In our daily life we very often employ the method of compare and contrast as to take some decision over a controversial subject.
Basically, to compare and to contrast are two different ways of treating a subject, but still they seem interdependent and correlated to each other. For, every time we compare two or more entities, we conceive them as different from each other (otherwise, they would be one and the same thing). Therefore, these two methods are usually used together, particularly while writing an essay which is focused on two or more subjects.
If you were assigned to write a compare and contrast essay, your instructor probably wants to test some of your skills, such as analytical reasoning, watchfulness, ability to infer from pure sense-data, and others. This essay may concern every possible field of human activity- literature, political sciences, sport, biology, etc. Remember that it is not that difficult to write: you have to apply some skills which you (unconsciously) use in your daily life.
Instructions for writing a compare and contrast essay
There are several steps which you can follow while writing your compare and contrast essay.
1. Choose two things which are evidently related to each other. You cannot compare a car with a mountain, for example. It is always better to compare two things of the same kind. When you have more than two things in mind, you must discover more connections between them, which ensues in a chaotic description of subjects and relationships (you must compare thing A with thing B, then thing A with thing C, and then thing B with thing C). Another advice is to focus your essay on material objects, or at least things which are easy to be defined (if you compare Newton’s physics with Quantum theory in general, you will probably get nowhere).
2. This essay is divided into two main parts: compare (find similarities) and contrast (find differences). We advise you to choose three similarities and three differences, as it will help you to organize your paper in a better way. Think more about the entities compared: how people use them, what is their function, what are their advantages and disadvantages.
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3. Set forth your thesis. As every other type of essay, this one should be based on a well-proven thesis statement. The easiest way to construct is to write down your personal opinion: which one of these things you prefer, or like, or use, and why. Then list three similarities and three differences. At the end of the essay re-state your thesis in brief, trying to convince your reader. At the same time, the thesis statement must be justified, and have aesthetical structure, so the text should flow and catch the reader’s attention. If you merely describe both things, you will not tell the reader anything new. And every essay should give some new information to the reader, or at least formulate it in another way.
4. Proofread your paper and check for logical inconsistencies. Before handing it to your teacher, ask a friend or forum users to give feedback. It does not mean to ask someone else to write it instead of you. You must simply distance yourself from your essay in order to analyze its structure and internal logic.
The compare and contrast essay is one of the easiest types of essays, but any underestimation of your assignment may have negative consequences: to write in a chaotic way, or merely to describe the objects of your writing. This essay should present and defend your personal opinion through relevant facts and information.