writing a comparison and contrast essay

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April 27, Staff Writers. With all the things you have going on as a student, writing a paper can seem like a daunting task. This image and list-based, step-by-step best dissertation service is the closest thing to writing a plug and chug paper you can get. So, are you ready to ace this paper of yours? The answer to this question is easy: look at the materials the prof gives you. The first important step in writing a paper is taking some time to understand what the professor is looking for. If you know that, you can write to the rubric and pick up easy points along the way.

Writing a comparison and contrast essay example dissertation

Writing a comparison and contrast essay

First choose whether you want to compare seemingly disparate subjects, contrast seemingly similar subjects, or compare and contrast subjects. Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare, contrast, or both as well as state what can be learned from doing so. The body of the essay can be organized in one of two ways: by subject or by individual points.

The organizing strategy that you choose will depend on, as always, your audience and your purpose. You may also consider your particular approach to the subjects as well as the nature of the subjects themselves; some subjects might better lend themselves to one structure or the other. Make sure to use comparison and contrast phrases to cue the reader to the ways in which you are analyzing the relationship between the subjects. After you finish analyzing the subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis.

Both Washington, DC, and London are capital cities of English-speaking countries, and yet they offer vastly different experiences to their residents and visitors. Comparing and contrasting the two cities based on their history, their culture, and their residents show how different and similar the two are.

Both cities are rich in world and national history, though they developed on very different time lines. London, for example, has a history that dates back over two thousand years. It was part of the Roman Empire and known by the similar name, Londinium.

It was not only one of the northernmost points of the Roman Empire but also the epicenter of the British Empire where it held significant global influence from the early sixteenth century on through the early twentieth century. Washington, DC, on the other hand, has only formally existed since the late eighteenth century.

Though Native Americans inhabited the land several thousand years earlier, and settlers inhabited the land as early as the sixteenth century, the city did not become the capital of the United States until the s. From that point onward to today, however, Washington, DC, has increasingly maintained significant global influence. Even though both cities have different histories, they have both held, and continue to hold, significant social influence in the economic and cultural global spheres.

London has a much richer past than Washington, DC, and consequently has a lot more material to pull from when arranging its collections. Both cities have thriving theater districts, but again, London wins this comparison, too, both in quantity and quality of theater choices. With regard to other cultural places like restaurants, pubs, and bars, both cities are very comparable. Both have a wide selection of expensive, elegant restaurants as well as a similar amount of global and national chains.

While London may be better known for its pubs and taste in beer, DC offers a different bar-going experience. With clubs and pubs that tend to stay open later than their British counterparts, the DC night life tend to be less reserved overall. Both cities also share and differ in cultural diversity and cost of living. Both cities share a very expensive cost of living—both in terms of housing and shopping. These high costs create socioeconomic disparity among the residents.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the resident demographics is the racial makeup. Even though Washington, DC, and London are major capital cities of English-speaking countries in the Western world, they have many differences along with their similarities. Compare and contrast essays are very common at university, and you may have come across them before.

This guide will help you understand exactly what's expected of you, and give the structure you'll need to write a high grading essay of your own. A compare and contrast essay is designed to see the links between two different theories or ideas. Comparing will be looking at what's similar, and contrasting will be looking at what's different between the two. As the name implies, your topics will be two ideas or theories that can be compared. This could be anything from two different books, people, ideas, or events.

For example, you could be described to compare and contrast Tesla and Edison. Give them a try, and hone your essay writing skills. When you get a real essay to write, you'll feel more comfortable in writing it. Now you have the tools to write a great compare and contrast essay.

Remember, make sure you do your research, and take your time writing. That way, you can get an excellent grade. You can use your new password to log in to your account. Compare and Contrast Essay Structure Here's how an average compare and contrast essay could be laid out: Introduction: Introduce the two ideas that you're going to compare. Give a brief background on both, to give context for the main body. Thesis statement: This is going to be your impression of the two theories.

Are they more similar than you thought, or do they differ more than is obvious to the average person? Main body: Each paragraph in this section will detail a different point. You can start either with comparing the theories, or contrasting them. Just make sure that each point is backed up with relevant research. Conclusion: This will draw all the main points together, and emphasise how they support your thesis. Look for the similarities and differences, and make notes.

How will this affect your essay?

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This is a helpful visual aid, because it organizes similarities and differences clearly. All you have to do is glance at your Venn diagram to get a sense of the things that you could write about. If you prefer to focus on one subject at a time, jot your lists down on a blank sheet of paper and flip it over to the other side for the other subject. Remember to keep characteristics of the different subjects somewhat parallel. This will make it easier to structure a good argument. A good compare-and-contrast essay goes beyond a simple listing of similarities and differences to make a meaningful statement about a larger topic.

What do these similarities and differences say about the topic? That will be your main argument. There are many possibilities for structuring a compare-and-contrast essay. You could write about one subject in detail, and then switch to the other. You could write two paragraphs about qualities that are common to women they tend to be more compassionate, they are good multitaskers along with some that they share with men they are capable of sacrificing self for the good of others.

Then you would focus on men in the next section. Men usually have superior physical strength and technical skills. You can also go point by point throughout the essay. Craft an outline that fits the structure you have chosen. Traditionally, an essay consists of an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Consider including four body paragraphs instead to give balance to your two subjects.

As you begin to write your essay, back up your assertions with evidence from research, reading, or personal experience. If you are comparing and contrasting cats and dogs, use personal anecdotes about friends and their pets to bolster your arguments.

With any information that you include, be sure to explain why it matters in the context of your larger argument. Transitional words give your essay a nice flow from one statement to the next. Once you have finished, read your essay several times to check spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Make use of spell check and grammar check tools in your word processing program. If possible, get a friend to cast a fresh pair of eyes on it to find mistakes you might have missed. How does it fit with what you have been studying so far and with the other assignments in the course?

Are there any clues about what to focus on in the assignment itself? Here are some general questions about different types of things you might have to compare. You may want to begin by using the questions reporters traditionally ask: Who?

By now you have probably generated a huge list of similarities and differences—congratulations! Next you must decide which of them are interesting, important, and relevant enough to be included in your paper. Ask yourself these questions:. Suppose that you are writing a paper comparing two novels. However, if you were writing a paper for a class on typesetting or on how illustrations are used to enhance novels, the typeface and presence or absence of illustrations might be absolutely critical to include in your final paper.

Sometimes a particular point of comparison or contrast might be relevant but not terribly revealing or interesting. Talking about the different ways nature is depicted or the different aspects of nature that are emphasized might be more interesting and show a more sophisticated understanding of the poems. Be careful, though—although this thesis is fairly specific and does propose a simple argument that atmosphere and delivery make the two pizza places different , your instructor will often be looking for a bit more analysis.

Again, thinking about the context the class provides may help you answer such questions and make a stronger argument. You may find our handout on constructing thesis statements useful at this stage. The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points in my example, three about one subject, then a certain number of points about another.

This is usually not what college instructors are looking for in a paper—generally they want you to compare or contrast two or more things very directly, rather than just listing the traits the things have and leaving it up to the reader to reflect on how those traits are similar or different and why those similarities or differences matter.

Thus, if you use the subject-by-subject form, you will probably want to have a very strong, analytical thesis and at least one body paragraph that ties all of your different points together.

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Are there any clues about what to focus on in the assignment itself? Here are some general questions about different types of things you might have to compare. You may want to begin by using the questions reporters traditionally ask: Who?

By now you have probably generated a huge list of similarities and differences—congratulations! Next you must decide which of them are interesting, important, and relevant enough to be included in your paper. Ask yourself these questions:. Suppose that you are writing a paper comparing two novels. However, if you were writing a paper for a class on typesetting or on how illustrations are used to enhance novels, the typeface and presence or absence of illustrations might be absolutely critical to include in your final paper.

Sometimes a particular point of comparison or contrast might be relevant but not terribly revealing or interesting. Talking about the different ways nature is depicted or the different aspects of nature that are emphasized might be more interesting and show a more sophisticated understanding of the poems.

Be careful, though—although this thesis is fairly specific and does propose a simple argument that atmosphere and delivery make the two pizza places different , your instructor will often be looking for a bit more analysis. Again, thinking about the context the class provides may help you answer such questions and make a stronger argument.

You may find our handout on constructing thesis statements useful at this stage. The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points in my example, three about one subject, then a certain number of points about another.

This is usually not what college instructors are looking for in a paper—generally they want you to compare or contrast two or more things very directly, rather than just listing the traits the things have and leaving it up to the reader to reflect on how those traits are similar or different and why those similarities or differences matter. Thus, if you use the subject-by-subject form, you will probably want to have a very strong, analytical thesis and at least one body paragraph that ties all of your different points together.

Rather than addressing things one subject at a time, you may wish to talk about one point of comparison at a time. For example, a literature review involves comparing and contrasting different studies on your topic, and an argumentative essay may involve weighing up the pros and cons of different arguments.

As the name suggests, comparing and contrasting is about identifying both similarities and differences. You might focus on contrasting quite different subjects or comparing subjects with a lot in common—but there must be some grounds for comparison in the first place. However, if you contrasted pre-revolutionary France with Han-dynasty China, your reader might wonder why you chose to compare these two societies. Every element of an essay should serve your central argument in some way.

Scribbr Plagiarism Checker. Comparing and contrasting can be a useful tool to help organize your thoughts before you begin writing any type of academic text. You might make a table to summarize the key differences between them. You might visualize the key similarities and differences in a Venn diagram. The point of comparing and contrasting at this stage is to help you organize and shape your ideas to aid you in structuring your arguments.

When comparing and contrasting in an essay, there are two main ways to structure your comparisons: the alternating method and the block method. You cover both your subjects side by side in terms of a specific point of comparison. Your text is structured like this:. One challenge teachers face is identifying and assisting students who are struggling without disrupting the rest of the class.

In a traditional classroom environment, the teacher can easily identify when a student is struggling based on their demeanor in class or simply by regularly checking on students during exercises. They can then offer assistance quietly during the exercise or discuss it further after class. The most commonly cited advantage of distance learning is the flexibility and accessibility it offers.

Rather than being required to travel to a specific location every week and to live near enough to feasibly do so , students can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows not only for a wider geographical spread of students but for the possibility of studying while travelling.

However, distance learning presents its own accessibility challenges; not all students have a stable internet connection and a computer or other device with which to participate in online classes, and less technologically literate students and teachers may struggle with the technical aspects of class participation.

Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others. Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:. Have a language expert improve your writing. Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Generate your APA citations for free!