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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

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❶Research Iowa State University's Programs. Essentially, there are two possible ways to outline or organize a comparative writing paper.

Choosing a Topic for Comparison Essay

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Why Is It Essential To Have An Organized And Clear Outline For Your Compare And Contrast Essay?
What does contrast mean? What about compare?

Discuss how the second point relates or differs from topic A and topic B. Compare and contrast papers are most commonly seen in secondary and post-secondary classrooms and, in many circumstances, the assignment instructions will clearly outline the topics or ideas that need to be compared.

However, in the event that it does not, you may be asked to create a basis for comparison on a subject of your choosing. If you are asked to come up with a topic, it is important the subjects be comparable so that you are capable of clearly articulating the differences and the similarities between each. For example, you would be hard pressed to compare Christmas Trees to Easter Hams. Save for being centered on the holidays, the two have very little in common. Apple Trees and Oak Trees, albeit not very interesting subjects, are comparable.

After having settled on the items for comparison, it is necessary to think methodically about how the items relate to one another and how they may differ and to create a list that clearly outlines your findings. For example, you may determine that the fruit of the apple tree can be harvested to create food whereas the wood of the oak tree can be harvested to create shelter.

Both trees provide shade. However, it should consist of enough similarities and differences to aid you in creating an initial starting point and help you to formulate essay ideas. We have created a Plagiarism Checker for Teachers. Feel free to use it! Search our giant database of original essays classified by topic. The thesis statement should be reflective of your findings. A more detailed and multifarious thesis statement will typically consist of both similarities and dissimilarities.

Whichever direction you go, the essay writing format is the same: The introductory paragraph should engage readers and encourage them to continue reading, for this reason it is important to focus on a key fact about one of the subjects being compared or to ask a question that will be answered in the body or conclusion of the essay. The introduction of a comparison paper should effectively describe what the proceeding essay is to discuss so if you are planning to compare apple trees and oak trees, be certain to use clear language.

Why do oak trees create curb appeal? Both improve the esthetics of a yard for different reasons, and they have more similarities than you may have originally thought. The introduction should be used to create an overall outline of the comparison research paper. For example, if the initial compare and contrast paragraph focuses on comparing and contrasting each tree, the second should focus on a different point — like the overall esthetics of the two, and the third may be about differences in upkeep.

Much like all essays, the body of a compare and contrast essay requires a certain degree of planning. This means that before attempting to compare and contrast the chosen subjects, it is necessary to create a list of everything that you know to be true about each item. This means that you may have to do a little more research to see how your items are connected. As you research each item, attempt to find information that may not be widely known.

Keep in mind that if a reader is going to choose to read an essay comparing and contrasting apple and oak trees, they probably already have a thorough knowledge on the subject matter. In order to keep your essay informative and engaging, you will need to source for factual information that not only impresses the reader but also teaches them something they may not have already known. The closing paragraph is also essential in writing a comparing and contrasting essay.

It should conclude the compare and contrast essay in its entirety and not leave any margin of doubt. Essentially, there are two possible ways to outline or organize a comparative writing paper.

Write down existing facts in the boxes that help you understand what features you have discovered. On this stage of the writing process you should have a clear idea of the purpose of this essay. Try to answer the following questions: Why was this type of essay assigned to you?

Does this type of assignment have any similarities with the ones you have completed before? What should be emphasized in this type of essay? Certainly, you should use them as the guide, only. Try to formulate your own questions and arguments after you have studied the listed questions. First ask several typical questions, such as: If you research some objects you might try to concentrate on its physical features, like size, weight and height. If you are assigned to compare two historical events, one should ask the following questions: When did it happen?

Who was involved in it? Why did it happen? How did it influence further events? Why is this event important? What are these ideas? Who comes up with them? Why are they defended? How have they influenced people? How are they used? Which one is more credible? After you have completed your list of differences and similarities, you should evaluate which of them are more interesting and important for your essay.

In order to facilitate this process, you should ask these questions:. If you are assigned to compare and contrast two novels, you should cautiously evaluate the importance of different facts and features. Some physical features of the characters would be of less importance for this type of assignment; emphasize on psychological differences and similarities of the characters, the differences of the plots and attempts of the writer to research and investigate some problems or events.

In some essays it is pivotal to stress particular points of comparison. If you are assigned to compare the novels of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins for example, you should not emphasize that both of these authors are classical English writers.

This fact is common knowledge and it is well-known to your tutor, essay writers and students. Talking about different analysis approaches to human minds would better show your understanding of the novels. It is the central feature of your essay , the guide of your writing process. The most common question that should be asked in the designing of this type of the thesis is "why?

You should show the importance of things and events that you compare. That is why composing this type of an essay might differ from other ones. The following are several methods of organizing and designing this type of essay. First, list all information on the first subject of comparison.

Then you should go further, and list all points of another subject of comparison. Then you should do the same with the third subject and so forth, depending on the number of subjects of comparison.

Certainly, if your paper is not long, one paragraph might comprise several items; however it is better to devote one paragraph to one item of comparison. The danger of such comparison is that your paper might be transformed into a simple list of points of comparison.

Do not succumb to this mistake. Remember, your tutor would like you to compare and contrast these subjects, and not only provide the list of differences and similarities. In other words analytical work is expected from you. In order to complete this type of essay one should develop and design analytical thesis and paragraph one or several of them, depending on the topic of your essay that can combine your several points together. This item-to-item comparison is frequently used when you design so called "lens" comparison.

In this assignment you are asked to use one thing for better understanding of another.

Comparison Essay Structure

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One of the most common is the comparison/contrast essay, in which you focus on the ways in which certain things or ideas—usually two of them—are similar to (this is the comparison) and/or different from (this is the contrast) one another.

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A compare and contrast essay outline example such as comparing and contrasting two dogs, Molly and Morgan may sound something similar to this: “ Do opposite poles attract? Well, the principle of attraction states that they do.

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The compare and contrast essay, also called the comparison and contrast essay, requires the writer to compare the differences and similarities between two or more items. The context will vary depending on the nature of the essay. A comparison essay (or a Compare and Contrast essay) is a commonly used type of writing assignment in various classes of high school and college, from art to science. In a comparison essay you should critically analyze any two subjects, finding and pointing out their similarities and/or differences.

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To write a compare/contrast essay, you’ll need to make NEW connections and/or express NEW differences between two things. The key word here is NEW! Comparison and contrast essay is one of the most common assignments in American high schools and universities. In this type of essay students have to compare two (in some essays several) things, problems, events or ideas and evaluate their resemblances and differences.