comparison and contrast essay prompt 1

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Comparison and Contrast Essay Prompt

When we travel abroad, we meet people who act and think differently and speak different languages. In speaking, living, or working with them, we learn about their culture, their values, and their worldviews. What we learn overseas leads to a new insight about what we value and how we view the world. Keeping this in mind, write an essay comparing American culture and your own.

While I encourage you to explore the topic (American culture and your own) the way that best works for you, here are some questions you may want to ask to generate points of comparison and differences. In seeking answers to these questions, you will generate enough content necessary for your comparison/contrast essay.

  • What notions did I have about America and American people prior to my arrival in the United States? How have those assumptions changed after my staying here?
  • What major differences have I observed between American culture and my own? How is my understanding about America and American people colored by what I believe?
  • What American customs and rituals seem bizarre to me? What customs and rituals seem natural and normal? Why?
  • What do Americans value? What are their perceptions of sex, gender, and personal freedom? How has what I learned about them increased my understanding of who I am and what I value?
  • Personal freedom and privacy are two things Americans value most? What do we value in our home country? What insights do I get from the differences/similarities between what Americans value and what we value?
  • What have I learned about American culture based on the food Americans eat, the faiths they dearly hold, and the holidays they celebrate?
  • How are what I value and how I view the world similar to or differ from what Americans value and how they view the world?
  • Your comparison essay may emphasize similarities OR differences between the two cultures. However, if you are writing your paper about the similarities between the two cultures, your thesis statement must emerge from the points of comparison; if you are writing about the differences, your thesis statement should emerge from the points of contrast.
  • To organize your essay, use the subject-by-subject method. For specific strategies and techniques, read Jamie Gullen’s award-winning essay: “Self-Discovery and the Danish Way of Life” (pp. 350-52). Keep in mind that your essay should be well developed, revealing, and interesting.
  • Major Requirements:

Be aware that some of these questions may seem repetitive, but they are meant to be so because it will be easier for you to discover points of comparison/contrast between American culture and your own.

Points to Remember

Introductory Paragraph

Set up a context for your essay; tell your readers what your emphasis will be about American culture and your own, explain its significance, and then state the main point (thesis) you are going to cover in your essay.

Body Paragraphs

Establish a basis for comparison/contrast. Provide ideas, details, and sufficient evidence relevant to your main claim.


Be sure that your conclusion briefly summarizes the main point being made and provides a sense of closure for your readers.

you are going to take about comparison and contrast of Oman and America

Font: Times New Roman/double-spaced

Length: 3-4 pages

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