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When hearing the words “Comparative Analysis”, students may feel uncomfortable and could feel thrown off by the complicated vibe it gives off. However, all it’s really asking you to do is compare and contrast two things, an action we perform every day! The compare and contrast essay is included within the 5 paragraph cloud: the versatile group of essay styles that can be written within the five paragraph format. These essays are popular in most college courses since they help students in contrasting and comparing the different related or non-related theories, ideas, topics etc.
These are just some examples of common essay topics you might be asked to write about in your high school or college classrooms, but there are infinitely many others!
The format of the comparison and contrast essay is actually unique in the fact that it doesn’t have a linear path. Most 5 paragraph essays have to be written in the 1-3-1 format which obviously includes the intro, 3 bodies and the conclusion. The cool thing about the comparison essay is that you can actually write the essay in 4 or 5 paragraphs depending on how you format the outline of the essay. In this case, you can choose between having 2 or 3 body paragraphs with the outlines looking accordingly:
Generally, if you are interested in being very straightforward or just are purely trying to get the essay finished swiftly and efficiently, then this would be your go-to-method. However, if it’s not 3am the night before the due date, read on to learn about a more creative and exciting format: the 3 body style!
The 3 body paragraph style is the subject to subject style. It gives the reader a specific subject in each paragraph and either offers a comparison or a contrast of the subject between topics A + B. The outline would look something like this:
1. Subject 1
a. Comparison or Contrast about Topic A + B using subject 1
2. Subject 2
a. Comparison or Contrast about Topic A + B using subject 2
3. Subject 3
a. Comparison or Contrast about Topic A + B using subject 3
Make sure your essay has some diversity, don’t just compare A+B three different times, make sure to at least use 1 or 2 subjects for your contrast. It is a Compare AND Contrast essay after all.
One of the biggest pieces of advice that can be given about writing these types of essays is the fact that the intro and conclusion should be written at the end of the essay if done “properly”. In this case, following the format of the essay is necessary, but to solve it step by step is definitely not. A lot of the times, thesis statements are really only made after writing out all the information in the main bodies. Due to this, most of the time the intro is usually written after the main body, and the conclusion stays at the end.
Just like in the style of the actual essay, this tutorial will be written to replicate it so as to follow proper rules. If you were wondering how to start a compare and contrast essay, then there is no better place to look than at the classic hook method. Following this we must follow briefly introduce our topics of comparison. However, before we do all of this and also after writing our main bodies, it’s time to create our golden thesis statement. The format of the thesis always stays generally the same for 5 paragraph essays, but in this case we can also include the subjects of comparison into our thesis. For example, if we are comparing 2 TV shows and the 3 topics of comparison are length, critical reviews and comedic ability, then those 3 terms should be included in your thesis. Lastly, we have our conclusion. At this point it’s practically identical in the style of the 5 paragraph essay because we take the same 3 steps. We restate our thesis, summarize our main points and make an overall concluding statement.
So that’s the general structure of the compare and contrast essay. Before I let you guys go, I have a few small tips just to give you the edge over your competitors.
The less expectable your content is, the more exciting for the reader.
Words such as however, rather, and conversely for contrasting and words like moreover, similarly, also, likewise etc for comparing the points really help give your essay visual appeal and organizational clarity.
Not only do they add to the aesthetic, they also help you to come up with new similarities and differences if used correctly.
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