Compare And Contrast Essays Effective

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:

  • Metaphor
  • Simile
  • Allegory
  • Allusion
  • Anecdote
  • Statistics
  • Fact
  • 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
  • Both
  • Correspondingly
  • In the same way
  • Similarly
  • Conversely
  • Meanwhile
  • Nevertheless
  • On the contrary
  • On the other hand
  • Unlike

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:

  1. The Point-by-Point/Alternating Method
  2. 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.

Expert advice:

“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

  1. Best Friend & Enemy (Frenemies)
  2. Acting to singing
  3. Heavy metal music and punk rock
  4. Vampires vs werewolves: the one who wins
  5. Draco Malfoy against Harry Potter
  6. Driving a car and a train
  7. Free education or paid education
  8. Normal screening & 3D (4D)

Compare and contrast essay topics for college students

  1. Malevich & Pollock
  2. Church sermons to social campaigns
  3. Science or Arts: More viable field in the job market
  4. Research papers and coursework projects
  5. Various perspective college degrees
  6. Nuclear vs fossil energy
  7. Public vs private colleges
  8. Several types of English proficiency exams

Compare and contrast essay topics for high school

  1. The Bible and the Quran
  2. Various theories in physics used to explain aspects of human life
  3. Catching cold and being exhausted
  4. Hunger Games vs Divergent
  5. Hostels & renting rooms
  6. Boarding schools or day schools
  7. Ancient Greece & Ancient Rome
  8. Karl Marx and Friedrich Hegel

Compare and contrast topics for middle school

  1. Poetry as opposed to hip-hop music
  2. DC or Marvel comics
  3. The 40s/90s fashion & culture
  4. Traditional books or e-Books
  5. Opposing characters from Shakespeare’s story
  6. Tsunamis, earthquakes, and tornados
  7. Remote education vs traditional learning
  8. Summer & winter holidays

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TIP Sheet
WRITING A COMPARE/CONTRAST PAPER

A compare and contrast essay examines two or more topics (objects, people, or ideas, for example), comparing their similarities and contrasting their differences. You may choose to focus exclusively on comparing, exclusively on contrasting, or on both-or your instructor may direct you to do one or both.

First, pick useable subjects and list their characteristics. In fact, their individual characteristics determine whether the subjects are useable. After that, choose a parallel pattern of organization and effective transitions to set your paper above the merely average.

1. Picking a subject
Focus on things that can obviously be compared or contrasted. For instance, if you are examining an idea (political or philosophical) examine the opposite of that idea. Or, if you are examining a person, like a president, pick another president for comparison or contrast. Don't try to compare a president and a cab driver, or existentialism and a legislative bill on car tax refunds.

2. Listing characteristics
Divide a piece of paper into two sides. One side is for the first subject, the other for the second subject. Then, begin to list the similarities and differences that immediately come to mind. Concentrate on characteristics that either are shared or are opposing between the two subjects. Alternately, you may construct a Venn diagram of intersecting circles, listing the subjects' differences to either side and their similarities where the circles intersect. Keep in mind that for a balanced paper, you want to make point-by-point, parallel comparisons (or contrasts).

Similarities between my math and English instructors:
Both are welcoming and available to students.
Both are organized and keep a neat office.
Both are knowledgeable and professional.

 

Differences between my math and English instructors
Math teacher listens to classic rock.         English teacher listens to jazz.
Math teacher drinks Earl Grey tea.           English teacher drinks strong black coffee.
Math teacher likes to chat about movies.  English teacher sticks to business.

As you create your list, is it clear why you are comparing and contrasting these two subjects? Do you have a preference for one or the other? If so, make sure you are evaluating each side fairly. A point-by-point list helps you maintain balance.

Once you have a list, decide whether there are more similarities or differences between the topics. If there are more similarities, concentrate your paper on comparing. If there are more differences (or if, as in the example above, the differences are simply more interesting), concentrate on contrasting. If there is a balance of similarities and differences, you might concentrate on discussing this balance.

3. Organizing
There are at least two ways to organize a compare/contrast essay. Imagine you are examining Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, both Civil War generals. In your list you have uncovered important points of dissimilarity between them. Those points are their background, personalities, and underlying aspirations. (Call these three points A, B, and C.) You have decided to contrast the two subjects.

Here is one way to organize the body of this paper, addressing points A, B, and C for each subject. This paper will follow parallel order–A, B, and then C–for each subject:

A. Lee's background
B. Lee's personality
C. Lee's underlying aspirations

A. Grant's background
B. Grant's personality
C. Grant's underlying aspirations

However, here is another way to organize the same paper:

A. Lee's background
A. Grant's background

B. Lee's personality
B. Grant's personality

C. Lee's underlying aspiration
C. Grant's underlying aspiration

For a shorter paper, the above might represent three paragraphs; if you are writing a long paper and have a great deal of information, you may choose to write about each point, A, B, and C, in separate paragraphs for a total of six. However you decide to organize, make sure it is clear why you are examining this subject. You might be able to compare apples and oranges, for example, but why would you? Include any insights or opinions you have gathered. And yes, in general, three is the magic number. While there is no hard-and-fast rule that precludes creating a paper based on two points, or four, or five, a three-point discussion is manageable, especially for complex or abstract subjects. At the same time, a three-point structure helps you avoid oversimplifying, especially when addressing controversial topics in which discussions tend to become polarized–right or wrong, black or white, for or against. Three-point treatments encourage discussion of the middle ground.

4. Signaling transitions
Learn to use expressions that precisely convey contrast or comparison. These expressions, or transitions, signal contrast:

  • on the contrary
  • on the other hand
  • however
  • otherwise
  • whereas
  • still
  • yet

These expressions signal comparison:

  • as well as
  • both
  • like
  • in common with
  • likewise
  • also

Signal words such as these help the reader understand the relationships between your sentences, paragraphs, and ideas. In particular, if you are both comparing and contrasting, signal words help sort out what's what. Second only to effective organization, effective use of these expressions will go a long way toward helping produce a good compare/contrast paper.

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