Compare and Contrast
This type of writing assignment is common. On a standardized test, you may be asked to analyze literature, evaluate ideas, or make a judgment and explain your reasons. In responding to these types of prompts, you often will compare and contrast characters, concepts, or choices. You will be asked to identify similarities and differences, which are the key to compare-and-contrast essays. There are ways to organize your thoughts about compare-and-contrast topics, which will help you write thoughtful and balanced essays. Compare-and-Contrast Essays
First, you will learn how to write a compare-and-contrast essay When you compare, you show how two or more things are alike. On the other hand, when you contrast, you show how two or more things are different. Click the buttons to see the difference between comparing two things and contrasting two things. An essay exploring the similarities and differences between two or more subjects is a compare-and-contrast essay, which also is called a comparison-and-contrast essay. Not only will a compare-and-contrast essay focus on two or more subjects, it also will include details that support the comparisons. An effective compare-and-contrast essay will contain transitions to make connections between the subjects of the essay clear. You may have written a compare-and-contrast essay for a school assignment. Topics vary widely and might be based on: significant events from history;
works of art, literature, or music;
lives and achievements of historical figures; or
effects of different laws or policies.
Characteristics of Compare-and-Contrast Essays
Two or more subjects are compared and contrasted.
Details reveal the similarities and differences between the subjects.
Transitions make relationships between the subjects clear.
Effective structure—such as point-by-point or subject-by-subject—makes the essay easy to follow. Choosing Your Topic
To begin your compare-and-contrast essay,...
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