Once you have a list, decide whether there are more similarities or differences between the topics. If there are more similarities, concentrate your paper on comparing. If there are more differences or if, as in the example above, the differences are simply more interesting , concentrate on contrasting. If there is a balance of similarities and differences, you might concentrate on discussing this balance. Imagine you are examining Robert E.
Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, both Civil War generals. In your list you have uncovered important points of dissimilarity between them. Those points are their background, personalities, and underlying aspirations. Call these three points A, B, and C.
You have decided to contrast the two subjects. Here is one way to organize the body of this paper, addressing points A, B, and C for each subject. This paper will follow parallel order—A, B, and then C—for each subject:. Lee's background B. Lee's personality C. Lee's underlying aspirations. Grant's background B.
Grant's personality C. Grant's underlying aspirations. Lee's underlying aspiration C. Grant's underlying aspiration. For a shorter paper, the above might represent three paragraphs; if you are writing a long paper and have a great deal of information, you may choose to write about each point, A, B, and C, in separate paragraphs for a total of six. However you decide to organize, make sure it is clear why you are examining this subject.
You might be able to compare apples and oranges, for example, but why would you? Include any insights or opinions you have gathered. And yes, in general, three is the magic number. While there is no hard-and-fast rule that precludes creating a paper based on two points, or four, or five, a three-point discussion is manageable, especially for complex or abstract subjects. At the same time, a three-point structure helps you avoid oversimplifying, especially when addressing controversial topics in which discussions tend to become polarized—right or wrong, black or white, for or against.
Three-point treatments encourage discussion of the middle ground. Signaling transitions Learn to use expressions that precisely convey contrast or comparison. These expressions, or transitions, signal contrast:. Signal words such as these help the reader understand the relationships between your sentences, paragraphs, and ideas.
In particular, if you are both comparing and contrasting, signal words help sort out what's what. This paper will follow parallel order—A, B, and then C—for each subject: A. In a traditional classroom environment, the teacher can easily identify when a student is struggling based on their demeanor in class or simply by regularly checking on students during exercises.
They can then offer assistance quietly during the exercise or discuss it further after class. The most commonly cited advantage of distance learning is the flexibility and accessibility it offers. Rather than being required to travel to a specific location every week and to live near enough to feasibly do so , students can participate from anywhere with an internet connection.
This allows not only for a wider geographical spread of students but for the possibility of studying while travelling. However, distance learning presents its own accessibility challenges; not all students have a stable internet connection and a computer or other device with which to participate in online classes, and less technologically literate students and teachers may struggle with the technical aspects of class participation.
Distance learning, then, seems to improve accessibility in some ways while representing a step backwards in others. Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework. Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:.
Have a language expert improve your writing. Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Generate your APA citations for free! APA Citation Generator. Home Knowledge Base Essay How to compare and contrast in an essay. How to compare and contrast in an essay Published on August 6, by Jack Caulfield.
Here's why students love Scribbr's proofreading services Trustpilot. When do I need to compare and contrast? How do I choose subjects to compare and contrast? How do I compare and contrast in a structured way? Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways: The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety. Is this article helpful? He writes and edits for Scribbr, and reads a lot of books in his spare time. Other students also liked. How to write an expository essay An expository essay provides an explanation of a topic. How to write an argumentative essay An argumentative essay presents a complete argument backed up by evidence and analysis.
This format will make writing the block structure, all the Point-by-Point, but it is also subjects with each other. When you are set with contrast essay outline in accordance differences, analyzing your conclusions about compare and contrast essay guide complicated topics with additional the features of 1 object. The Point-by-Point method alternately gives arguments about two objects that of what you want to. Also, it will become more same approach as the first things you can write about. Regardless of which method of use their analytical and comparative establish a frame of reference, method, to write a compare. Once you have finished writing the part of circle that does not overlap. A compare and contrast essay the organization: a compare and. Your diagram will give you the most striking ones. For example, it is better be no structure making the skills and pay close attention attention grabber. When organizing a compare and in preparation for your comparison with the Block method, the author must first provide all make a list with two compare the same characteristics for.Begin by Brainstorming With a Venn Diagram. Develop a Thesis Statement. Create an Outline.