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Drawing up comparisons is a common activity that most of us indulged in or have been subjected to. You may have been compared to an overachiever cousin in your family, or you may have drawn comparisons between your favourite sportspersons at some point. Writing a compare and contrast essay follows the same basic principle.
But strangely, for many of you, preparing a compare and contrast essay is still quite confusing. So, if you’ve been wondering how to eliminate this confusion, then we have this detailed guide on compare and contrast essay that will definitely be helpful. Let’s gather some insights.
While some essay may ask you to make simple comparisons, others may ask you to begin with that same essay format and then also present an evaluation or argument depending on your comparisons. In case you’re assigned with the latter, simply indicating that things are similar or different won’t be enough.
For instance, if you’re assigned with a topic “pick a particular theme and consider how two different Romantic era poets approach this theme in their poems.” The topic requires you to make comparisons between two poets, but it also asks how the poets approach the point of comparison. Simply put, you will have to present an analytical argument about the approaches of the poets.
It’s imperative for you to develop a complete understanding of both the subjects being compared. However, it’s vital not to offer more details than it’s necessary. Compare several aspects of each subject rather than trying to cover both topics comprehensively.
A compare and contrast essay about social issues, historical events, science-related topics, and even a comparison between two works of literature are more likely to require extensive research.
A clear, concise thesis statement should be the basis of every essay. Even if your basis for comparison was given to you, you need to explain in a single sentence, the reason you're comparing the two subjects. The comparison should highlight something about the nature of the subjects or their relationship to each other, and your thesis statement should focus on that argument.
Your thesis needs to make a solid claim about your subjects that you will then defend in your essay. It's good if this claim is open for interpretation, as that will allow you to present a brilliant argument.
Outlining your essay will allow you to maintain clarity in the organisational structure of your essay. It will provide you with a template to follow as you develop your ideas. Regardless of how you planned to organise your essay, you will still need to include the basic structure. The basic outline includes these aspects.
The introductory section of your compare and contrast essay should be able to hold the reader's attention immediately. If you've already written the main paragraphs of your essay, you can create a hook that reflects what you will discuss in the essay, whether it's a quote, fact, statistic, rhetorical question, or anecdote. Then, write a few sentences about your topic, and then narrow down to your thesis statement, which rounds up your introduction.
Also, there’s no need to announce your intentions of writing the essay. So, you can skip statements like, “The objective of this essay is to...” Instead, let your reader perceive the objective of your essay through the first two sentences in your introduction.
Here’s an example of how to present the introduction of a compare and contrast essay on a topic that requires a comparison between elementary school and middle school.
For any student, the transition between elementary to middle school is the most memorable time. Typically, both these academic levels come with their different sets of similarities and differences. Even the rules remain the same. But there are also some changes that each of these levels bring in.
When the readers go through the essay paper, they should feel like they’ve learned something. The conclusion should be written by offering a brief, general summary of the aspects you’ve covered in the body paragraphs, then draw a broader conclusion about your two subjects.
Make sure to base your conclusion on data and not your personal preferences, specifically if your essay prompt instructs you to maintain a neutral tone. The last sentence of the essay should leave the reader feeling that the different threads of the essay have been tied together in a cohesive manner.
While both the elementary and middle school levels are similar and different in their own little ways, but what also has to be considered is that both these levels are correlated with one another. Elementary school provides students with the knowledge and experiences that takes them ahead to the middle schools. Hence, despite their differences, both these levels are significant on their own.
If you’re confused about finding the right topic for your compare and contrast essay, here’s a list of topics for you to consider.
Wrapping it up,
Now that you’ve gone through all the steps of presenting a flawless compare and contrast essay, you won’t have doubts or confusion if you work on such essays in future. You will only need to remember these steps, and you'll be able to put together a well-crafted paper.
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