Comparison and contrast essays apply to everyday life. People use it to compare experiences, people, and products and so on. Therefore, it seems fairly natural and straightforward way of thinking. However, for no clear reason, comparison and contrast become hard in writing, especially if one tries to force it into a five-paragraph essay. Maybe it would become much easier if the purpose and organisation of this essay were put under review. Most comparison and contrast essays serve many purposes as well as develop different tones.
The purpose of this essay concerns the following aspects:. All comparison and contrast essays mostly follow one of the two organisational patterns.
If the items under comparison are similar and the focus is only on the few characteristics or criteria, the writer uses the point-by-point pattern, also known as an organisation by criteria. When the items under comparison are not similar or when there are many criteria to consider, the point-by-point is not applicable. The presence of many criteria breaks the essay into many pieces for easy reading. In this case, the block comparison, also known as the organisation by item applies. The purpose such assignment is to analyse the differences and the similarities between two subjects.
A good essay does not merely point out the similarities and differences; instead, it makes good use of this point to make a sound argument about the two subjects. Check examples of compare and contrast essays to ascertain this. It can be somewhat intimidating to deal with this kind of an essay, but you need not worry. A little practice is all that matters to write a great compare and contrast paper.
This is how you go about it. Once you are done writing, revise your paper for any mistakes.
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Proofread and edit out anything that is inconsistent with your thesis statement. Make your paper presentable to your audience, which in this case is your instructor. Purpose Most comparison and contrast essays serve many purposes as well as develop different tones. The purpose of this essay concerns the following aspects: Evaluation The purpose here is to which of two items is the best or the most desirable. In this case, the comparison focuses on the advantages of one item and the disadvantages of the other.
It treats the two items as if they are competing. The tone may become more argumentative especially if the writer is trying to prove that his evaluation or judgement is correct. In other examples of compare and contrast essays, some writers try to maintain objectivity by remaining neutral in this comparison and to them, it does not matter which item is the best.
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
Understanding The writer tries to get a clear picture of the items, people, or events by comparing and contrasting them with other items, people, or events that are similar to them. This kind of purpose does not view anything as superior to the others. The tine is seldom argumentative is the purpose is to show understanding and appreciation. The writer maintains objectivity towards all the items irrespective of whether it is negative or positive. Grant's underlying aspirations.
Lee's underlying aspiration C. Grant's underlying aspiration.
For a shorter paper, the above might represent three paragraphs; if you are writing a long paper and have a great deal of information, you may choose to write about each point, A, B, and C, in separate paragraphs for a total of six. However you decide to organize, make sure it is clear why you are examining this subject.
You might be able to compare apples and oranges, for example, but why would you? Include any insights or opinions you have gathered. And yes, in general, three is the magic number. While there is no hard-and-fast rule that precludes creating a paper based on two points, or four, or five, a three-point discussion is manageable, especially for complex or abstract subjects.
At the same time, a three-point structure helps you avoid oversimplifying, especially when addressing controversial topics in which discussions tend to become polarized—right or wrong, black or white, for or against. Three-point treatments encourage discussion of the middle ground. Signaling transitions Learn to use expressions that precisely convey contrast or comparison.
These expressions, or transitions, signal contrast:. Signal words such as these help the reader understand the relationships between your sentences, paragraphs, and ideas.
In particular, if you are both comparing and contrasting, signal words help sort out what's what. This paper will follow parallel order—A, B, and then C—for each subject: A. Lee's underlying aspirations A. Grant's underlying aspirations However, here is another way to organize the same paper: A.
Lee's background A. Lee's personality B. Grant's underlying aspiration For a shorter paper, the above might represent three paragraphs; if you are writing a long paper and have a great deal of information, you may choose to write about each point, A, B, and C, in separate paragraphs for a total of six. These expressions, or transitions, signal contrast: on the contrary on the other hand however otherwise whereas still yet These expressions signal comparison: as well as both like in common with likewise also Signal words such as these help the reader understand the relationships between your sentences, paragraphs, and ideas.
How To Start A Compare And Contrast Essay?
See what starts to come together more naturally for you. It's typically easier to discuss similarities and then differences, instead of going subject by subject, but see takes shape for you. As soon as you decide on a topic for an essay, it's wise to do a cursory online search to make sure your topic has been covered enough by other scholars. Now that you're comfortable with your topic and the direction of your essay, it's time to gather supporting evidence. In these informative essays , statistical evidence is helpful. This includes facts, stats, and evidence.
You'll also want to explore testimonials, expert opinion, or even a personal encounter if it's relatable. If you can, gather personal statements about the subject. In the case of the two painters, see what type of commentary you can gather from them to support their similarities and differences. Cite statistics about the neighborhoods they grew up in if you're going to focus on their upbringing and background.
Compare/Contrast Essays | English
This way, it's not just your personal perceptions but factual evidence. With all these tools in your arsenal, it's time to write. Your introductory paragraph is going to introduce the two subjects to the readers. Offer a short tidbit about each subject, noting why you've chosen to compare and contrast the two. Then, close this opening paragraph with your thesis statement. That's a sentence or two summarizing what's to come in the essay. Next, you'll move on to the body of the essay.
This will be approximately four or more paragraphs focusing on key similarities and key differences, allowing for one paragraph for each point made. Alternatively, you may choose to focus subject by subject. Again, see what's most comfortable for you. Then, it's time to bring it all home in the conclusion paragraph. Briefly summarize the similarities and differences by reiterating your thesis statement in different terms.
A nice way to close out any kind of essay is to propose a rhetorical question or cite some sort of call to action. Ask the readers what the art world would look like without the influence of these two painters or invite them to study the painters' work in finer detail. With compare and contrast essays, it's easy to take a unique spin to an otherwise basic subject.
Just remember the golden rule for these types of essays. They must be of the same category. With that in mind, let's see if any of these topic ideas get your own wheels turning. Compare and contrast essays are wonderful fodder for the fire. You might conclude that music is more personal than poetry but your best friend, a Literature major, might disagree wholeheartedly. In which case, prepare to write your finest argumentative essay! There's no right and wrong in compare and contrast essays, in this way.