The compare-and-contrast essay

The compare-and-contrast essay has a thesis that clearly states the two subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both with the reason for doing so. The thesis could emphasize comparing, contrasting, or both. The essay should provide relevant information to the reader. This paper will require academic research. You will compare a specific aspect of two cultures, at least one of which must be an Indigenous People from Canada (for example, a comparison of kinship patterns between the Haida and the Dakota).


In this assignment, you will write a 3 page essay in APA format, comparing and contrasting a specific aspect of culture between two different cultures. At least one of the cultures you choose must be an Indigenous people from Canada.

Choose a specific aspect of Indigenous culture to compare and contrast between two different cultures (for example Haida and British, Haida and Haudenosaunee, or Haida and Mexica). Some possible topics to consider include: traditional healing practices, family structures, war practices, land use and stewardship, or education. It is also possible to write on a more generalized subject such as the differences/similarities between Indigenous and Western Knowledges, Indigenous and Western pedagogies, etc. [students should be wary of pan-Indigenous statements that they cannot support, this will result in negative impacts to scoring regarding content, etc.]. This should reflect a pre1900 context, not contemporary (for example, it would not be appropriate to compare a contemporary Anishinaabe economy with the contemporary British economy, but you could compare pre/early contact Haida economy with a relevant European economy of that time [not modern; relevant being French or British for the purpose of INDG1220]).


  1. The essay must be 3 pages in length, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, and written in 12 pt font using Times New Roman.
  2. The essay must use APA citation format, with in-text citations and a reference list. You are required to include either the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or ISBN (International Standard Book Number) for each source in your reference list. Make sure to include this information for each source cited in your essay’s reference list.
  3. At least one of the cultures you choose must be an Indigenous people from Canada.
  4. The essay must include a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
  5. The body of the essay should provide a detailed comparison and contrast of the chosen aspect of Indigenous culture between the two chosen cultures.
  6. The essay must be well-organized and demonstrate a clear understanding of the chosen topic and cultures.
  7. You should use reputable sources to support your arguments and provide evidence for your comparisons and contrasts.

Submission Instructions: Submit your essay as a Word & PDF document through UMLearn. Make sure to follow the formatting and citation requirements outlined above.  General Information:

A strong way to structure your paper for this course is to include an introduction that catches the reader’s attention, discusses what will be discussed in the paper, and includes the thesis statement.  Following this, the body paragraphs should follow an understandable structure that includes the research you completed and shows a strong understanding of the content.  Finally, the paper should end with a conclusion that summarizes the material that was discussed and ends with a strong concluding statement.  Some recommendation for how the paper should be completed are included below.

– Provide minimum 5 sources; 2 Peer Reviewed Journal Articles (online or physical copy), AND ANY 3 OF: 1 book reference other than your textbook (online or physical), 1 Government document (electronic or physical copy, such as a Treaty, not a government blog/etc.), 1 additional peer reviewed article, and 1 report from a private organization (electronic or physical copy; again, not a blog from a private organization). NO news sources, Wikipedia, Encyclopedias, or dictionary sources. News articles/encyclopedias/etc. may only be supplementary material and do not count towards the 5 sources. Personal communications must be documented adequately. Personal research (e.g. interviews with individuals) requires clearance through Research Ethics Boards, as such it should not be used for course assignments and will not count towards source/research requirements.

– Essay must be double spaced in 12 point font, Times New Roman, and 1 inch margins. Length requirement does NOT include the title page or reference page(s).

– Analyze the research they have gathered and the points discussed in sources. In order to support your arguments, you MUST use correct APA citations for both direct quotes and paraphrasing.

– Pages will be numbered in the top right hand corner.

– No abstract necessary, and will not count towards the 3 page minimum.

– Title page MUST have a Running head as well as: This can be simple, your name (first initial, last name) and page number (no page number on the cover page, counting starts w/ the first page of the essay, not the cover page)

– Avoid the use of contractions (EG: Don’t should be written out as do not) and avoid Colloquial language (IE: “This is a thing”, slang terms, phrases such as “Pass the Buck”, or idioms like “It’s raining cats and dogs”).

– Be aware of your spelling and grammar.

-submissions more than 7 days late will receive a 0 (without exception)

A rubric has been provided that shows how the assignment will be graded and how many points each aspect of the paper are worth.  It is immensely important that you cite information that is not common knowledge.  Copying and pasting information from other sources is not an acceptable way of completing your paper. Excessive use of quotes will negatively impact both writing and creativity scores. When using the words of another person directly, including quotation marks as well as an in-text citation with page numbers, if applicable.  Paraphrasing another author’s information is acceptable, however paraphrased information also requires in-text citations and page numbers are a very good choice when including a citation, however they are not always mandatory.


  • 3 pages no less
  • use 12pt/Times New Roman font
  • follow APA format guide for margins, etc. & citation – no other style formats accepted
  • 5 sources, 2 academic papers (peer reviewed journal) + 3 of: 1 book reference other than your textbook (online or physical), 1 Government document (electronic or physical copy), 1 report from a private organization (electronic or physical copy), and/or 1 additional academic peer reviewed paper.
  • submitted in both .doc & .pdf formats only
  • header w/ page numbers
  • Focus on pre1900 period, no contemporary discussion
  • Centred on Indigenous Peoples of Canada and histories
  • Academic/scholarly discussion

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