Remember, the point of comparing and contrasting is to provide useful knowledge to the reader.
- How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay.
- How to Write Compare and Contrast Essay: Can You Tell the Difference??
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Take the following thesis as an example that leans more toward contrasting. Thesis statement: Organic vegetables may cost more than those that are conventionally grown, but when put to the test, they are definitely worth every extra penny. Here the thesis sets up the two subjects to be compared and contrasted organic versus conventional vegetables , and it makes a claim about the results that might prove useful to the reader.
You may organize compare-and-contrast essays in one of the following two ways:. See Figure The organizational structure you choose depends on the nature of the topic, your purpose, and your audience. Given that compare-and-contrast essays analyze the relationship between two subjects, it is helpful to have some phrases on hand that will cue the reader to such analysis.
See Table Use the point-by-point organizing strategy for one of them, and use the subject organizing strategy for the other.
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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. Many business presentations are conducted using comparison and contrast. The organizing strategies—by subject or individual points—could also be used for organizing a presentation. Keep this in mind as a way of organizing your content the next time you or a colleague have to present something at work. Choose one of the outlines you created in Exercise 3, and write a full compare-and-contrast essay.
Be sure to include an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, well-defined and detailed paragraphs, and a fitting conclusion that ties everything together.
Skip to content Increase Font Size. Comparison and Contrast Writing for Success Learning Objectives Determine the purpose and structure of comparison and contrast in writing. Explain organizational methods used when comparing and contrasting. Understand how to write a compare-and-contrast essay. Exercise 1 Brainstorm an essay that leans toward contrast. Romantic comedies Internet search engines Cell phones.
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
Exercise 2 Brainstorm an essay that leans toward comparison. Department stores and discount retail stores Fast food chains and fine dining restaurants Dogs and cats. Exercise 4 Choose one of the outlines you created in Exercise 3, and write a full compare-and-contrast essay. Key Takeaways A compare-and-contrast essay analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both.
The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects.
Just as in the block paragraph essay format, students should begin the point by point format by catching the reader's interest. This might be a reason people find the topic interesting or important, or it might be a statement about something the two subjects have in common. This format does help students to concentrate on the characteristic s which may be may result in a more equitable comparison or contrast of the subjects within each body paragraph s. Regardless of the format of the essay, block or point-by-point, the student must use transition words or phrases to compare or contrast one subject to another.
This will help the essay sound connected and not sound disjointed. In the final concluding paragraph, the student should give a general summary of the most important similarities and differences.
Comparison and Contrast
The student could also end with a personal statement, a prediction, or another snappy clincher. The text structure of compare and contrast is so critical to literacy that it is referenced in several of the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards in both reading and writing for K grade levels. The reading standards are then referenced in the grade level writing standards, for example, as in W7. Being able to identify and create compare and contrast text structures is one of the more important critical reasoning skills that students should develop, regardless of grade level.
Share Flipboard Email. Melissa Kelly has a master's degree in secondary education and over eight years of experience in the classroom.
She is the author of four books. Updated September 24, What is the most interesting topic for comparison? Is the evidence available? What is the most interesting topic to contrast? Which characteristics highlight the most significant similarities? Which characteristics highlight the most significant differences? Which characteristics will lead to a meaningful analysis and an interesting paper? Fiction vs. Nonfiction Renting a home vs.
Owning a home General Robert E. Lee vs General Ulysses S. Dog history.
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