While I created similar compare-contrast papers for one of my classes, this assignment takes the method a step further by having students give a persuasive speech based on their comparisons. I had to read the assignment a couple of times to get it, but it makes sense in this way: if your boss someday tells you to research alternatives, compare them, and then offer a best choice, it's pretty much the same. In essence, she created an assignment that is more true-to-life than most high school writing assignments. It's an interesting mix of assignments that could allow you to check off two requirements at once.
As a bonus, it could be used in a science class or as an Earth Day activity.