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Writing a compare and contrast essay involves explaining the similarities (comparing) and the differences (contrasting) between two related subjects to the reader. A compare and contrast paper can be used simply to point out the similarities and differences between two things or to help someone decide between them (for example, which dress to buy, which college to attend, or where to go on a vacation).
Writing a Comparison and Contrast Essay: Is It Challenging?
While the idea of writing a comparison and contrast essay may seem difficult, this type of writing is no different than any other type of academic essay; you will follow the same format and rules for writing on the topic that you need to compare and contrast. If you think about it, comparing and contrasting is something we do in everyday life; you will simply apply this normal thought process to your writing.
As you prepare to write your essay, make a list of all the common features between the two ideas or objects that you intend to compare and contrast. Then, make a separate list of all the differences that you can see.
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How to Write a Successful Comparison and Contrast Essay
One of the most effective techniques for comparing and contrasting is to draw a Venn diagram, where you present the comparison and contrast in overlapping circles. Each of the circles represents an idea or event that is relevant to your research subject.Where each circle overlaps, write in the similarities that the two objects or ideas have; in the spaces that are not overlapping, list the features that are different.
Once you have listed all of the features that are similar or different, you can concentrate on writing the comparison/contrast essay. The first stage of writing any essay should involve creating an outline, which serves as a framework around which you will do the actual writing. Start out with an introduction that informs the reader about the purpose of the essay, explains the subject matter, and lets your audience know how and why you chose your topic.
In the next section, you will do the actual comparing and contrasting of the objects or ideas you have chosen to discuss. Be sure to give concrete examples, illustrations, and citations from other literature in order to clarify your position to your readers. This section of the essay should contain several paragraphs, in which you will compare and contrast, then offer further explanations of the arguments you have made.
The last section of your comparison and contrast essay should summarize the ideas you have discussed and present a conclusion to your readers. Once you have finished writing your first draft of the essay, read over it carefully to make sure that you have provided logical arguments that will be clear to your reader, and that your writing follows a logical progression. Correct any grammatical errors, make sure that you have cited all of your sources correctly, and ask a peer or a professional editor to proofread the essay for you.