Writing a College Compare and Contrast Essay in 4 Easy Steps

A compare and contrast essay is one of the most popular college tasks. It’s an effective tool to find similarities and differences between some study aspects and in such a way to understand both of them deeper. However sometimes a student can get lost in massive data and doesn’t know where to start. The following simple steps are helpful and handy while writing a high quality paper.

  • Step #1: Brainstorming
    1. Analyze the topic carefully.
    2. Try to look at the topic from different perspectives.
    3. Read the assigned materials and make notes on them.
    4. Generate ideas.

    It’s better to make lists of all similar and different features that come into your mind. This preliminary work will serve you as a serious background.

  • Step #2: Distinguish the Key Points
  • Look through all the ideas and single out the most important and meaningful ones. On the basis of them the central thesis is made. Such thesis will perform the function of the skeleton of your essay. It should contain the emphasis on the main points that help see the contrast and relations between the compared issues. Choose one pattern of arranging the arguments and follow it throughout the whole piece.

  • Step #3: Support Yourself
  • Develop and extend your arguments, prove your ideas by providing vivid examples, explanations, support every thought using primary sources. Secondary sources help broaden the discourse. Feel free to add your own interpretation, because the individual perception is valuable and adds extra strokes to the general picture.

  • Step #4: Review the Essay
  • Re-read your work, pay close attention to its structure (it’s better to divide it in 6 paragraphs: the first one contains introduction, the next ones contain principal arguments and their coverage, the last one contains conclusion). Don’t forget about spelling, punctuation, grammar, and style. Check the arguments themselves. They can’t contradict but should complement each other and contribute to the expression of the central thesis. Double check is often very useful. Your relatives or friends may look at the result of your work and can show your weak and strong points. They can give you practical advices to improve the piece.

    A compare and contrast essay of high quality should approach the problem from different angles in order to provide a panoramic view. The key similarities and differences must be distinguished and depending on them the author draws a reasonable conclusion.

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