2 What is a Compare and contrast essay? A comparison, shows how two or more things are similar.Contrast shows how they are different.
3 Establishing a basis for comparison Before you can compare and contrast two things, you must be sure a basis for comparison exists—that two things have enough in common to justify the comparison.A comparison should lead you beyond the obvious. When two subjects are similar, the contrast may be worth writing about.When two subjects are not very much alike, you may find that the similarities are worth considering.
4 Selecting points for discussion After you decide which subjects to compare and contrast, you need to select the points you want to discuss.You do this by determining your emphasis—similarities, differences of both.When you compare and contrast, make sure you treat the same (or at least similar) elements for each subject you discuss.
6 Minor characters Major characters Themes Author’s life Plot Symbolism Selecting points for discussion: Try to avoid discussing different elementsNovel ANovel BMinor charactersMajor charactersThemesAuthor’s lifePlotSymbolism
7 Developing a thesis statement Your thesis should:Tell readers what to expect in your essayIdentify not only the subjects to be compared and contrasted but also the points you will make about them.Indicate whether you will concentrate on similarities or differences or both.Can list the points of comparison and contrast in the order in which they will be discussed in the essay.
8 Developing a thesis statement A thesis should highlight the essay’s central concern.In the following examples notice that the structure of the first thesis statement emphasizes similarities, while the structure of the second highlights differences.Despite the fact that television and radio are distinctly different media, they use similar strategies to appeal to their audiences.Although Melville’s Moby Dick and London’s The Sea Wolf are both about the sea, the minor characters, major characters, and themes of Moby Dick establish its greater complexity.
9 Structuring a Comparison and Contrast essay Your essay, like many others you’ve written, will have some of the same structure features.It will have an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.Within the body of your paper, you can use either of two basic comparison-and-contrast strategiesSubject by SubjectPoint by Point
10 Subject-by-subject comparison In a subject-by-subject comparison, you write a separate essay about each subject, but you discuss the same points for both subjects.Use your basis for comparison to guide your selection of points, and arrange these points in some logical order, usually in their increasing order of significance.
11 Subject-by-subject comparison Example Outline Introduction: Thesis Statement: Despite the fact that television and radio are distinctly different media, they use similar strategies to appeal to their audiences. Television audiences: Point 1: Men Point 2: Women Point 3: Children Radio Audiences: Conclusion: Restatement of thesis or review of key points
12 Point-by-point comparison Make a point about one subject and then follow it with a comparable point about the other.This alternating pattern continues throughout the body of your essay until all your points have been made.
13 Point-by-point comparison Example Outline:Introduction: Although Melville’s Moby Dick and London’s The Sea Wolf are both about the sea, the minor characters, major characters, and themes of Moby Dick establish its greater complexity.Minor Characters:Book 1: The Sea WolfBook 2: Moby-DickMajor Characters:Themes:Conclusion: Restatement of thesis or review of key points
14 Useful transitions for comparison and contrast In comparisonIn the same wayJust as…soLikeLikewiseSimiliarlyAlthoughButConverselyDespiteEven thoughHoweverIn contrastInsteadNeverthelessNonethelessOn the contraryOn the one hand…on the other handStillUnlikeWhereasyet