What Is A Compare And Contrast Essay? Definition And Purpose Of Writing
Writing a compare and contrast essay may look like ‘mission impossible’ because the process of comparison can take hours and even days of hard work. So it is naturally a scary job to undertake a task that has no visible limits. Well, actually comparison is quite a structured process with clear steps and strategies. Compare and contrast essay is a paper that contains this clear and limited comparison of selected objects, concepts, phenomena, etc. Comparison essays are useful in the way they present various aspects of different objects and allow to see these objects through a different lens. That is why they are so popular among instructors and unpopular among students. Nevertheless, there are tested strategies that turn drafting and writing process into a tolerable task, if not total fun.
You will begin with selecting the type of compare/contrast essay that appeals to you. Yes, the topic is assigned, yet how it will be presented depends on you. For example, in the framework of drawing analogy between two books of your choice you are free to select books:
- that have something in common and something different;
- books that look different yet reveal some underlying common theme or issue;
- books that look similar yet turn out to be different in message or approach to the topic.
Depending on the selected type of comparison, you will build the paper in a particular but consistent way. Here are some common tips that will facilitate your thorny journey to good grades.
How To Write A Compare And Contrast Essay That Stands Out
Brainstorm points that differentiate objects of comparison from one another and make them similar and write them down. To do this efficiently, employ the so called Venn Diagram.
Venn diagram depicts objects of comparison as two partially overlapping areas. Place common features in the shared segment of the diagram, and write differentiating features in the areas that stay not connected. This chart will preserve the fruit of your thinking process for the future compare contrast essay.
Just remember that while looking for traits to match you should correlate the same parameters of explored objects, like plot and motifs of books or movies, price, quality and branding of some products or color, taste and juiciness of different sorts of oranges. Comparing color of one sort of oranges to scent or price of other sort is meaningless and thus cannot be considered true comparison.
Compare And Contrast Essay: Outline, Format, Structure
Now that you have gathered enough material and got an idea what is a compare and contrast essay, you can start actual writing. The paper may be organized in a variety of ways, and they all are valid and welcomed as long as you compare appropriate parameters of selected objects.
First way to compose a paper is to list characteristics of one object, then list characteristics of another object, and then analyze what traits they share and what traits are different.
Second way is to take particular parameters as a roadmap and compare and contrast selected objects according to every parameter listed. So the essay on oranges will include sections like ‘Cost’, ‘Taste’ and “Juiciness’.
The third way is opposite to the second one. Objects of comparison are taken as a roadmap and each object is explored according to a list of parameters. So the essay will have sections like ‘Spanish oranges’, ‘Sicilian oranges’, and ‘Brazilian oranges’, for example. Each section will explore juiciness, taste and color of a certain kind of oranges.