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How to Write a Comparison and Contrast Essay

To know how to write a comparison and contrast essay one must include all the structural elements which are normally associated with a traditional essay format. The compare and contrast essay will therefore require an introduction, a main body and conclusion.

The introduction of your comparison and contrast essay must outline exactly what you are going to compare and contrast, whilst also describing the reasons why you are to undertake the assignment. It is likely that of the two main subjects you have chosen, you state a preference for one more than another.

It is important to state this in your thesis statement, for example: ‘By comparing the game of Rugby League with Rugby Union I shall examine how League is a superior game in comparison to Union.’

Summarise in your introduction the points of discussion you are going to compare within the main body of your essay. For example, if your two different subjects were cars (Car A and Car B) then you could consider the top speed, handling and braking as your points of discussion (points 1, 2 and 3 respectively).

Writing a comparison and contrast essay

The main body of the comparison and contrast essay can be arranged into two differing structures and must follow one or the other – not both. The first method of comparing/contrasting each subject is by arranging them into a block pattern. This entails comparing each different subject in full one-by-one.

If we are to return to comparing two the cars, you would discuss all points 1, 2 and 3 of Car A, then turn to discussing points 1, 2 and 3 of Car B. Whilst discussing the second subject (in this case Car B) then you must refer back to each individual point you made about the first subject (car A) and compare and contrast each point accordingly. This method is much more suited to dealing with smaller numbers of points.

The second way of arranging the main body of your comparison and contrast essay is by comparing each subject point by point. For example, you may first discuss the top speed of Car A and then compare this to Car B. You would then examine the handling of Car A and then compare this with Car B, and so on.
As considered earlier, you may wish to use the comparison and contrast essay to persuade the reader that one subject is superior or favourable to the other.

If in your thesis you stated that Car A was superior to Car B, then this must reflect in the main body. In which case, it is recommended that you contrast the two subjects to emphasise differences, rather than comparing their similarities. On the contrary, if you are writing a comparison and contrast essay to highlight the similarities between two subjects, then it would make more sense to emphasise how they compare.

In writing your conclusion for the comparison and contrast essay one must reiterate the thesis statement summarising the main points of discussion and how it was proven valid.

Writing a comparison and contrast essay does not have to be difficult!

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