For each body paragraph, you support the thesis by writing about each topic at the same time. Either one of these methods can work for your compare and contrast essay. And remember—the thesis is only as strong as the evidence that supports it, so choosing your method before you start writing is a good idea. I know, I know—this is just something your professor tells you to do. But it really works! My advice: Grab a snack and a cup of coffee. Stare out the window. Let the ideas start flowing in, and think about what you might have to say about them.
Jot down some notes. Need some help with brainstorming?
Compare and contrast features
Another step? You bet! Trust me—outline each paragraph of your essay.
Need some more help with outlining? Instead, jot down a few ideas of what your thesis might be. Try writing your body paragraphs first.
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
Did you know that Kibin has a neat tool that can help you build that thesis if you get stuck? Give it a try: Kibin Thesis Builder. Say it with me now: this essay is going to be awesome. And it will be. As a final bit of advice, if your professor gives you instructions for how to organize and write this essay, follow them as closely as possible. Ask your professor for clarity if necessary. Also make sure you read some good compare and contrast essay examples to familiarize yourself with this essay style. Get inspiration from over , example essays. Ryan G. He teaches English composition courses, tutors a diverse student body in a writing center, and designs online learning modules for comp and business writing.
He is also a Kibin editor.
Everything’s an Argument
Has this ever happened to you? Take the following thesis as an example that leans more toward contrasting. Thesis statement: Organic vegetables may cost more than those that are conventionally grown, but when put to the test, they are definitely worth every extra penny. Here the thesis sets up the two subjects to be compared and contrasted organic versus conventional vegetables , and it makes a claim about the results that might prove useful to the reader. You may organize compare-and-contrast essays in one of the following two ways:. See Figure The organizational structure you choose depends on the nature of the topic, your purpose, and your audience.
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 Table Create an outline for each of the items you chose in Note Use the point-by-point organizing strategy for one of them, and use the subject organizing strategy for the other.
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay: Writing Guide - A Research Guide for Students
First choose whether you want to compare seemingly disparate subjects, contrast seemingly similar subjects, or compare and contrast subjects. Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare, contrast, or both as well as state what can be learned from doing so.
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. After you finish analyzing the subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis.
See Chapter 15 "Readings: Examples of Essays" to read a sample compare-and-contrast essay. Many business presentations are conducted using comparison and contrast. The organizing strategies—by subject or individual points—could also be used for organizing a presentation. Keep this in mind as a way of organizing your content the next time you or a colleague have to present something at work.
Choose one of the outlines you created in Note Be sure to include an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, well-defined and detailed paragraphs, and a fitting conclusion that ties everything together. Previous Section. Table of Contents. Next Section. Explain organizational methods used when comparing and contrasting.
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- What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay?.
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Understand how to write a compare-and-contrast essay. The Purpose of Comparison and Contrast in Writing Comparison In writing, to discuss things that are similar in nature.
Writing at Work Comparing and contrasting is also an evaluative tool. Exercise 1 Brainstorm an essay that leans toward contrast. Romantic comedies Internet search engines Cell phones. Exercise 2 Brainstorm an essay that leans toward comparison. Department stores and discount retail stores Fast food chains and fine dining restaurants Dogs and cats.
The Structure of a Comparison and Contrast Essay 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. Figure