To put it simply, comparison and contrast essay evaluates the similarities and differences between two objects. For example, you can be asked to compare and contrast two novels of the same writer or two historical periods. Generally, the aim of writing this type of essay is not to state obvious truth about two subjects, but rather focus on unexpected differences and similarities.
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Comparison & contrast essay: all you should know about
Unlike cause and effect essay, which asks you to explore the reasons for and results of something, comparison and contrast essay requires you to analyze how things are similar and different. For instance, you can compare democracy and totalitarianism; London and Washington D.C.; systems of higher education in the USA and Australia and so on. If you are not sure how to write an excellent comparison and contrast essay that will get you an A, follow these simple rules!
Tip 1: Pick a good topic
The topic for your essay is a part of success, so spend some time thinking whether the topic is a good fit for you. Remember that the topic for your comparison and contrast essay should be unique and special, and match your academic level. We’ve selected a few win-win topics – perhaps, there is one for you?
- Topic #1: Living in a big city or small town
- Topic #2: Reading a book or watching a movie
- Topic #3: Traditional education or e-learning
- Topic #4: American English or British English
- Topic #5: Facebook or Instagram
Tip 2: Structure matters
This is actually true for any essay type, but especially important in comparison and contrast essays. There are two ways to organize your essay:
- Block structure: discuss subject A, then subject B. For example, you are comparing your sisters Emily and Hannah. In the first block of the body part, you write all about Emily: her appearance, personality, and interests. In the second block of the body part, you discuss the same (appearance, personality, and interests) about Emily.
- Point-by-point structure: discuss subjects A and B in relation to points. In the first block of the body part, you compare appearance of Emily and Hannah. In the second block you discuss their personalities. Finally, in the third block, you compare their interests.
Comparison and contrast essay: important!
Tip 3: Use words of comparison and contrast
To link your ideas and show the relations between subjects, be sure to include plenty of linking words into your essay. Some of the logical connectors that signal a comparison are like, similar to, same as, just as, just like, both and others. As for the linking words that demonstrate a contrast, you can use although, however, in contrast, whereas, instead, unlike, and yet.
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Comparison & contrast essay: most common mistakes
Every student for sure wants their essay to be the best. However, not everyone can successfully cope with this assignment. If you want your essay to shine, make sure that you avoid these top 3 mistakes students make in comparison and contrast essays.
|Mistake #1: No thesis|
A purposeful thesis states two subjects that will be compared and contrasted, and comes at the very end of the introduction.
|Both New York and Chicago are major cities located in the United States of America, though they offer different experiences to citizens and tourists. Both cities have different history, culture, and residents.||Both New York and Chicago are major cities located in the United States of America, though they offer different experiences to citizens and tourists. The differences between New York and Chicago are pronounced, and they deserve thorough examination.|
|Mistake #2: Wrong linking words|
A good comparison & contrast essay has plenty of linking words that make your ideas consistent and logical. Before you turn in your essay, make sure that all linking words are used correctly in terms of meaning and sentence structure.
|However both cities have different histories, they continue to have considerable influence in the political and cultural global spheres.||Even though both cities have different histories, they continue to have considerable influence in the political and cultural global spheres|
|Mistake #3: Repetitions|
Since the entire assignment is dedicated to comparing two things, it’s tempting to use the same words over and over again. Be sure to use plenty of synonyms to avoid repetitions.
|Although New York and Chicago are major cities of the U.S., they have both differences and similarities. New York and Chicago have largely different histories, cultures, and demographics, but they are similar in their health care system and cost of living.||Although New York and Chicago are major cities of the U.S., they have both differences and similarities. Both cities have largely different histories, cultures, and demographics, but they are similar in their health care system and cost of living.|
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