The answer is…carefully! When using a four-point rubric, such as the one below, a score of three is typically a score that shows students are achieving at an acceptable level. After all, it is the second highest point value on the rubric. Teachers who need to use letter grades are in a bind. Often the easiest way is to take the score earned on the rubric and turn it into a percentage. Mathematically this is accomplished by dividing the points earned by the number of points possible. This method alone will not give an accurate picture of student achievement. When earning three points on a four-point rubric, a student has performed well. Three out of four points mathematically, though, is only a score of 75 percent. In many grading systems, the student is now left with an undeserved D.
Plan B: Use Plan B if you have only a few, larger similarities or differences. After your introduction, in the next paragraph discuss one similarity or difference in BOTH works or characters, and then move on in the next paragraph to the second similarity or difference in both, then the third, and so forth, until you're done. If you are doing both similarities and differences, juggle them on scrap paper so that in each part you put the less important first ("X and Y are both alike in their social positions . ."), followed by the more important ("but X is much more aware of the dangers of his position than is Y"). In this format, the comparing or contrasting goes on in EACH of the middle parts.
Although this sentence has a contrast transition , the criteria for contrasting are not the same. The criteria used for Aaron are height (tall) and strength (strong). We would expect similar criteria to be used for Bruce (maybe he is short and weak), but instead we have new criteria, namely appearance (handsome) and intelligence (intelligent). This is a common mistake for students when writing this type of paragraph or essay. Compare the following, which has much clearer criteria (contrast structure words shown in bold).