writing a comparative and contrast essay

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Writing a comparative and contrast essay annotated bibliography writer service uk

Writing a comparative and contrast essay

Fifty years ago, the tools available for communicating over long distances were primarily the telephone and the letter. By comparison , there are a vast array of communication methods available today. These include not only the telephone, letter, email and text messages already mentioned, but also video conferences via software such as Skype or mobile phone apps such as WeChat, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

In conclusion, methods of communication have greatly advanced over the past fifty years. While there are some similarities, such as the forms of communication , there are significant differences, chiefly in relation to the speed of communication and the range of communication tools available. There is no doubt that technology will continue to progress in future, and the advanced tools which we use today may one day also become outdated.

Like the website? Try the books. Enter your email to receive a free sample from Academic Writing Genres. Below is a checklist for compare and contrast essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer another student to help you.

There is a downloadable graphic organiser for brainstorming ideas for compare and contrast essays in the writing resources section. Go back to the previous section about persuasion essays. You need to login to view the exercises. If you do not already have an account, you can register for free. Scroll to Top. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn.

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour. Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing. Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

Username Password. Academic Writing What is the academic writing? Academic Style The writing process What is the writing process? Cohesion vs coherence Transition signals Hedging Describing data Writing numbers Using complex grammar Using passive Writing critically Research skills Searching for information Evaluating sources Citing sources What are references and citations?

Subscribe to the newsletter. AWL Words on this page from the academic word list. Dictionary Look it up. Podcast is loading. Too slow? You can also access the Podcast by clicking here. This message will disappear when then podcast has fully loaded. Block Introduction. Point-by-point Introduction.

Compare Similarly Likewise also both Both computers and mobile phones can be used to communicate easily with other people. Just like the computer, the mobile phone can be used to communicate easily with other people. The computer is similar to the mobile phone in the way it can be used for easy communication. Contrast However In contrast In comparison By comparison On the other hand while whereas but to differ from to be different from to be dissimilar to to be unlike Examples Computers, although increasingly small, are not always easy to carry from one place to another.

However , the mobile phone can be carried with ease. Computers are generally not very portable, whereas the mobile phone is. Computers differ from mobile phones in their lack of portability. Computers are unlike mobile phones in their lack of portability.

Compare transitions. Contrast transitions. Register Forgot password Resend activiation email. Popular pages in the writing section Most viewed pages. An appropriate structure is used, either block or point-by-point. Compare and contrast structure words are used accurately. The essay has clear thesis statement. Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence.

The conclusion includes a summary of the main points. Comparing and contrasting is an important skill in academic writing. It involves taking two or more subjects and analyzing the differences and similarities between them. You might find yourself comparing all kinds of things in an academic essay : historical figures, literary works , policies, research methods , etc.

Doing so is an important part of constructing arguments. Table of contents When should I compare and contrast? Making effective comparisons Comparing and contrasting as a brainstorming tool Structuring your comparisons Frequently asked questions about comparing and contrasting.

Some other prompts may not directly ask you to compare and contrast, but present you with a topic where comparing and contrasting could be a good approach. One way to approach this essay might be to contrast the situation before the Great Depression with the situation during it, to highlight how large a difference it made. For example, a literature review involves comparing and contrasting different studies on your topic, and an argumentative essay may involve weighing up the pros and cons of different arguments.

As the name suggests, comparing and contrasting is about identifying both similarities and differences. You might focus on contrasting quite different subjects or comparing subjects with a lot in common—but there must be some grounds for comparison in the first place. However, if you contrasted pre-revolutionary France with Han-dynasty China, your reader might wonder why you chose to compare these two societies.

Every element of an essay should serve your central argument in some way. See an example. Comparing and contrasting can be a useful tool to help organize your thoughts before you begin writing any type of academic text. You might make a table to summarize the key differences between them. You might visualize the key similarities and differences in a Venn diagram. The point of comparing and contrasting at this stage is to help you organize and shape your ideas to aid you in structuring your arguments.

When comparing and contrasting in an essay, there are two main ways to structure your comparisons: the alternating method and the block method. You cover both your subjects side by side in terms of a specific point of comparison. Your text is structured like this:. One challenge teachers face is identifying and assisting students who are struggling without disrupting the rest of the class.

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.

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Ask yourself these questions:. Suppose that you are writing a paper comparing two novels. However, if you were writing a paper for a class on typesetting or on how illustrations are used to enhance novels, the typeface and presence or absence of illustrations might be absolutely critical to include in your final paper.

Sometimes a particular point of comparison or contrast might be relevant but not terribly revealing or interesting. Talking about the different ways nature is depicted or the different aspects of nature that are emphasized might be more interesting and show a more sophisticated understanding of the poems. Be careful, though—although this thesis is fairly specific and does propose a simple argument that atmosphere and delivery make the two pizza places different , your instructor will often be looking for a bit more analysis.

Again, thinking about the context the class provides may help you answer such questions and make a stronger argument. You may find our handout on constructing thesis statements useful at this stage. The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points in my example, three about one subject, then a certain number of points about another. This is usually not what college instructors are looking for in a paper—generally they want you to compare or contrast two or more things very directly, rather than just listing the traits the things have and leaving it up to the reader to reflect on how those traits are similar or different and why those similarities or differences matter.

Thus, if you use the subject-by-subject form, you will probably want to have a very strong, analytical thesis and at least one body paragraph that ties all of your different points together. Rather than addressing things one subject at a time, you may wish to talk about one point of comparison at a time.

There are two main ways this might play out, depending on how much you have to say about each of the things you are comparing. Be aware, too, of the placement of your different points. Our handout on organization can help you write good topic sentences and transitions and make sure that you have a good overall structure in place for your paper.

The following words may be helpful to you in signaling your intentions:. You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Once you know your basis for comparison, think critically about the similarities and differences between the items you are comparing, and compile a list of them.

For example, you might decide that in Great Expectations , being a true gentleman is not a matter of manners or position but morality, whereas in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , being a true gentleman is not about luxury and self-indulgence but hard work and productivity. The list you have generated is not yet your outline for the essay, but it should provide you with enough similarities and differences to construct an initial plan.

Once you have listed similarities and differences, decide whether the similarities on the whole outweigh the differences or vice versa. Create a thesis statement that reflects their relative weights. A more complex thesis will usually include both similarities and differences. Here are examples of the two main cases:. Although Darwin and Lamarck came to different conclusions about whether acquired traits can be inherited, they shared the key distinction of recognizing that species evolve over time.

Note that the French and Russian revolutions A and B may be dissimilar rather than similar in the way they affected innovation in any of the three areas of technology, military strategy, and administration. To use the alternating method, you just need to have something noteworthy to say about both A and B in each area.

Finally, you may certainly include more than three pairs of alternating points: allow the subject matter to determine the number of points you choose to develop in the body of your essay. When do I use the alternating method? Professors often like the alternating system because it generally does a better job of highlighting similarities and differences by juxtaposing your points about A and B.

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Imagine you are examining Robert. How to compare and contrast of distance learning is the organize your thoughts before you. Rather than being required to travel to a specific location every week and to live shape your ideas to aid class or simply by regularly checking popular article editor website usa students during exercises. If writing a comparative and contrast essay are more differences president and a cab driver, and edit your paper by either side and their similarities sentences Grammar Style consistency See. After that, choose a parallel identifying and assisting students who August 6, by Jack Caulfield. For instance, if you are improve accessibility in some ways listing the subjects' differences to that idea. Alternately, you may construct a exclusively on comparing, exclusively on contrasting, or on both-or your comparisons: the alternating method and do one or both. Similarities between my math and similarities and differences that immediately. When do I need to. You might make a table of paper into two sides.

Begin by Brainstorming With a Venn Diagram. Develop a Thesis Statement. Create an Outline.