Compare and contrast definition and how to write a compare and contrast essay
A compare and contrast essay is an essay in which the writer, as the names suggests, compares and contrast between two subjects of choice. It is a special type of essay in which the writer organizes his points of view in a manner that highlights the similarities between two subjects and also draws out the differences between them .This method of writing is one of the easiest and is used commonly.
Definition of compare and contrast
How can one define compare and contrast?
The words ‘compare’ and ‘contrast’, though may seem to be alike in meaning, is actually quite distinct. The comparison and contrast definitions are quite easy to grasp, to ‘compare’ is to identify the likeness between two entities while to ‘contrast’ is to spot out their differences. When you compare two objects you are likely to point out its features that appear equivalent. While contrasting, however, you are keener in observing the differences that set them apart. The strategy of comparing and contrasting is often used in writing exercises to evaluate two or more subjects and involves organizing the arguments in such a manner that it sets apart the similar and opposing factors.
Compare and contrasting essay
The definition of compare and contrast essay is no different than what its appellation might suggest and is fairly uncomplicated to write and is an efficient way to evaluate two subjects. Like any normal essay it contains the introduction, the body and the conclusion. The compare and contrast introduction of this particular type of essay should establish the intention of the essay; say for example that your are comparing between two kinds of cars, then the introductory paragraph should give sufficient background information of the cars and state the objective of the essay, that is to compare them. The body of the essay will include the arguments. These paragraphs go in for an in-depth analysis of the topics and break them down to stress their qualitative differences and similarities. Ideally there should be three points of comparison between two topics. The arrangement and order of the arguments is important and therefore should be done very meticulously lest the essay becomes an incoherent haphazard piece of work. The compare and contrast paragraphs can be arranged in two different formats. They are the block arrangement and point-by-point arrangement or the alternating arrangement.
The following things are to be taken care of in block arrangement:
- The first paragraph constitutes the introduction. The second and third are the compare and contrast paragraphs and the fourth paragraph is the conclusion.
- Write the arguments in separate paragraphs, one for each subject that is being compared.
- The order of arguments used in the second paragraph should be maintained in the third paragraph too.
- The frames of reference used in the paragraphs should be the same in the second and third paragraph.
E.g.: If you are comparing and contrasting between car A and car B, then the particular block arrangement for compare and contrast format will be.
- Car A
- Car B
The second way of organising the essay is by the point-by point arrangement. This method of comparing discusses the arguments in a way such that the same features of the two subjects are explained one after the other in a single paragraph.
E.g.: Suppose you are comparing car A and car B. A usual point-by-point arrangement will be as follows:
- Comparison between car A and car B based on their engine.
- Comparison between car A and car B based on their manufacturer
- Comparison between car A and car B based on their mileage.
The compare and contrast conclusion concludes the essay in a very unbiased manner and does not slant towards reaffirming any of the arguments stated in the body.
How to write a compare and contrast essay?
Knowing how to define comparison and contrast is a foreknowledge that is expected. Choosing the compare and contrast paragraph topics is as important as writing the essay and therefore should be accorded prime importance. Choose subjects which have features in common and distinct from each other. For example: comparing pop music with classical music, comparing the Mission Impossible series with the James bond series, comparing the climate of two different places, etc. Before writing a compare contrast paper, the writer should indulge in a thorough research of the topics on which he or she wishes to write and this should be accomplished as soon as he or she finalizes the topics. This has a two-fold advantage as in that the writer can gather adequate information about the topics and classify the information into similarities and differences between them. The information should facilitate in the formulation of sensible arguments substantiated by facts. Devise as many meaningful arguments as possible as that will increase the quality of the compare and contrasting essay but care should be taken not to exceed for fear that the essay might turn out to be one long, boring tale. Once the arguments have been framed, choose a suitable essay format and arrange the points accordingly. The sentences in the essay should be crafted in such a way that they are able to bring out the desirable traits in the subjects, compare them or differentiate between them. Let us say that one is comparing between a vegetarian eating habit and a non-vegetarian one. Here are some of the ways in which you can write an argument for a contrast compare essay:
- Being a vegetarian is healthier than being a non-vegetarian because one need not be guilty of killing innocent animals for food.
- Following a vegetarian diet or a non-vegetarian diet is equally good for one’s health, but they are different in terms of cost of food, cholesterol levels and nutrient intake.
- While being a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian depends on one’s choice, vegetarianism is considered more as a healthy choice while non-vegetarianism as an unhealthy one.
Preparing a template of the essay and suitable arguments at the onset of the writing will ensure a successful completion of an essay!
Visit PremierEssay.com for more information regarding the compare and contrast definition, formats and for reading samples. We will extend you aid in preparing compare and contrast paper format and serve you with better ideas and topics.
The compare and contrast essays are an effective writing strategy to explore the distinctions between topics and bring them out in a reasonable and planned manner. This is a useful strategy for thesis writing as it evaluates topics and classifies its information in a relevant manner. These essays when written will be especially useful to the reader to make a choice, if he or she is caught in a situation that demands the careful scrutiny of both topics in order to make a wise choice. The method is quite easy too as it follows a simple format and does not involve any rigors of an intellectual masterpiece but at the same time is straightforward and informative. All these features make the compare and contrast essay practical and quite common.
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