Comparing and contrasting in an essay can be a tricky affair especially if you are not conversant with the procedure and the format to follow. This kind of essay has two sides: one side supporting a particular position and the other one speaking against it. Either way, intensive research should be conducted to back up each argument with sufficient evidence. Let’s discover some helpful tips on compare and contrast essay writing.
This is the process of generating ideas which eventually leads to the formation of the thesis. Thesis development or topic picking is the initial stage in essay writing and is a very crucial step that helps a writer to organize his/her thoughts around the topic of discussion.
While choosing a topic, the writer should ensure that the chosen topic is controversial enough to draw substantial similarities and contrasting opinions. Preparing this type of paper writer is duty bound to support both sides irrespective of whether he/she believes on the contrary or not as there are others who could be holding different views.
If you are asked to compare between two or more things, then, you are required to examine how those things relate to each other and stress on their similarities, if there are any. Additionally, if you are asked to compare, then you are being asked to look at how these things differ.
There are two ways in which you can organize your facts in an argumentative essay. That is:
Block Approach – This method is commonly used when writing essays in class as it involves discussing all arguments exhaustively before introducing other varied arguments. That means, you can start with evidence supporting your arguments and then in the same paragraph discuss the contra views. Here, the length of your paper is determined by the list of your arguments and the amount of supporting evidence you provide.
Point by point approach - This approach is ideal when writing lengthy essays for instance when comparing articles, novels, and short stories. In this essay, both sides; the negative and positive are presented in the same paragraph, and one only moves to the next item after the previous one is done. One thing students should bear in mind is that the argument may extend beyond one paragraph.
Common transitional words
While writing this kind of paper, they are some transitional words that are common in arguments. For example, in a comparison paper, you will find yourself using words like:
- Not only… but also
- Similar to…
- The same as
- To compare…to/with
And while contrasting two or more issues, the following transitional words is recommended to use:
- In contrast
- By comparison
- In comparison to/with
- On the other hand
- Dissimilar to…
- Differ from
In a comparison essay, you should list down and explain three similar points that both subjects have, but in a contrasting essay, you should discuss both the differences and similarities.
Like other academic papers, this argumentative essay consists of three (3) parts:
In this part, you introduce your topic and give any background information you might have. Also, this is where the thesis of your paper should appear.
After the introduction, it is now the time to present your arguments. Start with your position/claim and support it with evidence before introducing the opposing views. Since your opponents might have tangible reasons as to why they differ with you, you have to counter their positions by presenting equally strong contra-evidence.
This is the last paragraph in your paper where a quick recap of the things discussed is done. At this juncture, you should state your original position and indicate if the evidence that has been brought to the fore has changed your initial opinion on things discussed or not.
After presenting your facts, you need to re-read your work to see if there are typos and grammatical errors. You can get writing help from custom essay writers. Also, check the layout to ensure it is well structured and that each part supports the subject.