How to Write a Compare-Contrast Essay
The Elements of a Compare-Contrast Essay
What is comparison?
Explaining the similarities or points of connection between two ideas, people, or things to give the reader a deeper understanding of each
What is contrasting?
Explaining the differences or points of disconnection between two ideas, people, or things to give the reader a deeper understanding of each
Adapted from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary
On what subjects can I write a successful compare-contrast essay?
Your subjects will need to each be significant in their own right to merit discussion. They will also need to have some sort of relationship to each other so that showing them side by side allows the reader to learn more about each. In other words, there must be a reason to compare them. Here are some reasons to compare and contrast. To consider two subjects side by side and show their distinctions. To choose between two things.
To explain one subject in terms of another.
What are the types of compare-contrast essays?
Writing Strategies for a Persuasive Essay
1. Read the question or essay prompt. Identify your topics and be sure that you understand what each really is. You may need to do a little research to be clear on this. 2. Decide what your purpose for writing is (to show distinctions, to choose, to explain). 3. Develop a thesis statement. Remember that a thesis statement must be more than “X and Y have many differences and similarities.” Your thesis should reflect which purpose you chose. Example: “Examining the similarities and differences between the work of Hemingway and Fitzgerald allows us to see how the contexts of their lives affected their work.” 4. Decide what your points of similarity (connection) and difference (disconnection) will be. 5. Research! Find relevant, credible publications, web sites, and individuals that offer evidence that supports your thesis and chosen points of connection and disconnection. 6. Write!
The style in which compare-contrast essays are written
Compare-contrast essays are similar to persuasive essays in a couple key ways:
Point of view
Level of personal voice
Point of View and Personal Voice in Persuasive Essays
A compare-contrast essay is almost always formal academic essay in which the writer presents a thesis, or. In most formal academic writing, the proper point of view for the essay is third person (using the pronouns he, she, it, they). It is OK to use first person (I, me, we) in the conclusion
INCORRECT: First Person
I think that Fitzgerald and Hemingway share many similarities despite their very different use of descriptive language.
CORRECT: Third Person
Fitzgerald and Hemingway share many similarities despite their very different use of descriptive language.
Evidence & Citations
Compare-contrast essays rely on a lot of direct evidence from several sources. You will need to quote extensively to be successful.
Why use quotes?
1. They demonstrate you read the available information closely. 2. They serve as concrete evidence to support your position 3. They demonstrate a deeper level of understanding, which is persuasive to readers.
Where can evidence come from? What can I quote from?
Books, films, newspaper articles, credible websites, newscasts, etc.
What can’t I use?
Wikipedia, encyclopedias, other student essays, interviews with non-experts, etc.
How should I weave in quotes and evidence?
The S-C-C-C Format
This is a very useful format for citations if you are not very familiar with citations and need to practice a tried and true method. As writers become experienced with citations, they can move away from this format and mix elements up as they see fit.
1. Set it up. Set up the context that the quote is from, so that the reader knows when and where the quote is from and who is doing the speaking/writing. 2....
Citations: speculation – trying to predict what will happen if an action is taken or an idea is accepted
Source: Jane Schaeffer Publications, Style Analysis (1998)
Source: Kirszner and Mandell (1998).
Please join StudyMode to read the full document