually. And it is equally impossible to look over the same essays and see if they're still on topic.
With grading system as with grammar, the two methods of grading that many professors are familiar with is the plain-grammar method and the point system. Grammar is defined as the systematic grouping of words, and points are based on the construction of sentences. But there is another way of looking at the two systems and one that really speak to how the student thinks about the information that they are grading.
Grammar, the point system, and essay writing are three different things that in some cases are taught together. There are many theories, but the truth is that in our class curriculum, they may be taught separately. Because of the power of understanding what other students are thinking, I always think about their style when they answer questions or when they read essays. And with knowing how they thought of the topics that they are graded on, I can get a better idea of how I would grade them.
With comparing contrast essay topics, I've seen this applied to a grading system that I use for English composition. In a class that has four subjects, one from each paragraph of the essay, you should look at the points for those paragraphs separately. If one is mostly organized around the argument or in a discussion section, and another is structured around the text, it might not seem like a huge difference, but if you look closely at each paragraph, you will see that they are different in the same way that each essay topic is different.
You know, when I was in college, I used to write an essay about the Vietnam War and this is how I found it and this is how I read it. So, when I sat down to write my test for the American Literature Honors in Comparative Literature I wanted to know how I could apply the logic of the rest of the essay so that I could see how much better it would be compared to how I would grade it.
I found that the exact opposite of comparing contrast essay topics is the memorization of essay topics. The real issue here is that students think about essay topics and an essay so intensely that they forget the purpose of the assignment. They are too busy coming up with great arguments and discussing and pointing out differences to remember what the whole point of the assignment is. By remembering that the best essay topics will give the reader more insight into the text than any other kind of essay, you will more easily find the line that separates your essays and that will help you determine which you should focus on and which are just other essays.
Another idea for the English course that I have seen use is that you should look at the sources of each essay, just as you would with any other course. If you are grading your high school English class and you don't care that much about who is saying what or how they are saying it, you can probably still assign sources for each essay and let the students write the essay and edit the sources. But if you're grading a college English class and it's important to you that you understand who is writing what and how, it might be better to put the assignment in a separate class. There's a reason why we say that classwork should be segregated, and that is because many of us lack the ability to read the body of a text and the body of the writing and still understand what's being said.