Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

When you compare and contrast two or more topics, you usually talk about the things that each has in common and what makes them different in academic writing. It’s a great way to show the differences and similarities between things or ideas that are linked if they are often mixed up or unfairly grouped together.  At its core, a compare-and-contrast essay looks at how two or more types of writing are alike and how they are different. When you compare and contrast two topics, you help the reader understand both better and understand how one topic fits into the bigger picture. 

Find out what compare and contrast means.

At their most basic level, both comparison and contrast are based on looking at two or more things that are linked. The people may have things in common, like the same background or traits. Contrasting two things brings out their differences, like how a watermelon is about ten times bigger than a banana. Comparing two things brings out the things they have in common, like how they are both fruits. Any educational question will give you a lot of interesting similarities and deductions to make.

How does a compare and contrast essay work?

When you write an essay that compares and contrasts two topics, you can put them next to each other and compare and contrast them. That is why you need to make sure that your thesis, topic sentences, and detailed language all talk about these things. For compare and contrast pieces, you also need to be able to think critically. If you want to write one, you need to do more than just describe the themes. You also need to think about and explain how they relate to each other. You can write a good comparison essay about almost anything, from current events and election candidates to vacation spots and things you buy.

How to Start Writing an Essay on Contrast and Comparison

If you want to write a good compare and contrast paper, you should have separate body paragraphs for each of your important points.

1. A Venn diagram is a good way to start coming up with ideas.

Most of the time, the best compare-and-contrast essays show a high level of analysis. That’s why you should think of things to write about before you start. A Venn diagram can help you come up with ideas for your compare-and-contrast essay if you’re having trouble. A Venn diagram is a group of circles that meet in the middle. One circle shows the traits of the first subject, and another shows the traits of the second subject. Traits that both people have are shown in the area between the circles that overlap.

2. Write down the Statement of Purpose.

After you make a picture of their similarities and differences, it will be easy to see how they are related. During this prewriting step, you can come up with your thesis statement and topic lines. Use your thesis statement to help you write your essay.

3. Plan ahead.

In order to start writing, you need to spend some time with your information and then make an outline. A good outline for a compare and contrast essay will follow the usual format of an essay, which has an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. As you write, don’t stray from your plan. A good plan is what sets tight, focused writing apart from rambling ones.

4. Put together the first chapter.

You need a good first paragraph to get your essay off on the right foot. The first part of a good opening is a good hook, like a rhetorical question or a strong statement. After your hook, you should talk about the things you will be talking about in your essay. You should put your thesis statement in the beginning.

5. Write the first paragraph of the body.

Begin your paper with a topic sentence that shows how your two subjects are alike and different in a certain way. When your paragraph is about two countries and the topic is political structure, it’s a good idea to start by giving a general outline of how politics work in each one. Next, you can write two sentences about each of the two countries’ political structures and compare and contrast them.

6. Follow the same steps for the next few paragraphs.

A normal comparative essay will look at the topic from a number of different points of view and compare and contrast them. So, you should try to write at least three body paragraphs that look at your two topics from different points of view. Jump from one phrase to the next with transition words.

7. Write down your last thoughts.

The last part of a compare and contrast essay is the conclusion. At this point, you should have given evidence to back up your argument about how your two subjects are alike and different. In the last line of your paper, you can restate your main point and add any final thoughts you may have. In the last line of your paper, restate what you’ve already said. Don’t add anything new.

8. Look over for mistakes.

Your essay still needs to be carefully checked for mistakes. In your essay, make sure that you give each topic enough space. Make it very clear what you think about the problems’ similarities and differences. Check that the grammar, spelling, and punctuation are all right and that everything is clear.

Check that what you’ve written is clear.

Think about how much harder it is to write an essay with more than one subject than with just one. One of the hardest parts of compare-and-contrast essays is making sure the reader understands which arguments are relevant to which problem and what the whole essay is building up to.   When you’re in the middle of writing, pausing to look over your work for clarity might be hard and distracting. Grammarly is helpful because it tells you how to rephrase whole lines so they are easier to read.

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