What does “compare and contrast essay” mean?
Would you like a cup of tea? Or do you like coffee better? However, is coffee better than tea or is it just different? You know your preferences due to your ability to compare and contrast objects surrounding you. Through comparing and contrasting, you see the differences and similarities of the things and can evaluate their objectively. You analyze every single object that you see in your everyday life. It is such a natural and habitual process that you may not even notice how you estimate things.
Of course, writers and scientists couldn’t give this great strategy the go-by. When it comes to academic writing comparison, it is used in the compare and contrast essays. If you have never written such an essay before, rest assured that you will come on it sooner or later. This type of essay is professors’ favorite not without reason: it is a powerful tool to develop students’ analytical skills.
Writing a compare and contrast essay may seem an easy task at first glance, but the complexity becomes apparent once you face a real topic. The thing is that the depth of analysis in the essay correlates closely with writer’s level of understanding of the problem. To put it differently, if a student has a passing acquaintance with the topic, his comparison is likely to be superficial. And the other way round, a student with profound knowledge is capable of making an in-depth analysis of the objects compared. It takes some research, good organization, and critical insight to make a high-quality comparison.
What is compare and contrast thesis?
According to survey most of the students are confused by the thesis statement. We intend to clear up this situation. Let’s take a look at the bog-standard thesis statement:
“Coffee and tea have both positive and negative effects on the human body.” Sounds like general knowledge, doesn’t it? Such boring thesis would seriously annoy me as a reader.
To propose a strong and catchy thesis statement, bear in mind that compare and contrast essay may also be aimed to:
- Explain something new or vague.
- Bring out a new look at something familiar
- Emphasize a significance of one or both of subjects
- Demonstrate a superiority of one subject over the other.
Think of the purpose while writing a thesis statement as that would make a striking difference. For instance, the thesis mentioned before can turn into a much more compelling statement:
“Although coffee and tea impact health in different ways, both drinks protect the humans’ body from dementia, increase productivity and boost an immune system.”
The key to the powerful statement is specific information, objectiveness and a brief insight into your topic.
Make a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
Any earnest writer knows that prewriting is a stage of paramount importance for all the further paper. It helps to think more clearly about the steps you need to make towards the final essay. Moreover, it helps to organize information and makes your writing coherent and understandable for the reader. That’s why you can start writing your compare and contrast essay with a detailed plan, or outline.
First, let’s clear up what is the organization of paragraphs in your essay. Needless to say, that your essay should involve introduction, body, and conclusion.
One more point to consider while outlining is the difference between compare and contrast essay. There are two main types of the comparative papers:
- Comparison Essay. This type of writing informs the reader of similarities, or both similarities and differences.
- Contrast Essay. This type of writing recognizes only differences.
Whichever type you choose, you need to understand the purpose of your essay. It is a common misunderstanding that the comparison itself is the goal of writing. As a result of this mix-up, students tend to fail on the stage of a thesis.
Organize your body paragraphs
Once you have a good thesis, ready arguments, and enough evidence, there is a little left to do. The only need is to get your act together and make it work: organize your body paragraphs. Different organizational patterns serve a different purpose and make a different impression on your reader. Feel free to choose one that suits your goals best.
- Block method (subject by subject). This type of essay presents all the qualities of the subject A in the first block and all the qualities of the subject B in the second block. For example, in the first block, you can analyze the impact of tea on productivity, health, and well-being. Then in the second block, you should analyze coffee impact similarly (evaluate its impact on productivity, health, and well-being).
- Point-by-point. This pattern breaks down your analysis to the smaller points. It allows comparing the qualities of the subject A and B one by one. In other words, you should analyze the effect of coffee and tea on productivity in the first paragraph, then proceed to their impacts on health in the second paragraph and finish with the impacts on well-being in the last section.
- Impact of coffee
- Impact of tea
- Impact of coffee
- Impact of tea
- Impact of coffee
- Impact of tea
- Comparisons followed by contrasts. This structure allows for listing all the similarities first and then continue with differences. This structure makes it possible to emphasize the contrasts of given subjects.
- Similarities of tea and coffee impact
- First difference between tea and coffee impact
- Second difference between tea and coffee impact
Compare and contrast essay examples
Surfing the Internet, you can come across different examples of compare and contrast essay. Nevertheless, we offer you to cast a glance at our two samples that will bring you the new sip of inspiration.
#1 Difference between Good and Ban Friend
Friendship is one of the most important things in our life. We live and need somebody that can support us. There are moments when we are confused about the essence of the relationship. That is why it is important to realize the difference between the true and false relationship. The following paragraphs are dedicated to the bright peculiarities of both phenomena. You can rely on true friend and trust him/her. The false friend can deceive and use you. Your task is to use analytical skills to detect the nature of the person.
#2 Difference between conventional and alternative medicine
Our health is the biggest treasure that is why we should appreciate it. The modern world is full of different technological changes that influence our life. The medicine is not an exception. On the one hand, we can trust conventional medicine as it specializes in the reliable methods. On the other hand, alternative medicine is older that is why it hides secrets that can save our lives.
Topic-to-go: compare and contrast essay topics
We invoke you to choose one of these great essay topics. The first problem faced by students while writing an essay of any kind is choosing a subject for writing. There is a great variety of topics, and it is easy to get lost in these variants. These reliable methods can help you to choose the right topic:
- Look for something that interests you. Try thinking about the topics that have some connection with your hobbies. Important to realize that topics at the junction of two areas of science can lead to unhacked and unconventional ideas.
- Discuss your topic with someone who is interested in it. If your essay drives you to despair and you have already abandoned hope of finding a suitable topic, remember that you are not alone on the planet. Talking about your subject with your tutor or friend may lead to new college essay ideas and fuller understanding of your subject.
- Brainstorm ideas. It is the most popular way to choose a topic. You can list all the possible subjects that cross your mind. Write down all the qualities that you can compare. Take your time – this method is very efficient if you put some efforts.
Look through the samples of good essays. There is nothing bad in analyzing some exemplary writings before starting your own, so go ahead
You may spend years to find your ideal topic for compare and contrast essay if time permits. However, if you need to make a decision quickly, it is good to have some ready topics on hand. A piece of good news is that we have a gorgeous topics list for your future essays! Go ahead and choose which you like best:
- Compare Homeschooling And Public Education
- Compare High School And College
- Compare European And Western Approaches To Education
- Compare Working Students’ And Unemployed Students’ Perspective
- Compare Remote Studying And Traditional Learning
- Compare Working In Office And Being A Freelancer
- Compare Academic Writing And Scientific Writing
- Compare Living At Home And Living On Campus
- Compare Boarding Schools With Daily Schools
- Compare Sciences And Arts Studies
Now you have all necessary tools to compare and contrast anything you want! So don’t be shy and make the most of the easy rules above!