A compare and contrast essay is simply an essay written to examine and ascertain the differences and similarities between two prominent subjects. The comparison exposes the similarities between the subjects while the contrast focuses on revealing the differences associated with both subjects. The main focus of a compare and contrast essay is not limited to just unraveling the similarities and differences but also aims to create a reasonable argument between the two subjects. Composing a compare and contrast essay is also like composing a progressive argumentative essay. It might be quite tricky to perfectly write a compare and contrast essay, so here is a step by step guideline on how to effectively formulate this kind of essay.
1. CHOOSING A TOPIC: It is important to know that the two subjects to be compared and contrasted should not only be different but also be related. The process of choosing a topic is as vital as writing the body of the essay. It would be rather complicated to construct a discussion with the wrong topic. Topics for compare and contrast essays should either be different and similar, appear different but are similar or appear similar but are different. The main point is the topic should not only be comparable but also contrastable.
2. BRAINSTORM THE SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES ASSOCIATED WITH THE TOPIC: It is not advisable to kick start writing your essay without properly analyzing the topic and bringing out relevant points. While brainstorming the topic, outline the similarities and differences associated with the subjects, drawing out a Venn diagram could also make the process of brainstorming easier; the points at the overlapping area of the circles can assist you in easily knowing the similarities while the points for the differences are outlined outside the overlapping circle. Also, make sure to outline the characteristics of the subjects as this will assist in formulating a reasonable argument.
3. EFFECTIVELY CONSIDER THE MAJOR POINTS FOR ARGUMENT: The aim is not to list out all the points associated with the subjects rather it is to explain the major points that are significantly important to the subject with which a proper argument could be based upon. For example, if your subject is to compare and contrast between a musician and a poet, they are both entertainers and amaze their audience, these are points of comparison. But then, a poet performs more calmly than a musician and would not require much noise for a performance unlike a musician who will require instruments, these are contrastable points. This contrast point is always a good base for a well-constructed argument. Also, do their differences make one a superior entertainer than the other? This is a very great process for writing the thesis.
4. DEVELOP A STRUCTURE: There are various ways through which a compare and contrast essay can be well structured but it must develop a meaningful argument. You could develop a paragraph stating all the important qualities of one subject, then develop the next paragraph to discuss the important qualities of the second subject. This gives the reader a smooth read and also saves you the stress of switching between subjects. However, this does not really bring out the comparison and contrast between both subjects until further into the essay. With this well stated, your next paragraph should contain their similarities and afterward their differences which would usher the reader into an argument. You could also decide to go point for point, by showing the differences between the two subjects then develop a significant comparison between both, then later show their similarities and reignite the argument. With this, you will be switching between the two subjects, it perfectly brings out the comparison but you will need to be well precise else the reader would not have a smooth read. Whichever structure is suitable for you, always remember to explore the important points associated with both subjects.
5. DEVELOP AN OUTLINE: Developing an outline for your essay will help you stay in line with the organizational structure you have chosen. Basically, an essay consists of the following;
Introductory paragraph: This is the first paragraph and it contains the thesis and entails the background information about the subjects to be contrasted and compared.
Body: This is the part where the major details of the essay lie. It should contain proof that relates to the thesis. Make sure you give appropriate backings for all your claims either through personal experience, facts, research or books. Also endeavor to effectively, explain the importance of every point you introduce and how it engages the argument. The body should contain an even number of the paragraph to balance the argument. Finally, make use of transitional words when switching between various points. Words like; likewise, both and similarly can be used for comparison while words like on the other hand, however, nonetheless and whereas are perfect words to use when developing the contrast.
Conclusion: In this paragraph, a summary of the entire argument is written. It also provides better information and enlightenment of the thesis.
6. PROOFREAD AND REVIEW THE ESSAY: It is advisable to finish the essay a day or two before the set deadline to enable you to take a break after completing the essay to pick it up after for proofreading. This will make it easier for you to quickly spot the flaws in the organization of your essay. Also look out for grammatical flaws, repetitive points, and meaningless phrases. Reading out loud would assist you in properly spotting out grammatical and punctuation errors. Check to be sure that there are no defamatory or biased statements while trying to prove your points make use of well-known facts instead. Finally, asking a friend or a colleague to cast fresh eyes and help you proofread the essay will make it easier to spot little grammatical and spelling errors as it may be difficult for you to spot those errors yourself because most times, we read what we intended to write in our essays not what we actually wrote.
Oct 10, 2019