Jordan 1 Phat Comparison Essay

A view of earth below Saturn's rings, earth is the tiny white speck on the right.

. . .every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. –Carl Sagan

Click here to view the requirements: Comparison Essay Assignment Objectives

Why a compare/contrast essay?

In college, 90% of the papers students write will be in third person. This can be a struggle for some. I have students write the compare/contrast essay next because it is an easy genre for them to develop topics and ideas. Students will also need to develop clear and concise thesis statements that identify the point and purpose of their essays while breaking their subjects down into logically developed paragraphs and essays. Since we compare and/or contrast things all of the time, students will spend less time struggling to find a topic and more time working on the necessary skills to conquer this kind of paper. Here are a couple of examples. If a photographer wants a new camera, that person may contrast Canon and Nikon. If another person wants a new cell phone, that shopper may contrast Samsung and Apple. In these two examples, the writers would develop criteria for contrasting the two companies' and their products, and then based upon their criteria, they would identify which item they would purchase. This is one of the basic examples of how we use compare/contrast every day. Another way we use comparison contrast is through juxtaposition. Juxtaposition places two items close together to create a specific effect, or so readers or viewers can draw conclusions by comparing their similarities or contrasting their differences.

Understanding the basics of compare/contrast. . .

First, what is the difference between comparing two items and contrasting two items? If we want to examine the similarities between two items, we compare them. If we want to look at their differences, then we contrast them. However, there must be some basis for comparison in order to write a comparison/contrast essay. For example, I would not compare/contrast an apple with a flight attendant. I would not contrast a dog and a peanut. There must be some basis for comparing the two items. For example, the photographer who is contrasting Nikon and Canon is contrasting cameras. But, even that is vague. I would want to make sure that I am contrasting the same type of camera: two DSLRs with similar qualities: cost, number of pixels, lenses, other miscellaneous items that may be included with the purchase. If I contrast a regular Nikon 35mm film camera with a Canon Rebel DSLR, I am not going to be able to draw clear conclusions if I am thinking about buying one of them. They are completely different kinds of cameras.

The Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the hardest and most important sentence in a paper. It identifies the topic and purpose of the paper. Thesis statements should always be written in third person. There are two kinds of thesis statements: a basic thesis statement and a listing thesis statement.

Basic Thesis Statement

Despite a slightly higher price, the Nikon D7000 is a better value than the Canon 60D.

Listing or Mapping Thesis Statement

By contrasting price,  image quality, shutter speed and the auto-focus system, it is clear that the Nikon D7000 provides more camera for a slightly higher price than the Canon 60D.

The listing or mapping thesis statement acts like a check list. The information should be covered in the order listed in the thesis statement. Thus, the first body paragraph would be on price, the second body paragraph on image quality, the third on shutter speed, and the fourth on the auto-focus system. You should have at least three criterion that you use to compare or contrast.

Basic Structure
There are two basic formats for the compare/contrast essay: block and alternating, or point-by-point. Block divides the essay in half with the first set of paragraphs covering one item, the other set of paragraph covering the other item. So, if I was contrasting a Nikon DSLR with a similar priced Canon DSLR, one set of paragraphs would cover Nikon and one would cover Canon. In alternating, or point-by-point, I would cover the two items alternating in each point of comparison (see examples in outlines below).

Block Method

I. Introduction

II. Nikon DSLR

A. Price

B. Image Quality

C. Shutter Speed

D. The Auto-focus System

III. Canon 60D

A. Price

B. Image Quality

C. Shutter Speed

D. The Auto-focus System

IV. Conclusion


I. Introduction

II. Price

A. Nikon D7000

B. Canon 60D

III. Image Quality

A. Nikon D7000

B. Canon 60D

IV. Shutter Speed

A. Nikon D7000

B. Canon 60D

V. The Auto-focus System

A. Nikon D7000

B. Canon 60D

VI. Conclusion

The introduction is the hook. It is said that first impressions are the most important. This is especially true for essays. You only have one opportunity to hook your readers and get them involved, so you need to look at imaginative ways to begin your papers. Some ways to introduce the topic and get the reader involved include telling a story that is related to the topic, ask a question and the thesis answers it, ask a rhetorical question that has no answer but introduces the reader to the subject matter. Usually, the final sentence of the introduction is the thesis statement.

Begin with Narrative - contrasting bike frames and componentry

Let's say I used to bike race both mountain and road bikes. If I was writing a contrast essay describing the differences between mountain and road bikes, I could describe what it is like to race down a hill doing 50 mph.

Begin with a question - topic - choosing the best smartphone

So, which is better, the Galaxy S5 or the iPhone 5s?

Begin with rhetorical question - contrasting two Vegas resorts

Does what happen in Vegas really stay in Vegas?


Conclusions address key points in the essay. Tie the introduction to the conclusion: if you used a quote, refer to that quote again and draw more conclusions from the information; if you began with the story, go back to the story to draw final conclusions from it; if you began with a question that can be answered, then return to that question and answer it. Your conclusion should not just restate the thesis; it should comment on the significance of the thesis. What does your reader know now after reading your essay that wasn't known before?

Online Textbook and Readings

Power Point Lectures

The thesis statement is the sentence or sentences that identify the topic and purpose of the essay. If it is not covered in a face-to-face class, see the presentation below or download it.


Formatting the Compare/Contrast Essay
  1. Be sure and utilize MLA formatting for the paper:
      • 1" margins all around the paper.
      • Double spaced
      • A heading on the top right hand corner 1/2" from the top of the paper should include:
      • Last name and then leave a space and the page number
      • On the first page on the left hand side include:
        • Your full name
        • Professor Name
        • Course - Assignment
        • Date (be sure to spell out the month and use the full year, such as February 12, 2016; do not use 2/12/16)
      • Be sure and type both the rough draft and final essay.
      • Click on the image below to see the full-scale version of the first page of an MLA formatted paper.

Wolff, Tobias. "On Being a Real Westerner." Radford Universeity. Web, 8 July 2013.

Writing the Comparison/Contrast ***Students, this your assigned topic***

  • Write a 3-4 page comparison/contrast essay
    • Write a comparison essay in which you compare and contrast Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s old man in “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” with your own perception of angels. You may address the following bases of comparison in your essay or create alternate points of comparison:

  1. What are the angel’s physical characteristics and how do they compare and contrast to your own perception of angels?
  2. What are the personality traits of Marquez’s angel and how do they compare and contrast to your own perception of angels.
  3. How does the village’s reaction to and treatment of the old man compare to your angel’s imagined reception in the current United States?
  4. Create a comparison point unique to your own experience with the story. 

TIPS: Use the questions to form your table of comparison and your paragraphs (think about them as the basis for topic sentences). Use description that is as vivid and rich as Marquez’s descriptions. Cite quotes from Marquez to make your points of comparison.

Remember to use critical thinking in your analysis: 1) see beneath the surface of things, images, events and ideas; 2) uncover and test assumptions; 3) see the importance of context; 4) draw and support independent conclusions.

Your essay should be 3-4 pages long; once you have written your rough draft, print it out, read it over and edit it so you have the best rough draft you can. 

Compare/Contrast Essay

  1. Students will learn to read critically and evaluate professional compare/contrast models.
  2. Students will improve writing skills through a step-by-step process.
  3. Students will present a thesis statement at the end of the introductory paragraph(s).
  4. Students will present the information in a well-organized and logical structure.
  5. Students will support the thesis statement by utilizing vivid details and examples for each item and/or point of comparison.
  6. Students will word process their papers using programs such as Microsoft Word.
  7. Students will format their papers according to MLA Guidelines. See Purdue OWL example.
  8. All work will be submitted in class on paper in a folder with pockets that contains rewrite stages, rough draft, peer review, and final draft.

compare/contrast essay  

Why a compare/contrast essay? Students learn to differentiate between two or more objects seeing how they are similar or how they are different. Writers must choose item that have a "basis" of comparison (something that they both share in common) before they can see the differences between them. For example, I could contrast apples and oranges because they are both fruit, or I could contrast Dell computers with Apples because they both are brands of computers. "Fruit" or "computer" would be the basis in comparison for each of these topics.  

Comparison/contrast is important because it is a useful tool for critical decision-making. Whether you are buying a new car or choosing a university, it is important to master the art of this critical writing and thinking skill. For example, I could compare time and money management skills. I would show how these two skills are very similar. Then I would state in my conclusion why these skills are important. 

Overview: Writing the Comparison Question:

1) Briefly describe the two types of organization that may be used in a comparison essay.

2) What one new thing did you learn by reading the overview?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by Lynn McClelland and Marianne Botos.


We compare the recently-released Air Jordan 1.5 “Hybrid” with the OG Air Jordan 1.

One of the many, many unseen prototypes in Nike’s colossal design archive is the Air Jordan 1.5. Conceived while Nike’s designers were tinkering with different cushioning options for Michael Jordan’s iconic footwear line, the sneaker fused the Air Jordan 1 with the Air Jordan 2’s sole unit and sported a lower profile than its predecessor.

We enlisted the help of veteran sneakerhead Rolo Tanedo Jr (aka @dunksrnice) to compare the OG Air Jordan 1 with its previously-unseen cousin; the Air Jordan 1.5 is on the left of the below pictures, while the 1 is on the right.

Shoe Boxes

“The Jordan 1 came in the Nike logo box like it did back in 1985. The Jordan 1.5 also came with the Swooshed-up black and red box but a bit bigger; even though the shoes are the same size.”

Side by Side Profile

“You can clearly see the differences in the outsole, midsole and the ankle collar logo; although both Jordan 1.5 and Jordan 1 use the same vibrant ‘Chicago’ red leather.”

Side by Side Close Up

“Here you can clearly see the difference in height. The Jordan 1 is taller than the Jordan 1.5, giving it more ankle support at the collar. The obvious difference again is the sole, midsole and logo.”

Sole Comparison

“On the left you have the Jordan 1.5 and on the right you have the Jordan 1. The Jordan 1.5’s sole is rubber but since the midsole is polyurethane, the Nike logo on the sole is polyurethane, not rubber.”

Toe Box

“The toe box areas are very similar. The only visible difference is the slightly different curves.”


“On the left is the Jordan 1.5, while the Jordan 1 is in the background; the Jordan 1.5’s tongue label is black and red, while the Jordan 1 uses white.”

Shop the latest Jordan releases over at What Drops Now.

Alec Leach grew up in Brighton, England, but now lives in Berlin, where he leads Highsnobiety's fashion content.

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