Compare-and-Contrast

The name "compare-and-contrast" name is misleading. In such an essay, you are focusing on similarities or differences, not both.

Compare-and-contast writing is often used in advertising, to compare two cars or telephones. If you are comparing cellphones, say the Samsung and the iPhone, you might include the categories of screen resolution, camera and price. Following the format of the hamburger paragraph or essay, these essays focus on the least important feature first and then build to the most important feature.

The compare-and-contrast paragraph or essay come in two forms, feature-by-featurer or block method. In the feature-by-feature compare-and-contrast essay, each paragraph focuses on one difference of similarity. If you're comparing two cellphones, for instance, the first paragraph might focus on the screen resolution, the second paragraph might focus on the camera and the third paragraph might focus on the price, which many consider the most important feature.



The product-by-product essay is arranged by product, person, place or thing. In the case of the cellphones, the first paragraph would focus on the Samsung's screen resolution, camera and price. The second paragraph would focus on, say, an iPhone screen resolution, camera and price.

If the essay is about differences, the introduction must start with a hook and briefly mention the similarities. The thesis statement, using a contrast statement, then makes it clear that the essay will focus on three key differences. If the essay focuses on similarities, the introduction must briefly highlight the differences before moving on to the similarities.

With the compare-and-contrast essay, you do not have to argue that one product, place or person is better than the other. If you do believe one if better than the other, the essay should feature the best one in the final paragraph.

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Similarities Paragraph

Organized by Similarities

In the compare-and-contrast paragraph, you compare just two people, places or topics
on three characteristics, going from least to most important.
You do not have to judge one person, product or topic better than the other
but if you do the best one comes last.

Title

Thesis Statement
The thesis statement of a compare/contrast essay essentially tells the readers
what features you will discuss in the same order they will appear in the essay.



First (Least Important) Similarity

First Person Product or Topic

First (Least Important) Similarity - Facts, Statistics, Quotes or Details

Here you elaborate on this first difference.


Second Person, Product or Topic

First Similarity Facts, Statistics, Quotes or Details
Here you provide your research, quotes or statistics.




Second Most Important Similarity

First Person, Place or Topic

Second Similarity - Facts, Statistics, Quotes or Details --
Provide your research, quotes or statistics.


Second Person, Place or Topic

Second Similarity - Facts, Statistics, Quotes or Details

Provide your research, quotes or statistics.




Third Paragraph -- The Most Important Similarity

First Person, Place or Topic



Most Important Similarity - Facts, Statistics, Quotes or Details --
Provide your research, quotes or statistics.


Second Person, Place or Topic

Most Important Similarity - Facts, Statistics, Quotes or Details

Provide your research, quotes or statistics.




Essay Conclusion
Review the similarities and end with a strong concluding sentence.



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