Compare and Contrast Essay | The Definitive Guide
The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to showcase the differences between two elements by either comparing and contrasting. Most students find compare and contrast essays to be tricky as they are confused about the organization of the essay. This article is a beginner’s guide to writing compare and contrast essays and will guide you in writing one by following a few simple steps. If you already consider yourself an essay writer, writing a compare and contrast essay will not be hard for you.
Brainstorm and List Similarities and Differences
The first step of writing a compare and contrast essay is to find the similarities and differences between the two elements you are comparing. The best way to do so is to brainstorm all characteristics of the two elements and list them in two columns. Brainstorming and listing the similarities and differences will help you to make sure that no important distinction between the two elements is missed.
Make a Venn Diagram
After brainstorming and listing similarities and differences make a Venn diagram of the list you have made. Making a Venn Diagram will help you to eliminate comparisons that are not logical or characteristics that are common to both topics that are being compared. Moreover, Venn diagrams will allow you to find the most important distinctions between the things you are comparing in your essay.
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Writing the Introduction
The introduction should make it clear that it is a compare and contrast essay that will deal with the comparison of two elements. In the introduction, mention the two elements that you are going to compare and give a brief overview of both elements or topics. The thesis statement which is the most important part of the essay should come at the end of the introduction and give a roadmap of the essay.
Develop a Clear Thesis Statement
The thesis statement should implicitly mention the subjects that the essay will compare and contrast. The thesis statement should contain your main argument and the focus of your comparison and should also mention if you going to do a comparison, contrast, or both. Moreover, the thesis statement should also mention what you can learn by juxtaposing the two elements or subjects.
Structuring the Body Paragraph
The structuring is the part which most students find challenging. There are two ways you can structure your compare and contrast essay: based on subject, or point by point.
Organization by Subject
You can organize your compare and contrast essay on the basis of the topic. In this type of organization, the body paragraph is divided into two main paragraphs, one discussing the first topic, and the other discussing the second topic. If you choose to organize your compare and contrast essay on the basis of the topic, discuss everything about the first subject in the first paragraph. After that, discuss the second subject in the second paragraph. Remember to compare and contrast the two topics by using compare and contrast phrases.
Organization by Point
Organizing your compare and contrast essay on point by point will allow you to compare the similarities and differences more easily as those are your main focus. In this type of organization, rather than organizing by topic, you organize your essay by taking one comparison at a time. In this type of organization, the similarity or difference between one topic and the other is close which makes the comparison much more logical and comprehensible because it easily showcases the characteristics of the two topics.
Words and Phrases that Should be Employed to Compare and Contrast
To properly compare and contrast you have to use signal words that show how the topics are being analyzed. You have to employ certain words and phrases to do a comparison and contrast between two topics. To compare two elements, use words such as similarly, likewise, in comparison, and both… and…. To contrast two topics, use words such as however, whereas, and on the other hand.
Writing the Conclusion
The conclusion should summarize the similarities and differences and what can be learned from the comparison. It should include a restatement of the thesis, a summation of the essay, and what is to be learned from such a comparison. The concluding paragraph is the place where you share closing statements and concluding thoughts. Make sure that the concluding paragraph does not contain any information that is not in the main essay.
These steps will help you to write a great compare and contrast essay. Remember that it is just a different kind of essay which needs a different approach. Additionally, practice a lot so that you are able to ace a compare and contrast essay. If you already know the basics of essay writing and consider yourself an essay writer and would not need to ask someone to write my essay, you can easily write a compare and contrast essay by following the steps given in this article. By now you should be ready to write your first compare and contrast essay. If you still dread the thought of writing an essay you can get help from a professional writer from an online paper writing service.