Compare and Contrast Essay "Under contradictions lies similarity"
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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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Compare and Contrast Essay – Basic Structure and General Standards

Writing compare contrast essay No doubt, it’s human nature to express attitude, to compare and contrast. We use this type of thinking when choosing between two or more options, discussing their differences and similarities. In academic writing it is expressed in the form of a compare and contrast essay.

Generally, this essay type is characterized by points of comparison and analogies and usually arranged in the emphatic way. It is a great method to help a person progress in his critical thinking, as well as his writing skills. Basically, the structure of compare and contrast essay includes three components: the introduction, body and conclusion.

  1. Introduction. Here the author states what he’s comparing. This part may include the main differences and similarities, advantages and disadvantages, or an explanation of the two opposing sides.
  2. Body. The body paragraphs can be arranged in several ways. For example, one paragraph may discuss similarities and another differences, or the paragraphs may express different positions on an issue. The more complex structure is when there are passages about each aspect of the elements that are being compared.
  3. Conclusion. The conclusion is a generalization of the thesis stated in the introduction. It gives a brief summary of the most important similarities and differences, often putting the comparison and contrast into a larger context with a personal statement and/or some kind of prediction.

The simplest format for the compare and contrast passage devotes one body paragraph or section to each element. Two is the most popular (and natural) number, but the author may compare and contrast any number of elements. The essay may also divide according to qualities of the latter. Another possible structure devotes one body paragraph to differences and one to similarities discussed objects.

These are the general standards to succeed in writing a compare and contrast essay:

  • Your essay must be arranged in a logical way with an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion;
  • The essay must deal with each of the two or several selections;
  • It must relate one selection to the other, comparing and contrasting them in a consistent way;
  • The author must support his assertions with solid evidence (figures, quotations, references, etc.);
  • The essay must have good grammar and spelling and mature writing style.

Additionally, the author should always keeps his audience in mind and be sure the readers can relate to his reasoning. Therefore, when you are through with writing, it’s always useful to read your paper once again from the perspective of the audience.

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