Writing an Effective Compare and Contrast Essay

Compare and Contrast EssayA compare and contrast essay is a type of essay that analyzes and discusses similarities and differences of things, events or concepts. You can focus on similarities, differences, or both. This is just like employing analytical thinking while deciding which university to attend, or which car to purchase, or some other things to do.

Block Arrangements of Ideas in a Compare and Contrast Essay

The first is called a block arrangement of ideas and the other is called a point-by-point arrangement of ideas. Suppose you're interested in demonstrating the differences between vacationing in the mountains and vacationing at the beach. One method for arranging the material is using the block arrangement technique to talk about having vacations in the mountains in the first section and in the second section, discussing vacationing on beaches. In case you mention some particular point in the mountains passage, you should also mention the same point in the beach passage, as well as in keeping them in the same order. The introduction paragraph is followed by the mountains passage, then the beach paragraph, and the conclusion - the fully developed compare and contrast essay is just four paragraphs.

  1. Introduction in which you state the purpose, that is to discuss the differences between vacationing in the mountains and at the beach
  2. Mountain
    • Location
    • Climate
    • Type of activities
  3. Beach
    • Location
    • Climate
    • Type of activities
  4. Conclusion
    • Location
    • Climate
    • Type of activities
    • Location
    • Climate
    • Type of activities

Compare and Contrast EssayA second method to organize your material is to discuss some particular point, for example vacationing in the mountains, and immediately discuss the point of vacationing at the beach. It is called point-by-point arrangement. An outline of this compare and contrast essays organization is as follows.

  1. Introduction in which you state the purpose, that is to discuss the differences between vacationing in the mountains and at the beach
  2. Difference between mountains and beaches in location
    • Mountain
    • Beach
  3. Difference between mountains and beaches in climate
    • Mountain
    • Beach
  4. Differences between mountains and beaches in types of activities
    • Mountain
    • Beach
  5. Conclusion
    • Mountain
    • Beach
    • Mountain
    • Beach
    • Mountain
    • Beach

Examine samples of comparison or contrast essays and decide whether the authors make block or point-by-point arrangements. Notice how the author writes a compare and contrast essay. Is it with five or four paragraphs? Noticing these factors will help you become a more conscious writer.

An important thing to remember when writing a compare and contrast essay is that many times, writers use comparisons or contrasts to support their personal viewpoints. Whenever appropriate, writers must support their own views by examples and facts.

Identify what organizational style you're using. Whether you make the block or point-by-point arrangement, you should be able to clarify it. Being able to identify the organization will help you in writing and it will also help a reader follow the points that you make.

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