What is a Comparison / Contrast Essay?

Since the 1950s, American shoppers have been spending their money in suburban malls instead of in downtown business districts. This is even true of shoppers who have to go out of their way to shop in the malls; they will bypass downtown stores (which they might have gotten to by convenient bus) to drive to the brightly bedecked and and weather-free meccas of shopper-heaven. The result, some people claim, is the demise of the central urban commercial district, Downtown, a process leading inevitably toward more widespread urban blight. But why are Americans are so easily lured to shop in malls in the first place?

Let’s say you want to compare three seasons.

2. State your purpose in the thesis sentence.

3. Choose a pattern to organize your essay.

This is why, it is essential that a considerable amount of time is spent on searching a good topic.

Choosing Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Choosing the right comparison and contrast essay topic is important for every author.

The following is an example of subject by subject organization:

There is a very important point that you are missing, you also have to argue as to why these similarities and differences matter, otherwise, there is no material.

The two major patterns for organizing a comparison/contrast essay are:

Always have a second look at your essay after you have finished.

A comparison shows how two subjects are similar; a contrast shows how two subjects are different. People compare and contrast in both writing and life. In writing, you must first decide whether you will compare, contrast or both. Follow these steps when writing a comparison / contrast essay.

Fran Hooker & Kate James, Webster University Writing Center, 2007

First, is the comparison fair? Is it fair to compare the social nightlife of a small rural town in Oklahoma to the nightlife of Manhattan? Probably not, unless our comparison is going to lead our readers to a surprise: that for reasons they had never thought of before, the nightlife of Davis, Oklahoma, is more fun, more fulfilling than the nightlife of the Big Apple!

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The second question is one of procedure. We have, let's say, five points of difference between the two things that we want to contrast. Shall we go from side to side, as if our essay were a ping-pong match, or should we dwell on one side before going over to the other side, essentially splitting our essay in half? It is possible to mix these two approaches, but our approach will determine the overall structure, pacing, and effect of the essay.

Using the following links, you can find a lot of good comparison topics for your essay:

Use words such as like, the same as or similar

In this case, Kate decided that the integrated format would be more effective because it allowed for the side-by-side analysis of passages that illustrated the three primary qualities that she noticed in the poems.

Finally, Ms. Strict enforces high standards for her students' written work.

You have come to the right place.

Be sure to use the appropriate terminology and skills from the course readings and specific to the discipline of art history. For example, in introductory art history courses, students are required in their exam essays typically to compare and contrast different works demonstrating not only their learned skills of formal visual analysis, but also their ability to place works and monuments in a historical context. This means comparing works not only in terms of the differences in their formal elements, but also in terms of the socio-political, theological, regional or cultural reasons behind those differences.

As you approach a compare/contrast paper, ask the following questions:

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in a Composition course is the comparison and contrast essay. What could be easier? We've got these two things — movies, books, rock bands, decades, people, fashions, schools, ideas — how are they alike and how are they different? The paper practically writes itself! (A comparison, incidentally, is the process of showing how things are alike; a contrast is the process of showing differences.)