Introduction in a compare and contrast essay

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  1. Compare And Contrast Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics
  2. Compare and Contrast Essay
  3. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
  4. You Don’t Know How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay? Why Is It Hard?

Create two columns for each subject for the similarities and and two columns for each subject for the differences between each subject. For example: Two separate lists for the similarities between cats and dogs, and the differences between cats and dogs. For example: cats and dogs are both domesticated animals.

Compare And Contrast Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

But cats have different temperaments than dogs, and cats are known to be indoor pets, while dogs tend to need to be walked and played with outside on a constant basis. Think about at least one or two meaningful differences and similarities between the two subjects. For example, a compare and contrast between abortion rights could lead to meaningful notes like: The pro-life stance views fetuses are full formed humans and are often based in religious beliefs, while the pro-choice stance views fetuses as undeveloped eggs and are often based in scientific beliefs.

To focus your list, choose categories or possible supporting points for your paper to classify the similarities and differences between the two subjects. For example, for the abortion rights topic, you may choose categories like: legal details, women's rights, scientific stance, and religious beliefs. You can then separate each item on the list into these categories. Create a Venn diagram of your topic.

Take out a piece of paper and draw two large overlapping circles, one for each subject or item. In the center area where the two circles overlap, list the traits the two items have in common. Assign each of the areas that do not overlap.


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  • The Comparative Essay.

In these areas, you can list the traits that make the subjects different. Be specific when listing words or phrases for each subject or each perspective on the same subject. Once you are done listing differences and similarities, circle the most important items in each list. Then, match at least three opposites from one circle to the other circle.

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Compare and Contrast Essay

Review the list and look for three different categories that describe these traits. One possible category could then be the debate of the life of a fetus.


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Answer the 5 W's and H questions. Try to answer the questions journalists traditionally ask: Who? Apply these basic questions to your topic to get a sense of each topic or perspective.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

What happened or changed during each event? Why are they significant? Who were the important people involved? How did the events occur, and what consequences did they have later in history? If you're compare and contrasting two ideas or theories, you may ask: What were they about? How did they originate? Who created them? What is the central focus, claim, or goal of each theory? What kind of evidence is used to support each theory? If you're compare and contrasting two pieces of art, you may ask: What does each piece of art describe or depict?

What is their tone or mood? What themes do they address? When were they created? How do the creators of the artworks describe their own work? Why do you think the artworks were created as they were? If you're compare and contrasting two people, you may ask: Where is each person from? How old are they? What, if anything, are they known for?

How do they identify themselves in terms of gender, race, class, etc? Do the two people have any relationship to each other? What does each person do? Why is each person interesting? What are the defining features of each person? Note any gaps in your knowledge or research. Your instructor may require you to do in depth research on a complex topic, like abortion rights, or you may be writing from a purely opinion based perspective, such as why you love cats more than dogs.

Identify any gaps in your knowledge and prepare to do research so you can better compare and contrast the two topics in your essay. Compose your thesis statement. The thesis of your compare and contrast essay will help you create a focused argument and act as a road map for you, and for your reader. Go for specific and detailed, over vague and general. Why should anyone care about the positives and the negatives of owning a cat or a dog? Your thesis statement is much stronger if you address these questions, and a stronger thesis can lead to a stronger essay. Organize your paper by the block method.

In the block method, each paragraph in the essay addresses one topic only from the pair of topics and looks at the shared traits or aspects you came up with during your brainstorm. The organization for this method is as follows: Introduction: Introduce the general topic, then introduce the two specific topics.

You Don’t Know How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay? Why Is It Hard?

End with your thesis, which addresses what is going to be covered in the essay. Body paragraph 1: Begins with the topic sentence for topic 1. For example, how cats do not have to watched during the day, and are easier to get care if the owner travels or is often not home. Leads into Aspect 2: Cost, with at least two details. For example, how food and healthcare are less expensive for cats and how cats are less likely to cause property damage to the owner's home.

Leads into Aspect 3: Living accommodations, with at least two details. For example, how cats do not take up a lot of space and they are less intrusive as they do not require daily walks or constant play. End the paragraph with a transition sentence. Body paragraph 2 will follow the same structure, with three Aspects and two supporting details for each aspect.


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Body paragraph 3 can follow the same structure as Body paragraph 2 and 3. Or it can be a paragraph that develops the comparison made in the previous two paragraphs. You can use scientific data, crowd sourced feedback, or a personal experience. For example, you may have been in a position where you had to compare and contrast adopting a dog or a cat and made your decision based on your lifestyle, finances, and living situation. This could serve as a personal experience to back up your previous arguments. Conclusion: Contains a summary of your main points, a restating of your thesis, an evaluation of your analysis and any future developments that may sway your compare and contrast to one topic over the other.

Use a point by point structure. In the point by point method, each paragraph contains the arguments for only one aspect of both topics.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

End with your thesis, which addresses what is going to covered in the essay. Body paragraph 1: Begins with topic sentence for Aspect 1. Leads into Topic 2, Aspect 1: Dogs, with two details contrasting dogs to the previous argument. For example, how dogs are pack animals and shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time, and how it can be difficult to find care for a dog when the owner is away.

Ends with a transition sentence. Be assertive and clear.

Subject-by-subject

Avoid apologizing to your reader by saying you are not an expert on the two topics or your opinion does not matter.