Compare and Contrast
Now, before we just jump into how to write a compare and contrast essay, I think we must first answer the why. By having the “why” answered, it will help to make the how more understandable, and easier to follow.
A compare and contrast essay generally serve two major purposes.
Presenting an Analysis
The first, and most common purpose, is to present an analysis of two or more things, so that an evaluation can be made. For example:
A and B have some things in common.
Here are the things that A and B have in common.
However, A and B also have some differences.
Here are their differences.
As you can see, a majority of the differences that B has are further on the negative spectrum when compared with A.
The positive aspects of A far outweigh the positive aspects of B.
Therefore, A is a better option than B.
Or it may be that after an analysis is made between A and B, you are able to make the evaluation that either option is a good one.
The second purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to gain insight and understanding of two or more things. So, instead of trying to say that one is better than the other, you are simply trying to find out how each “thing” is different, and how they are similar. This is generally done, when there is confusion between two or more things that seem as though they are the same thing, but there are in fact important distinctions that need to be made. For instance, what is the difference between an analysis and an evaluation? When comparing and contrasting these two things, your aim is not to find out which one is better, because both are necessary. Your aim is to gain a thorough understand of what each actually is.
Alright, now let’s take a look at how to actually write a compare and contrast essay.
Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay
To effectively write a compare and contrast essay there are three things that you should always do:
- State and give an explanation of three or more major elements shared by the subjects that are being compared and contrasted.
- Of the elements that you stated and explained, shine light on the similarities and differences of each.
- Construct a thesis, stating your stance concerning the major subjects that have been compared and contrasted. Like I said when talking about the purpose of a compare and contrast essay, it may be that one side is clearly stronger or it may be that after your analysis both are equally effective, or that both are equally bad. Whatever the case, be sure to state your thesis.
Organizing your Essay
Now, the last thing that we will talk about in this video is how to organize your compare and contrast essay. First, hear me say this, there are numerous ways to organize your essay. However, there are typically two common ways that are taught. The reason is because these two ways have consistently proven to be clear and effective. With that being said, those two ways are the ways that I will be discussing.
The first type of organization pattern is the point-by-point pattern.
Let’s say you are comparing two different headphones. The two types of headphones would be our items. Now, if we chose to compare them on the grounds of cost, durability, and comfort then those three things would be our points. So, when using a point-by-point pattern of organization we would separate our paragraphs by each point. In one paragraph we would compare the cost of headphone A and the cost of headphone b. Then, in our next paragraph, we would compare the durability of headphone A with the durability of headphone B, and so on.
The second type of organization pattern is the block pattern.
Using this type of organization you would discuss the one type of headphone first, headphone A. You would discuss the cost in the first body paragraph, the durability in the second, and the comfort in the third. Then you would move on to discuss these three same points except now for our second item, headphone B.
Whichever organizational pattern you choose to use, remember that you must always begin your essay with an introduction, and a conclusion.
I hope that this video on how to write a compare and contrast essay has been helpful to you.
See you guys next time!