We often draw an analogy of different subjects in our lives but very rarely do it in a written form. One might say, the university and college are the only places where you share such opinion on the paper. The compare and contrast essay is the common kind of academic assignments with its unique peculiarities. Even if you are great with the spot comparisons, learn more about essay’s structure and requirements before set to writing.
What is Comparison and Contrast Essay?
Comparison and contrast essay may be an independent task or just a part of more large paper. For example, thesis often includes many paragraphs with such elements. An appropriate definition of this kind of paper:
It is the essay in which the student reveals the similarities and differences between two or more things and reinforces his or her findings by arguments.
Professors frequently ask students to compare both abstract notions (such theories, methods or historical periods) and specific things (book characters, personalities, countries, etc.). There are few guidelines to follow during crafting this type of articles.
1. Develop an Argument for the Paper
Before you start a writing process, you brainstorm your topic and find some outstanding characteristics of two objects. Those things have to be contrasting enough to be compared. The title of your future essay may sound like “Apple vs. Microsoft” or “Differences and similarities in ancient Greek and ancient Egyptian myth”.
You should explain why it is interesting to reflect on these particular objects and pick strong arguments. In the essay, you may prove why Apple, in your opinion, is better than Microsoft. Or, tell how the contrasts of various ancient myths determined the future of each civilization.
In practice, do not forget to write down the features you found meaningful on the paper. Every thought can be important, so note everything that comes to mind and move on to the next step.
2. Create the Compare and Contrast Essay Structure
The standard template for all essays is a basic scheme Introduction – Main Body – Conclusion. In the introduction, you form a thesis of your essay and present the subject of a further discussion to your audience. This part must be compelling enough to motivate people to read the main body. Therefore, you need to create a hook at the beginning of your article. This can be:
- interesting fact,
- personal experience,
- joke or anecdote,
- provoking question,
- bold claim.
Even though the main body usually consists of 3 paragraphs, in some cases you may write more. Here you provide the arguments chosen before and complete a bulk of comparing job.
At the end of the research, you conclude all the arguments and repeat your thesis. One paragraph is enough for this part, it shouldn’t be voluminous.
3. Consider the Essentials of Compare and Contrast Essay Format
Whereas it is everything clear about introduction and conclusion, the main body in those papers may be organized using three methods:
You start with describing one object and allocate its distinguishing points in the beginning. After that, you turn to the second thing and write down everything you know about it in the last paragraphs. This layout is considered to be smooth and understandable. However, it looks more like a list of points than the comparison. It is the most noticeable shortcoming of this setup.
The main purpose of this method is an evaluation criterion. For instance, you can assess Microsoft and Apple by innovations, cost of their software or the popularity of key products. Dwelling upon each point, you are gradually revealing the features of both objects at the same time.
- Common and different separately.
Here you organize your essay in the format "start with the comparison, end with contrast." The order may be reversed if you want to emphasize the common features instead of differences.
4. Outline the Paper
Outlining is 50% of success. If a student does not find it important and disregards this process, he or she spends much more time on writing. Once you create the outline, the paper will compose itself alone. There are various useful techniques – family tree, rough draft, schemes, and tables. Outlines mean planning the structure, sketching the approximate variant of essay and organizing of main points in a particular order – the actions which make writing more simple.
5. Verify the Essay using Samples
If you are not sure whether your essay complies with general requirements, check the examples on the web or ask your professor to provide you with them. It also depends on the university: rules for articles may vary in each.
Seek for a sample on the reputable website you can trust. A ready essay is also a great option which will explain to you how to write a good paper on practice.
6. Use Graphical Elements
The information is being better absorbed in visual form. Dilute the text with images, graphics, tables, diagrams and other elements. However, it is possible only if you type the assignment on your PC. On the lesson you should present the information in an interesting way without any pictures, so structure, hooks, and indisputable points are your best friends.
Bonus Tips: How to Write Comparison and Contrast Essay Quickly
- Don’t skip planning. Allocate at least 10 minutes on it.
- Use brainstorming techniques to come up with decent ideas faster.
- Always outline.
- Write the main body first. Students often stumble upon the introduction and don’t know how to start. To avoid such a delay develop the arguments before first and the last parts of the paper.
- Give the result to your friend for revision. He or she will assess your essay with a fresh pair of eyes and find the mistakes quicker than you.
If you can’t cope with your assignment urgently or don’t have much time on it, ask for assistance in a writing service. Experienced authors will provide you with a sample paper on your topic and may write assignments for you.
This tutorial will guide you through the process of setting up Microsoft Word 2011 on Mac OS X for your MLA Format essay.
It is very easy and we are going to accomplish the following settings:
How to Set the Font and Size:
- Click on the Home tab.
- Click on the drop-down arrow on the right size of the font (as seen below) => scroll down until you find Times New Roman then click on it.
- Click on the font size drop-down arrow and click on 12.
How to Set the Margins in Word 2011 – Mac:
- Click on the Layout tab.
- Under Margins, change the margin for all sizes top, right, bottom, & left to 1.
How To Create a Header in Word 2011 – Mac:
To create a header with your Last Name and automatic page numbering on the top of every page, follow these steps.
- Click on View.
- Click on Header and Footer.
- Notice the Header is now opened with your cursor blinking on the left => click on the Align Text Right icon to bring the cursor to the right.
- Also notice the font is NOT Times New Roman => click on the font and set it to Times New Roman.
- Type your Last Name (no need to leave a space after your last name).
- Click on Insert => Page Numbers => click OK and done since the default settings (align right and show number on first page) are perfect.
- Click on the Closebutton and done. Your completed work should look like this:
How to Setup Line Spacing to Double Spaced:
- Click on the Line Spacing icon.
- Click on 2.0 and done.
How to Enter the First Page Information:
- Type your full name => press Enter.
- Type your professor’s name => press Enter.
- Type course title => press Enter.
- Type your paper’s due date => press Enter.
- Click on the Align Center icon on the formatting toolbar (to center your blinking cursor) => Type the title of your paper, capitalizing the first letter and all major words and proper nouns. Do not use italics, boldfaced type, underlining, or all caps to format your title. Do not type a period at the end of the title => press Enter.
- Click on the Align Left icon (to bring your blinking cursor to the left).
- Click on the Tab key to indent 1/2 inch to begin your first paragraph. Use the Tab key on every next new paragraphs. Your completed setting should look like this:
How to Setup the Works Cited Page:
Follow this how-to when you are ready to work on your Works Cited page. The Works Cited page has the following characteristics:
- A heading “Works Cited” centered one inch below the top edge of a new page. Do not bold or underline this heading.
- No indent on the first line of each entry. If an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines 1/2 inch from the left margin.
- Alphabetize entries in your list of works cited by the author’s last name, using the letter-by-letter system.
- Immediately after typing the final line of your paper, click on Insert => Break => Page Break (to begin a new page). Your header with your last name and automatic page numbering should appear at the top left of your paper.
- Click on the align center icon so that the text is centered.
- Type Works Cited(do not underline, boldface, italicize, or enclose the title in quotation marks).
- Press the Enter key once to begin a new line.
- Click on the align left icon so that the text is aligned left.
- The feature to setup indentation on the subsequent line/lines is called Hanging Indent. To setup hanging indent, click on Format => click on Paragraph => under Special, choose Hanging => the value on “By:” should now be automatically set at 0.5″ => click OK to finish.
- Now type your sources. If you have Internet sources, when you type in the URL, Microsoft Word automatically apply the hyperlink to it. You should remove the hyperlink by right-clicking on the URL => Hyperlink => Edit Hyperlink => Remove Hyperlink.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Take care!
MLA Format Guidelines:
APA Format Guidelines: