• Thursday, December 24

Based on the portrait of American tennis player Althea Gibson in the film AltheaLinks to an external site., write an essay that compares/contrasts Gibson’s life to the life of a contemporary athlete.  This athlete must be alive today, and either still active in his/her sport or recently retired from it.  This athlete can be in any field: tennis, basketball, golf, swimming, baseball, football, gymnastics, etc.  Obvious examples would be Venus or Serena Williams, Danica Patrick, LeBron James, Jose Altuve, or Colin Kaepernick.
In writing a compare/contrast essay, after you’ve done the necessary research, it’s very important to write your thesis.  Your thesis will tell you whether you will be primarily writing a comparison essay (which compares like qualities and experiences between subjects) or a contrast essay (which contrasts differences between subjects).
Be careful about how much of Gibson’s and your chosen subject’s life you cover.  So that you don’t become overwhelmed, choose a few aspects of their lives to analyze rather than trying to discuss Gibson from cradle to grave and your subject from cradle to today.
This essay must be written from a 3rd person point of view.  Do not tell a personal story.  This is not a narrative assignment.  Compare/contrast calls for a more academic tone.  Do not use I/we as the subject.  For example:

  • Incorrect:  I find Gibson’s life very compelling.  I believe she is a hero.
  • Correct:  Gibson’s life is very compelling.  One can say she is a hero.


  • Use at least 3 direct quotes from AltheaLinks to an external site. in your paper.
  • Use at least 3 direct quotes from at least one outside source pertaining to your comparison subject.  This source can be either scholarly or popular.  It is up to YOU to find this source.
  • Cite Althea Links to an external site.and your other source(s) in MLA bibliographic style.
  • 1000 – 1200 words
  • typed double-spaced
  • font size no larger than 12 points
  • 1-inch margins