A Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Guide
We understand that you are here to get some advice on writing a compare and contrast essay. Nevertheless, our team always gives students more than they ask for. This post will provide you with one of the best compare and contrast essay examples and great tips on the compare and contrast essay format, outline, preparation stage, and more. We have arranged helpful information to make it easy for you to understand the core concepts. Read to understand the significant points of compare and contrast writing.
What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay?
The main goal of writing a compare and contrast essay is a comparison between two subjects. It is vital to highlight both similarities and differences of each issue, defining familiar points between them. One of the main particularities of a compare and contrast essay is deep analysis that finalizes the comparison points underlining the overall goal of writing an essay.
The areas of applying compare and contrast essays are wider than only studying various disciplines at universities. Such papers perfectly highlight the sensitive, controversial topics in journalism, politics, marketing, tourism, and more, allowing comparing multiple products, locations, persons, etc.
I: Prewriting Stage
Speaking on how to start a compare and contrast essay, you need to be ready that the preparation stage would be quite voluminous because of the peculiarities of this type of essay.
Defining the topic
Selecting compare and contrast essay topics means picking the direction of analysis; that is why this stage is crucial. The key to success is in brainstorming. We recommend you proceed with several ways of brainstorming. Use at least 2-3 various techniques to select the best topic among possible options. Here are some effective brainstorming techniques that lead to a perfect topic for your paper:
- Mind mapping. This is a visual method. You need a big piece of paper and some colorful markers. Write down the area’s name or discipline in the center and then draw or write down some smaller ideas nearby. Define and draw connections between ideas. This tool is perfect if you need to narrow down a big area.
- Venn diagram. This tool allows defining similarities and differences between several compare and contrast essay ideas, subjects, concepts, or areas of study. It looks like circles that overlap in certain points.
- Freewriting. This is a technique allowing you to use your imagination and creativeness most effectively. It is easy to perform, as all you need is paper and a pen. Define and narrow an area of brainstorming, such as World War II. Moreover, afterward, proceed with writing everything that comes to your mind for 5-7 minutes.
- Making a list of points. Divide the paper into two columns and writing down everything related to both subjects. Include in the list all the characteristics of each subject, including the tiniest details. Then highlight all the different and similar points between subjects and think over the information.
When you are going through various materials on a selected topic, keep in mind that the research must be done effectively on both subjects. Make the volume of the study equal for each subject. The same goes for the types and quality of sources you will consider. It is crucial to include the sources of similar volume. It would make the analysis objective.
When you work with such data as statistics, historical facts, and citations, make sure to use reliable sources of information. Moreover, we recommend making it easy to use such sources by creating a reference list.
Developing the main statement
Once you have researched everything on both subjects of your compare and contrast essay, you will form an opinion by understanding how one subject relates to another. The main statement (or thesis statement) will be guiding your way through the whole paper. Moreover, you will be adding 2-3 topic sentences that you would use in the writing process. These sentences would be points of comparison and the points of contrast that you would include in the body paragraphs. When you would generate a working main statement, you would need to think over the ways of its defense before proceeding with the next stage.
II: Writing A Compare And Contrast Essay
Choose a structure
Your compare and contrast essay format and structure may vary regarding your goals and the area of research. You would think over which type of organization your essay would use to highlight and represent your ideas better. Here are three main ways to structure a compare and contrast essay:
First compare, then contrast
One of the primary ways of structuring such essays assumes that your goal is to highlight differences more than similarities. This tool is perfect if you do not need to explain a lot about common points of the concepts or objects.
Subject by subject
This approach assumes progressively exposing the similarities and differences of the first subject and the second subject one after another. It is perfect when you are describing issues with many various details that you need to highlight. However, there might be a problem with contrasting in this approach. Note to highlight the contrasts as well.
Point by point
This approach requires you to describe each point of the subject by switching them in each new block. It sounds tricky, but this structure makes the paper dynamic and very engaging. Such an approach allows underlining both similar and different points of each concept. We recommend checking whether there are enough transition words and cohesiveness between each block.
Compare And Contrast Essay Outline
Now let us proceed with a core part of creating a good compare and contrast essay, which is outlining and writing. To make it clear and suitably demonstrate the main peculiarities, we will use a table that contains an explanation of the content of the section and some writing tips.
III: Proofreading Stage
Now it is time to proceed with polishing and editing your compare and contrast essay. It is essential to include in the editing process such points:
- Check whether the introduction has a hook that engages the readership into reading your compare and contrast essay to the end.
- Make sure that both subjects are exposed enough to allow readers to form their own opinion.
- Check that the conclusion does not contain any new information.
- When the first draft is ready, please go through it and ensure that you are not missing any vital points of each subject you are exposing.
- Ensure that citations and references support all the statistics, numbers, facts, and other specific data.
Grammar and style:
- It is vital to use plain language that people can easily understand. Usually, compare and contrast essays contain many details on two concepts or subjects, so making it easy to read will help the audience understand the new information.
- Do not rely only on your knowledge of grammar and punctuation. Use modern, practical tools that allow you to check the paper and reduce mistypes, technical mistakes, double words, and make your essay excellent.
- If possible, engage your roommates, friends, or family members in the proofreading process. Let them read your compare and contrast essay. You might miss some vital details.
Additional Hacks on Compare and Contrast Essay Writing
We have collected some more hacks on writing for you that would ease the process of creating your compare and contrast essay. From time to time, writing is exhausting, so you should include in your working routine some of the following activities:
- On the prewriting stage, properly read the rubrics from your teacher (if any). If there are no rubrics, there might be an instruction containing all the essential requirements regarding the compare and contrast essay format, number of pages, and more.
- Preplan your working time. Define when you are the most effective in writing, and try to fit your schedule into these golden hours.
- Do not forget to take breaks when you are working on your compare and contrast essay. Make a short pause every 30 minutes to refresh your mind. If possible, take walks and breathe air. Eat healthily and drink enough clean water.
- If you have troubles with concentration, switch the activity by drawing something or exercising.
- When working on your essay, apply an effective Pomodoro technique. The method allows you to divide the work period into 15-20 minute sessions and sufficiently boost your productiveness.
One of the Excellent Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for You
Compare and Contrast Essay – Fascism and Nazism: Different or the Same?
The ideologies of fascism and Nazism emerged in the late nineteenth century by the end of World War 1 and were instigated by the crises of the European political system during that time. They were mainly created as a response to the deep fear of political and social disintegration and of a potential political revolution that would likely attack the ruling elites. These two ideologies reject all ideologies of Marxism, democracy, and liberalism. While fascism and Nazism have much in common, they are very different as well. This essay compares and contrasts these two ideologies and argues that they are more different than they are similar, despite their commonalities.
Fascism and Nazism first emerged in Italy and Germany respectively. Fascism originates from the Italian word fascio, which literally means bundle. However, politically defined, it means league or union (Collingwood 169). The aim of this ideology was to create an authoritarian and hierarchical government, or far-right government, which would entail extreme nationalism. Similarly, Nazism is a far-right ideology but is practiced and defined differently. According to Collingwood, Nazism was developed by Hitler’s National Socialist German Party, which was also aiming towards extreme nationalism but with a different agenda, namely to create a totalitarian government and have a racial superiority nation (170). Both ideologies shared the use of dictatorial rule and mass appeal.
Many historians have argued that fascism and Nazism are very similar in that they could be described as being like Siamese twins (Thurlow 5). This is because both Mussolini and Hitler sought absolute power and allegiance to the state. However, there was a crucial difference between how intense the worship should be. For example, Mussolini encouraged love and obedience to the state no matter who you are, but Nazism encouraged racism and believed in only one supreme race, which was defined as the German Aryan race (Paxton 85). Nazism went so far as to integrate biological racism into their domestic and foreign policies. Mussolini’s fascism, on the other hand, was not specifically based on overt racism.
They also differed in the use of violence. Mussolini believed that using violence was a prerequisite to gaining more power and fulfilling his political agenda. He believed in the violent oppression of the opposition, but his followers were of diverse backgrounds and no single race was seen as the supreme race (Paxton 87). The Nazis were less violent at that time, although they became more violent as time went by, and they also believed in one supreme race. Finally, one crucial difference between these two ideologies is that, while fascism worships the state, Nazism worships the party more than the state, and that above all, the party should protect the race at all costs (Thurlow 12). This is directly linked to the Nazis preferring the Aryan race over even the state itself.
Many historians argue that there are more similarities than differences between fascism and Nazism, but this paper argues that there are more differences between the two. The most obvious difference is that the Nazis preferred to protect the Aryan race at any cost and were extremely racist, while fascism put the state above all else. Other differences include the use of violence from both states. Fascism was more violent in the early stages, but Nazism became more violent afterwards.
Collingwood, Robin George. “Fascism and Nazism.” Philosophy 15.58 (1940): 168-176.
Paxton, Robert O. “The Five Stages of Fascism.” Fascism. Routledge, 2017. 81-103.
Thurlow, Richard C. “Fascism and Nazism—No Siamese Twins.” Patterns of Prejudice 14.1 (1980): 5-15.
Is It Possible to Get Assistance in Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay?
We hope that the information we listed in our article would help you with your studying attempts. We believe that this guide on how to write a compare and contrast essay has given you a clear understanding of how to complete this assignment. Beyond this guide, you can find more valuable tips and hacks in our blog; for example, we recommend reading the guide on how to write an essay about yourself.
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