Compare and contrast the two different versions of the story of the Great Chicago Fire. How does the format of each passage allow the author to add details and information to support his/her purpose? Excerpt 1:
Fannie Belle Becker (later Fanny Dement), ten at the time of the fire, wrote "My Experience of the Chicago Fire" almost exactly two years after the event.
Saturday evening Oct the 8th 1871, there was a large Fire in Chicago. It was probably the largest Fire ever in that city then. It was the lumberyard burning, there was a great many people out to see it. They stayed until a late hour and so were very tired, but did not get much rest for Monday morning at three o'clock, I was awakened and told to dress because the fire was all around us and we would soon be burnt out. My ma put all her valubals into her sewing machine and locked it up and threw some things in to her trunk. I carried ma's fur box (with furs in it), and, account book, and a parasol, and, a little lady called Jennie. And perhaps some of my little friends in Fruit-Port have met her, but some of you may not know who little Jennie is. So I will say that she is a little China doll a Christmas present when I was five years old and I will always keep her as a relic of the Chicago Fire. We could not save the sewing machine but did save the trunk. We had a gentleman friend who helped us; we all went down right away but ma stayed, she said that she would stay as long as she could. So we went around the corner to Monroe street and waited and when she came she brought a large hair matress. The air was so full of cinders and was so hot that it almost stifled her. We could not get an express man to carry the things for there were none to be had. So our friend drew our trunk and a trunk that belonged to a friend of his who was out of the city. He lashed the two together and lashed the matress on top of the trunks, and then drew them along. The trunks both has castors on. When we got to the corners of Dearborn street ma told me to go Down on Jackson st. a few blocks away to the house of a friend and see if they thought the fire would come there and if not we would go there and stay. And Just as I was about to start a man who had been standing near and heard what ma said told her that he would see me safe there. Ma thanked him and said we would not trouble him but he said it was no trouble and walked along beside me. He said he would take my account book I did not like his looks and so told him that I could carry it myself, and, as we went through a crowd just then I dodged away from him and ran and I have not seen anything of him since. When I got to the house they had all their things packed and out on the side walk and, in a little while ma came and then we went back to monroe st and then as the Fire came on we went on toward Lake Michagan as we went on we came to our friends brothers house we stayed here until the fire drove us out then the heat was so intense that it drove us down to the waters Edge and then my uncle who was with us (and, had arrived Saturday) took his hat and poured water on the things to keep them from burning but thousands and thousands of dollar's worth of goods were burned right there on the waters Edge. Although our things were saved we sat there until I was almost blind with the dirt and cinders that filled the air I could not open my eyes, so that when I walked ma had to lead me. I did not have anything to eat from Sunday afternoon until Monday afternoon at about four o'clock. Then we went out to the City limits on the South side to the house of a friend I stayed here two days and then I went out in the country with my cousins, and stayed there one week and then I came to Fruit-Port [Michigan]. I shall ever remember with thankfulness my reception by my little friends in Fruit-Port. I almost went barefoot and without any good clothes. I was well treated and one of them even took off her over shoes and let me wear them that I might go out in the cold weather and play. Never while I live will I forget my friends in Fruit Port.
Excerpt 2:
The Great Chicago Fire
The summer of 1871 was very dry, leaving the ground parched and the wooden city vulnerable. On Sunday evening, October 8, 1871, just after nine o'clock, a fire broke out in the barn behind the home of Patrick and Catherine O'Leary at 13 DeKoven Street. How the fire started is still unknown today, but an O'Leary cow often gets the credit. The O’Leary’s were later proven to be at a neighbor’s when the fire began, proving their innocence in the tragedy.

1.The Rush for Life Over the Randolph Street Bridge, 1871 (Harper's Weekly, from a sketch by John R. Chapin)
2.The Rush of Refugees through the Potter's Field toward Lincoln Park, 1871 (Harper's Weekly, from a sketch by Theodore R. Davis)
The firefighters, exhausted from fighting a large fire the day before, were first sent to the wrong neighborhood. When they finally arrived at the O'Leary's, they found the fire raging out of control. The blaze quickly spread east and north. Wooden houses, commercial and industrial buildings, and private mansions were all consumed in the blaze.
After two days, rain began to fall. On the morning of October 10, 1871, the fire died out, leaving complete devastation in the heart of the city. At least 300 people were dead, 100,000 people were homeless, and $200 million worth of property was destroyed. The entire central business district of Chicago was leveled. The fire was one of the most spectacular events of the nineteenth century, and it is recognized as tragic milestone in the city's history.
help please

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  1. Whenever you are writing a comparison/contrast paper (paragraph, essay, research paper), you need to plan it out very carefully on paper first.

    Try this:

    1. Write all the information about one of your topics on one page.
    2. Write all the information about the other topic on another page.
    3. Then put them together in this order:

    1. Intro
    2. All about topic A
    ~~~2A. detail 1
    ~~~2B. detail 2
    ~~~2C. detail 3
    ~~~2D. detail 4
    ~~~2E. detail 5
    3. All about topic B
    ~~~3A. detail 1
    ~~~3B. detail 2
    ~~~3C. detail 3
    ~~~3D. detail 4
    ~~~3E. detail 5
    4. Concl.

    The number of details for each topic will vary depending on your main points. I would include comparisons (how they are similar) in the introduction and conclusion, but sections 2 and 3 and all those details will be stating and explaining how they are different.

    There are two recognized patterns for writing comparison/contrast papers. One is casually referred to as "zig-zag,” but can be very confusing for the reader if you don’t use transitions effectively. The other is topic-by-topic (which is what I've outlined above) and is much easier for the reader to follow.

    See for further help with comparison/contrast writing.

    Once you have organized your information, please re-post if you’d like feedback from someone here.

  2. I'm not sure what the question means by "format." The first excerpt is a first-person account. The second is a third-person, journalistic account. You take it from there.

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