Comparing and contrasting. We do that every day whether you realize it or not.
When you are looking for a good smartphone to purchase, a college to enter, or lunch to have. All the choices you make are connected to comparing and contrasting.
However, for some reasons, when we get such an assignment at school, we cannot overcome the feeling that we cannot compose a single line that would match the criteria or sound persuasive enough.
There might be two main issues behind this: you either do not understand the structure of this essay, or you do not have a good topic to work on.
That is why we have decided to solve both of these issues and help you compose great pieces at once.
Correct structure of a compare and contrast essay
Such writing consists of three main parts:
- An introduction.
Your text should begin with an introduction that will explain what ideas are being compared or contrasted. The main goal of this part of your text is to grab readers' attention and make them want to read the whole piece. In other words, there must be "a hook" in the opening that would stimulate the interest and engagement.
Remember that you need to make it sound appealing and original, as no one would want to finish the text that is dull or old news.
Finish this paragraph with a thesis statement. It is a sentence that represents the main idea of the writing in short.
- Main body.
This is where all the magic is happening. In several sections of text's main body you are to demonstrate different contrast or compare points. You need to have valid evidence to support your ideas as well as proper analysis which your readers can see and follow all the way down.
However, you do not have to choose too many similarities or differences. Instead, pick the most valuable ones and elaborate them.
Remember that each paragraph should end with a conclusion which is a short sentence showing the main idea of the section.
And also, you need either to compare, or to contrast ideas, people, or events. You cannot do both, as it is going to be too confusing for your readers.
- Even though you will have different conclusions in the end of each paragraph throughout the text, you also need to have a conclusion as a separate part in the end of your essay.
Summarize all the main similarities or differences you talked about in the text, and point the readers' attention to one main idea. It is this last conclusion that readers will remember even after they finish your article.
Please stick to this structure to make a better impression on those reading what you wrote. And choose a good topic that would be interesting to read about.
If you are having troubles coming up with a good theme, then pick one out of 100 we selected for you. Choose the appropriate category - and voila! You have a whole list of things to compare.
Can you name the common and different features of two literary genres, people you know, or World War II events? If you do not, read how to write a compare and contrast essay. The article contains a list of the hot compare and contrast essay topics. Analyze them to come up with the most interesting idea!
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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Step-by-Step?
Start with the topic title and a powerful hook to make the reader interested and mention a detail related to the theme. What about the hook? Decide whether it should be a:
- Literary term
- Literary quote
- Rhetorical question
Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction
Compare and contrast essay introduction: Present the subjects you wish to cover in your paper. Remember that it cannot be a single subject! List the specific terms, cases, people, or events that possess certain factors in common and features that make them different. Check whether the opening paragraph includes the must-have elements.
Name the particular things to draw parallels and show gaps – do not start talking about things the subjects have in common and things that make them different out of the blue. In the introduction, a writer lists the issues to cover without going into the details. They should go in the body paragraphs of the masterpiece. Set out a sentence/couple of sentences to name particular themes under the central idea.
Thesis statement – it is a single sentence or a couple of sentences, which introduce the man argument of the entire paper and reasons to study the problem. It should be the most powerful part of the introduction. Place a thesis statement at the end of the opening paragraph.
The next part of the compare and contrast essay outline is a body, and here is how to write a 5 paragraph compare and contrast essay. An effective outline prevents from facing writer’s block.
Go on Studying Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Body Paragraphs
Body paragraphs: Students who know how to write a typical five-paragraph essay should have an idea about the way the structure of this paper should look like. A paper may contain more than five paragraphs altogether depending on the number of subjects a student decides to analyze. It depends on the number of features a writer decides to take into account. Example: if a writer wants to show similarities & differences between three subjects using a couple of perspectives, he/she should include two paragraphs in the body. In the end, it will be a four-paragraph paper. Read the prompt carefully to find whether the teacher recommends a specific amount of paragraphs or a student is the one to decide on that factor. Try to avoid discussing more than three aspects.
Begin every new paragraph in the body with a theme sentence (point one, criterion one/item A, B) focused on the factor a writer plans to analyze. Discuss the different and similar features, add personal thoughts on the topic, and support whatever you say with the credible evidence, statistics, facts, words of field experts. While “building bridges” between various parts of the text, use transitions. Here is a brief list of the possible transition words/phrases a writer may use to connect different paragraphs:
- At the same time
- In the same way
- On the contrary
- On the other hand
Analyze each body paragraph from the independent point of view. Do not make your paper biased.
Working on Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion
Essay conclusion: A writer has the introduction and body paragraphs, and it is time to develop an impressive conclusion. It may be the simplest part, but it is hard to impress. Include the offered components:
- Summary of the main ideas – make a summary of the main arguments made throughout the text to support the thesis statement. Synthesize the thesis statement with information provided in the body. Rewrite the thesis not to repeat yourself.
- Analysis – offer a brief analysis of the discussed material or talk about the possible solutions and implementation. Think about the nature of the chosen topic.
- Meaning – stress how significant the discussed problem is. Add why it was important to draw parallels between the selected subjects/events/people and explain what the purpose of the evaluation was.
How to Write a 5 Paragraph Compare and Contrast Essay: Two Approaches
Speaking of the outline, a couple of ways exist to outline such type of academic assignment:
- The Point-by-Point/Alternating Method
- The Block Method
It is important to choose a single one.
The Alternating Approach
The formula is simple: reveal ideas associated with subject A and subject B and alternates between them depending on the argument being offered.
No matter whether the subjects have more or less in common, the alternating method states the writer should share valuable information about every subject and corresponding point.
“If the tutor does not specify which of the approaches to outlining a student should use, stick to the point-by-point one as it stresses the different & similar features through contrasting. It results in a more opinion provoking and analytical research project.”
Melanie Lector, an academic tutor & editor at Pro-Essay-Writer
The Block Method
The Block technique is called subject-by-subject approach sometimes. This one means a writer must cover point for topic A and each point for B after that.
If a writer selects a subject-by-subject approach, he/she should not try injecting 2 unrelated papers into a single thesis. Another subject must be connected with the initial one and provide clear reference stressing the way they are similar or various. It assists in empowering reader engagement.
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Choosing Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Another important question is how to choose the right essay topics. The process starts with brainstorming and deep research to find a broad array of things that the topics have in common and different traits. Ask several questions to determine whether the chosen topic suits you: Is the chosen topic related to the field of study? What matters to the offered argument? Is there anything informative and interesting about it?
Below a student can find 32 excellent topic ideas to use.
Compare and contrast essay topics for 6th grade
- Best Friend & Enemy (Frenemies)
- Acting to singing
- Heavy metal music and punk rock
- Vampires vs werewolves: the one who wins
- Draco Malfoy against Harry Potter
- Driving a car and a train
- Free education or paid education
- Normal screening & 3D (4D)
Compare and contrast essay topics for college students
- Malevich & Pollock
- Church sermons to social campaigns
- Science or Arts: More viable field in the job market
- Research papers and coursework projects
- Various perspective college degrees
- Nuclear vs fossil energy
- Public vs private colleges
- Several types of English proficiency exams
Compare and contrast essay topics for high school
- The Bible and the Quran
- Various theories in physics used to explain aspects of human life
- Catching cold and being exhausted
- Hunger Games vs Divergent
- Hostels & renting rooms
- Boarding schools or day schools
- Ancient Greece & Ancient Rome
- Karl Marx and Friedrich Hegel
Compare and contrast topics for middle school
- Poetry as opposed to hip-hop music
- DC or Marvel comics
- The 40s/90s fashion & culture
- Traditional books or e-Books
- Opposing characters from Shakespeare’s story
- Tsunamis, earthquakes, and tornados
- Remote education vs traditional learning
- Summer & winter holidays
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