In this article, you’ll find all the NoRedInk resources that can help your students develop strong compare and contrast writing skills. You can use NoRedInk to support students with every stage of the writing process, from practicing specific skills to planning, drafting, and revising full essays comparing texts.
To help you choose and sequence activities, we’ve organized our resources below according to stages of the writing process:
💡 Tip: These resources support students comparing two or more fiction, poetry, or nonfiction texts. If your students are writing about just one text, check out our resources for Literary Analysis, Poetry Analysis, or Rhetorical Analysis.
- Practice activities and interactive tutorials help students master specific writing skills
- Quick Writes allow students to develop their skills with short written exercises
- Pre-writing worksheets help students plan their compare and contrast essays
- Guided Draft assignments support students as they draft full essays comparing texts
- Peer Review assignments help students practice embedding evidence in body paragraphs
- Guided Drafts allow you to leave feedback on students’ essays and request revisions
- Self Review supports students as they revise their work independently
Before drafting compare and contrast essays
Assign Practice to help students master writing skills
An engaging way to build or reinforce skills is via mastery-based Practice. Click below to see the pathways that teach students how to select strong evidence, how to use transitions, and more!
Pathways for Compare and Contrast Writing
💡 Note: Each pathway includes free and Premium topics. Click the links to view the selection of topics in each pathway.
To learn more about Practice on NoRedInk, check out this article.
Use interactive tutorials to pre-teach or review compare and contrast writing skills
NoRedInk's interactive tutorials break writing concepts down into manageable chunks. If you’re preparing students to write an essay, consider assigning an interactive tutorial to give them a primer on the most important elements of strong essay writing. You can also assign tutorials for specific skills you'd like students to review.
To learn more about how you can use interactive tutorials, see this article.
Click the headers below to browse our compare and contrast writing tutorials!
Writing Compare and Contrast Essays
Sub-skills for Body Paragraphs
Sub-skills for Conclusions
Using Formal Language in Essays
Develop writing skills with Quick Writes
Quick Writes are lightweight exercises that can serve a range of purposes, from developing specific writing skills to preparing for longer assignments. Click here to learn more about Quick Writes.
If you want your students to practice specific writing skills, browse NoRedInk’s skill-building prompts to find prompts to help students work on revising wordiness, using transitions, and more.
If your students are preparing to draft full essays, consider assigning a Quick Write to check that they’re on the right track and give them feedback on their ideas. Here are some ideas for Quick Writes you could create to support students with pre-writing:
- Ask students to submit their thesis statement and topic sentences for review
- Get students to brainstorm similarities and differences between the texts
- Have students plan one paragraph, like their first body paragraph
Click here to create your own Quick Write prompt!
Use pre-writing worksheets to help students plan compare and contrast essays
Before students start writing their essays, set them up for success with these pre-writing materials! You can pick and choose the worksheets you think will most help to prepare your students for a Guided Drafts assignment, or use the full set together:
Drafting compare and contrast essays
Support students in drafting full essays with Compare and Contrast (Text Analysis) Guided Drafts
When your students are ready to write full essays, NoRedInk’s Guided Drafts can provide them with scaffolding, exemplars, and tips to help them produce strong writing. Click here to learn more about Guided Drafts.
You can find eight text pairings with accompanying prompts in the compare and contrast section of our assignment library. You’ll also find templates for creating your own prompts for other texts. You can assign prompts directly from the assignment library.
What students see during a Guided Drafts assignment
Use Peer Review to help students build strong essay components
During Peer Review, students write a specific component of their essays (like their thesis statements) and then give and receive anonymous feedback from classmates to improve their writing. You can use Peer Review to help students focus on one part of their essays. Students can then use their revised essay components as part of a full-length Guided Drafts assignment.
To learn more about Peer Review, click here.
The Body Paragraph: Embedding Evidence Peer Review unit can help students write stronger compare and contrast essays. Click here to create a Peer Review assignment!
Revising compare and contrast essays
Give feedback on Guided Drafts to help students revise
Once students have submitted their essays, you can provide immediate feedback by grading students on each of the rubric items you selected and giving an overall score. You can also leave both general comments and comments on specific parts of students’ essays.
If you want students to incorporate your feedback into their work, you can send the essays back for them to revise based on your comments.
When students revise their Guided Drafts, you will be able to see the previous submissions to check that they understood your feedback and made appropriate changes.
Click here to learn more about giving feedback and requesting revisions on Guided Drafts.