Compare and Contrast Essay "Under contradictions lies similarity"
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Compare and Contrast Essay Format: Simple Formats that will Benefit the Writer and the Reader

Comparison essay formatThere are different compare and contrast essay format options that you may use to point out the main similarities and differences between the topics that you are dealing with. While it may seem simple enough to address these points without adhering to a format, using one will make your essay easier to read and to understand your essay. Here are the most commonly used formats that writers often use when they write compare contrast essay. Use them the next time you write an essay of your own to ensure maximum reader comfort and ease.

For one, it may be easier for you to tackle each task one at a time. This means that you should focus on comparing the two ideas first before comparing them, or vice versa. Point out the main similarities first, while addressing the various details involves in the main theme that you are using, before pointing out the differences. As a rule of thumb, focus on pointing out the similarities between the topics, because it makes the differences more glaring even without you pointing them out. Doing so does not only allow you to make the differences more obvious, but you also make them much easier to remember.

Another popular compare and contrast essay format involves tackling one idea first. Take one concept between the two concepts that are being dealt with and explain the main premises behind it. This includes details and information that will make the similarities and differences glaring to the readers. After explaining one idea, move on to the next one, exposing important details and information as well. After the two concepts being compared are explained, go on to pointing out the main similarities and differences between them.

If the two compare and contrast essay format options described above do not appeal to you, then, perhaps you should stick to focusing on one task for the whole of your essay. If you find that pointing out the similarities and differences between the ideas is too much for you, then simply focus on simply comparing and contrasting the two concepts. If you were to use this format, then make sure that you plan out your essay using a compare and contrast outline. With this tool, you would be able to zero in on the details that will serve your particular purpose and you should be able to include all important points in your essay.

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How to Choose the Proper Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Compare and contrast essay outlineAlmost every single day we exercise our intellectual process of comparison and contrast to arrive at a decision or make a judgment concerning 2 or more subjects, persons, opinions, or feelings. The important point to keep in mind when writing a compare and contrast essay is that in this piece of academic writing authors usually support their personal viewpoints.

In his paper one must always follow a certain compare and contrast essay outline. Your opinion about the two or more elements under consideration becomes the thesis statement. The body of your essay then explains why you came up to this opinion. There are two main formats in which you can write a compare and contrast essay: the block and point by point format. For the majority of short essays you should choose one of the formats and adhere to it. In case you are assigned a longer paper, you may prefer to mix the formats for a change like many professional authors do.

Block Format

One of the ways to arrange your material is to use the block format. This method of organization presents body paragraphs in which the author discusses the first subject on points one, two, three, etc., then writes about the second subject on the same points. For example, you may compare your trip to the Netherlands and Switzerland by taking such points as sightseeing, the overall cultural level and hotel service. If you consider these points in the Netherlands paragraph, you must consider the corresponding points in the Switzerland paragraph in the same order. Below is this compare and contrast essay outline:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph: Netherlands
    1. Sightseeing
    2. Culture
    3. Service
  • Body paragraph: Switzerland
    1. Sightseeng
    2. Culture
    3. Service
  • Conclusion

You must add to your discussion of the second subject certain references to the points you considered earlier while writing about the first subject since the readers may not remember accurately what you wrote previously. You should unobtrusively remind the audience with a certain reference to the earlier discussion. Because what should be one whole essay may look more like two separate mini-essays, making the audience do the job of comparing and/or contrasting for you.

Point by Point Format

The second format to arrange the same material is to discuss a particular point about your trip to the Netherlands and then in the same paragraph to consider the same point about the trip to Switzerland. This is called point by point or alternating essay organization. Here’s the model of this compare and contrast essay outline:

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1: Sightseeng
    1. Netherlands
    2. Switzerland
  • Body Paragraph 2: Culture
    1. Netherlands
    2. Switzerland
  • Body Paragraph 3: Service
    1. Netherlands
    2. Switzerland
  • Conclusion

In case you choose this compare and contrast essay outline, you must make a fine transition from the first subject to the second in each body paragraph. Write your paper consistently presenting the same subject first in each discussion of the main point.

While you prepare to write your first draft, you may ask yourself whether to use the block or point by point essay format. For many authors, selecting this or that format of arrangement involves thinking time in the prewriting phase, before beginning a draft. Quite often your essay’s topic will suggest the most effective way of development. The block format may be the better option if a total picture of each subject is required (for example, in “then-and-now” comparative essay).

But your compare and contrast essay topic also may be developed by making a number of distinct points for the audience to consider one by one. Papers that evaluate or argue the superiority or advantage of some thing over another often presuppose the use of point by point format, since each of the author’s claims may be distinctly supported by the side-by-side points.

Every author must decide which format of essay arrangement works best in this or that particular case. In academic writing clearness is a very important objective, and using the proper compare and contrast essay outline always contributes to it.

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