Key Elements of Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

The essence of a compare and contrast essay is to analyze the difference and similarities of two different subjects. To write a good compare and contrast essay, you have to not only point out the differences and similarities between the two subjects, but you also have to make a meaningful argument about the subjects.

Although it may seem intimidating to students, the basic steps you need to take to make these essays easy and great have been compiled below.

• Select Your Subjects

First, you should make a selection of the subjects you want to compare. While doing this, ensure that the topics you are picking are topics that are meaningful to each other. You should be able to make your audience see the importance of relating the two subjects in question. For example, while choosing subjects, it will be more reasonable to pair two musicians or two conductors, rather than pairing a musician and a barber.

• Make Lists of the necessary Similarities and Differences

After you have chosen the subjects that you want to compare, the next stage is writing a draft or outline of the similarities or differences between such topics based on the research you have made. To write an effective list, it is better to write the lists in tabular form. Create tables that clearly show the differences and similarities between the two subjects. For example, if you are writing about two musicians, you can start with the similarities between them. Once you have completed the similarities, you can then move to their differences.

• Highlight the Important Similarities and Differences

After you have made a long list of all the similarities and differences you can think of the next step should involve highlighting the most important and significant part of your points.

It is not enough to only write the differences and similarities between the subjects you are working on, very importantly, you should let your reader know the significance of such differences to the essay you are writing. For instance, if the essay is about two musicians, do not just talk about the differences in the backgrounds of the two choristers. Ask yourself what is significant about their different backgrounds. Perhaps they also attended different churches, or they started at different times in their lives but still managed to attain the same level of success.

• Support Your Points With Enough Evidence

After you have made an outline for your essay and you have gathered your points in your outline, you must gather enough supporting evidence. A compare and contrast essay in an informative essay so it must be well backed up by enough statistical evidence. This statistical evidence can include facts, stats and numerical data based on the research of previous scholars that have worked on similar topics. You can also include evidence from testimonials, expert opinions or some relatable personal encounters.

Also, it will be very helpful if you can gather personal statements from the subjects you are writing about. In the case of the two musicians, if you are lucky enough you can gather commentary from them to support the similarities and differences you have written on them.

• Write the Essay Itself

Just like any other essay, the compare and contrast essay is based on three major parts which are The Introduction, The Body, and The Conclusion. Tips on how to write each of the following parts of the essay are given below.

a) Introduction

Just like all other types of essays, the introductory paragraph should catch the attention of the reader and encourage them to keep on reading. To do this, it is important to focus on one of them and ask a question that will be answered in the body of the essay. The Introduction of a comparison essay should effectively describe what the proceeding essay will discuss.

b) The Body

Much like all essays, the body of a compare and contrast essay should require a lot of planning. So before you attempt to work on your compare and contrast essay understand the way and structure you want your essay to take. You can discuss two similarities and then proceed to talk on two differences or Vise-Versa. Or you can focus on one subject first and then focus on the other object. See what starts to come more naturally for you. Generally, it is much easier to discuss differences first and then discussing the similarities instead of going subject by subject.

c) The Conclusion

The closing paragraph which should serve as the conclusion of your paragraph is a very essential part of the essay. It should conclude the compare and contrast essay entirely and not leave an iota of doubt in the mind of anybody reading your essay. Whatever point you have indicated in your introduction, you have to be sure to draft a solid summary in the conclusion and also be sure to reference back to a point or statement made in the essay’s body.

• Review your work

After you have finished working on your essay, to brush up your workCompare and Contrast Essay, read through the essay aloud two to three times. Doing this will enable you to spot the mistakes you have not noticed before. You should also take your essay to people you know are more experienced in academic paper like this and ask them to help you in looking through your work.

Following the tips provided above will improve your writing skills and help you to write a better comparative essay.

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