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The Formula for Writing a Compare & Contrast Essay

Compare & Contrast Essay

So many mysterious things in this world awake the interest deep inside of everyone. What actually makes them so spellbinding is the triviality of the world. The bewildering variety of paltry issues around makes us notice the magic power of things that differ a bit or a lot. Nonetheless, a compare and contrast essay could be written not only on each of these groups separately, but also on their affiliation or its absence. In school, it was a piece of cake to write such an essay simply kicking off with two columns where the similarities or differences are listed and keeping on with compiling two paragraphs. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.

As time went by, the complexity of topics and the difficulty of writing arose. The purpose of writing a compare and contrast essay has not undergone drastic changes: to discuss or clarify the similarities and differences between two objects, ideas, concepts, philosophies, etc., and to give a reader the thorough understanding of the topic examined. Despite the basic features of this type of essay that were already mentioned above, you might be given additional ones. It could be choosing an ideology or idea that you like more and persuading the audience that it is better. A notable example that has just popped into my head is as follows: if I were given the assignment to contrast two philosophical ideas that run contrary to each other, I would use the concepts that present one of them as more absurd or ridiculous. Nevertheless, if it is clearly stated that you need to be objective and not to give your perspective to a reader, omit stating your preferences and stick to general information.

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The way of organizing the process of writing your essay depends on you, but it always starts with finding affinities and differences between the concepts. Even though the easiest way is to make two columns, as we did it in school, some students prefer to have a more vivid picture. They tend to use the Venn diagram, which, with the help of overlapping circles, provides a visual presentation. You should organize the information for your essay over a couple of days, as you can bypass many details or your mind can just go blank. The following idea should be imprinted in your memory: the first argument is the weakest one and the last one is the strongest.

The way to organize your essay depends on you as well. Here two possible options are available:

  • discussing one single item in a short paragraph, comparing or contrasting things according to it;
  • discussing all similarities or differences of the thing in a longer paragraph.

The sound piece of advice could be taken here: the first option would be preferable if your assignment is tough and similarities or differences are complex, and the affinities unclear. Although this type of an essay follows the general essay format, which is introduction, main body, and conclusion, you will have more body paragraphs than in other types.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you will find it easier to write a compare and contrast essay. Enjoy the process!


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