The key to a good compare-and-contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. The purpose of conducting the comparison or contrast is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities. For example, if you wanted to focus on contrasting two subjects you would not pick apples and oranges; rather, you might choose to compare and contrast two types of oranges or two types of apples to highlight subtle differences. For example, Red Delicious apples are sweet, while Granny Smiths are tart and acidic. Drawing distinctions between elements in a similar category will increase the audience’s understanding of that category, which is the purpose of the compare-and-contrast essay.
Brainstorm an essay that leans toward contrast. Choose one of the following three categories. Pick two examples from each. Then come up with one similarity and three differences between the examples.
But it’s not always so easy to tell whether an assignment is asking you to include comparison/contrast. And in some cases, comparison/contrast is only part of the essay—you begin by comparing and/or contrasting two or more things and then use what you’ve learned to construct an argument or evaluation. Consider these examples, noticing the language that is used to ask for the comparison/contrast and whether the comparison/contrast is only one part of a larger assignment:
Brainstorm an essay that leans toward comparison. Choose one of the following three items. Then come up with one difference and three similarities.
The compare-and-contrast essay starts with a thesis that clearly states the two subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both and the reason for doing so. The thesis could lean more toward comparing, contrasting, or both. Remember, the point of comparing and contrasting is to provide useful knowledge to the reader. Take the following thesis as an example that leans more toward contrasting.
The most extensive of the new series, though, was with the Vienna Philharmonic. WhileBernstein's career until now had centered upon New York, his professional life would focusincreasingly upon Vienna. The most perplexing question is why an ardent zionist was soattracted to this most antisemitic of all European cities (and, for that matter, why he soactively contributed to the profits of a record company firmly rooted in the Third Reich).Philharmonic violist William Lincer succinctly summarized the anomaly: "They gaveflowers to Mr. Bernstein today. Twenty-five years ago, they probably killed fifty of hisrelatives."
In this essay discussion, I am going to compare/contrast the author’s purpose, the intended audience, and the impact on the reader’s that each author intended to accomplish through the essay that they wrote; I also plan to show that the descriptive essay communicates the author’s point of view superior to that of the narrative essay....
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Writing a Compare/Contrast EssayA comparison essay notes either similarities, or similarities and differences â¢ A contrast Compare and Contrast Essay Structure: Block Method In the BlockComparison and Contrast Essay: Block MethodComparison and Contrast Essay: Block Method In the block method, you describe all the similarities in the first body paragraph and then all the differences inCompare & contrast essays - EAP FoundationCompare and contrast is a common form of academic writing, either as an by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical two main ways to structure a compare and contrast essay, namely using a block orBlock Method Paragraph outlineSubject Focus (block) Introductory commentary Block Method Paragraph outline: Here are the two common ways to organize comparison/contrast essaysComparison and Contrast EssaysA comparison and contrast essay focuses on how two items or texts are similar, different, or The first (and often the clearest) method is the Point-by-Point method POINT 1 Paragraph 1: Mill believes that the majority makes moral decisions
To help your reader keep track of where you are in the comparison/contrast, you’ll want to be sure that your and topic sentences are especially strong. Your thesis should already have given the reader an idea of the points you’ll be making and the organization you’ll be using, but you can help her/him out with some extra cues. The following words may be helpful to you in signaling your intentions:
After you finish analyzing the subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis. See to read a sample compare-and-contrast essay.
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.
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 for examples.