Comparing/Contrasting Human Beings That Have Little or No Connection

You have already picked a category out of a hat. Congratulations! You are already well on your way to finishing this exercise. Now, you need to choose a specific person who matches your category.

  1. You have five minutes to brainstorm everything you can about this person.  Be nice. While you may include superficial observations (hair colour, etc), you need to concentrate on the most important aspects of this person, such as character or accomplishments. What is his/her essence? Obviously, this will be easier if you choose someone you know fairly well. 
  2.  Have five minutes passed? Did I actually remember to stop you at five minutes? Good. Now, find a partner. Don’t necessarily choose a friend; after all, that “friend” has probably been saying nasty things about you behind your back.  Once you have found a new “friend”, spend 2 minutes quickly reviewing your work; look for meaningful comparisons/contrasts between your two people.
  3. This step is called a mulligan. If the previous two minutes provided you with nothing worth comparing/contrasting, you may find a new partner. Remember, however, that your next partner is your FINAL partner.  If you do not need a new partner, use these extra two minutes to review your comparisons/contrasts.
  4. I’d like you to consult the handout I provided yesterday to create an outline for an essay comparing your two people. You will not actually write the essay; consider this an exercise in using the Alternating/Point by Point strategy.  Concentrate on your thesis and your topic sentences.
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