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Essay Date:

Tomorrow, Friday
Name: ______________________________________________
You may use this packet
Long Essay Workshop: Comparison on the essay!

A comparative essay requires that you

compare different historical individuals,
events, or processes in order to draw
historically valid conclusions. Comparisons
can be made across time periods, geographic
locations, or within the same time period or
location. In this essay, you will need to make
a comparative argument, substantiate your
argument with evidence, and analyze the
reasons for the similarities and differences
that you identified. In this essay, you will also
need to include a synthesis.

Compare the 1920s and 1950s in TWO of the following areas:
Impact of technology
Intolerant attitudes
Literary developments

1. Break down the prompt:

Time period (1920s and 1950s): Both periods were post-war
societies that involved tension between change and the status
quo of the pre-war period. The 1920s were largely a struggle
between traditionalism and modernism, while women in the
1950s, for instance, were encouraged to discard independence
they earned during World War II and go back to the domestic

Impact of technology: Both periods experienced post-war

prosperity, resulting in new technology of production,
distribution, consumerism, warfare, and medicine.

Intolerant Attitudes: This could be in terms of race, ethnic

backgrounds, political views (i.e., Communism and Red Scares),
religion, etc.

Literary Developments: 1920s literature included the Harlem

Renaissance and Lost Generation, while the 1950s saw the rise
of the beats and other writers who challenged the conformity of
the era.

- Identify similarities and differences in the TWO of the areas listed above (impact of technology,
intolerant attitudes, and literary developments) in each decade. Jot down your ideas and specific examples (people,
events, laws, ideas etc.), or qualifications (yes, but) that will help substantiate your claims. Consider REASONS for the sims &
diffs you identified.

Area #1: _____________ in 1920s Area #1: _____________ in 1950s

Area #2: _____________ in 1920s Area #2: _____________ in 1950s

3. TAKE A POSITION more similar or more different?
Taking a position is not required but it helps to make your thesis more of an ARGUMENT.

No matter what position you take, you must address similarities AND differences in your thesis and essay.

You will also need to analyze the REASONS for the similarities and differences that you identify.

Write a thesis that that addresses MULTIPLE similarities and differences. You dont have to fully elaborate on your
reasoning in the thesis the reasons for the similarities and differences will be further discussed in the body of your
essay, with evidence! Use a dependent clause or phrase (despite, although, however, yet) to qualify your thesis and
indicate your position. Here are some examples:

The decades of the 1920s and 1950s both ___________ and _______. However, each decade differed
significantly in ______________ and _____________.

Despite differences in ___________________ and ________________, overall the 1920s and

1950s were largely similar in that _________________ and __________________.

Although the decades of the 1920s and 1950s differed in the extent of ________ and ________, they
shared in common _____________, ____________, and ______________.

Write your thesis here:

You may use the back of this paper to construct an outline.

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