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Compare and Contrast Essay

Compare and Contrast Essay

Introduction

            A comparison and contrasting essay seeks to evaluate two given options and explains the analysis made. This type of essay employs the writer’s analytic skills to draw up the similarities and differences between two similar topics effectively. Purpose, structure and coherence are essential to write this essay successfully. The aim of the writer is to inform the reader on the potential benefits and risks of choosing between two similar alternatives. The items or topics chosen for this essay should be those that make sense to compare and contrast with each other. The points presented in this type of essay are the words of the writer but should be grounded in verifiable facts.

Main Components

            The organization of a compare and contrast essay will make the difference in the way the information is communicated to the reader. Three main techniques are employed to present the comparison and contrasting points. The first is the block technique, which discusses all the main points under analysis of the first item in the first part, which is followed by the discussion of the second item in the subsequent section of the essay. The final compilation constitutes of the comparison and contrasting of the two items. The conclusion summarizes the main surmise of the essay.

The second type of outline is the similarities-to-differences technique. The essay is divided into two broad sections that highlight the similarities of both items in one part, while the differences are contained in a second section. This kind of outline is straightforward and proves to be effective in the objective of the essay, although the reader may not have much information of the essay topics. It gives a better comparison of the items and helps the reader reach a conclusion as to which is the better option.

In the last type of technique, the main points under scrutiny are the focus of the essay. The organization of the essay is centered on these points selected, which form a basis of comparison between the two items. Each new section deals with only one point. The comparison and the contrasts are made based on this point alone. This technique helps the reader have a good perception of the strengths and weaknesses of the two items under study based on the strongest points. It provides an in depth analysis of the two items, and conclusions are drawn based on this analysis.

Common Topics

            Topics chosen for a compare and contrast essay are for items that have something in common. Hence, compare and contrast between a movie and its book source would be a good example of such an essay. The two phenomena under study should have a basis of comparison as well as contrast such as parliament and congress, vacationing in two different locations among others.

Outline of a Compare and Contrast Essay

            Structure is similar to that of a regular essay. The main parts of an essay are still relevant, although emphasis has to be given to the technique selected. The body will contain this part of the essay that provides the comparison and the contrasting elements. Use of connectors and transitioning words and phrases serves to maintain the flow of ideas of the essay without strain.

 

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