Comparison-contrast essays are fairly common in middle school and subsequent levels of formal education. Such an essay will require the student to demonstrate the differences and similarities of two or more entities. Researching on and writing the comparison contrast essays is a great way of sharpening a student’s critical thinking capacities. In addition, such essays make learning about different topics a whole lot more interesting. Here are a few tips that can help you in writing your comparison contrast essay.
- Select entities that are different enough to be compared, but also possess some shared characteristics
Choose subjects that share similarities and also possess differing characteristics. This is important so that you do not wind up with subjects that are too different that you cannot find any relevant shared similarities or too similar, that you cannot find any substantial differences between them.
Before you begin writing the essay, note down the similarities and differences between the two subjects in point form. This will help you develop the main ideas that will constitute your comparison-contrast essay.
- Collect relevant sources
Once you have determined the subjects that will form the discussion of your essay, you need to collect sources on the subjects. Use the similarities and differences you wrote down in step 1 to point to the relevant sources. These are the sources you will use to gather information regarding your main points. The sources should be credible and relevant to strengthen your arguments, and they should provide strong evidentiary support of the claims being made. When using information from these sources in your essay, remember to cite them properly in order to avoid incidences of plagiarism.
- Develop a working thesis
Like all other types of essays, a comparison-contrast essay requires a thesis statement. The similarities and differences you have already written down, as well as the sources you have gathered should all collude in supporting your thesis statement. Once you have established your thesis, you can proceed to introduce the subjects, and a summary of each one.
- Write the body
The body of the essay is where you will compare and contrast the two or more subjects. Every similarity or difference needs to be a stand-alone paragraph. Under each paragraph, you need to compare the subjects based on the topic of the paragraph.
- Conclude the essay
The final section of your essay should be the conclusion whereby you summarize the main arguments of the paper, and re-state the thesis statement.
In a comparison-contrast essay, you should avoid using negative language, as well as bias suggestions. The point of the essay is to provide the facts about the subjects as they are, and not to demonstrate a bias for one subject over the other.
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