In college, you will have to write dozens of papers, some of them easier than the rest. However, a killer compare-and-contrast essay might be one of the most exciting writing assignments a student can get. Due to its specifics, this type of writing gives you an excellent opportunity to look at the subject from different perspectives and come to unexpected and creative conclusions.
What Is Compare-And-Contrast Essay?
In its essence, this type of essay requires students to provide similarities and differences between two matters from the same group. They may be required to dwell upon only similarities or only differences, as well as cover both aspects in their piece. This largely depends on the professor’s requirements, the size of the paper, and oftentimes a student’s creativity, writing skills, and desire, after all.
Unless strictly defined, the range of the topics for the compare-and-contrast essay is infinite. These may include pets, favorite authors, music styles, medications, devices, you name it. Naturally, the subject of studies and your personal preferences can seem to limit. However, your ability to see the issue from different angles is what turns any topic into a fascinating journey through unexpected alikenesses and othernesses. Even a discourse on viruses will cause a storm of emotions among laymen, from curiosity to deep concern, from negligence to a desire to take actions, if written skillfully and to the point.
If you have doubts, however, don’t rush to order a cheap writing service to craft this piece for you. Give it some time for the idea to ripen. And once you catch your inspiration, use these five tips to help your words fall into place and strike the reader with a masterly created essay.
Tip # 1. Pick the Subject You’re Thrilled to Write About
It is human nature: we like thinking, talking, writing about what we like. For any subject, there will be topics that more than others excite and interest you, so use it as a starting point for your compare-and-contrast research. Why? Because writing an essay is no easy thing and you don’t want to make it any more complicated with the topic you don’t give a damn.
How do you start? Here work the same rules as for any other type of essay. Don’t pick the topics that have been picked, dwelled upon, and worn off a million times before you. Keep it rather narrow than wide. And leave room for controversies and disagreement. In other words, comparing iPhone 11 to iPhone 12 may not produce the desired effect. However, should you only put upan iPhone against a Samsung flagship, a rumble can no way be avoided.
Tip # 2. Strike with a Powerful Argument
Lists are cool and awesome, but truth be told, no one cares about the lists. What your readers do want to know is what drives you to compare these issues, what you have learned in the process, and what conclusion you have made from this experience.
Despite the temptation to simply enumerate the similarities and differences, develop a strong argument of why you are writing about this topic and start from it. If you think that kids grow twenty times healthier and more cheerful with dogs than cats, this idea should go through the whole essay like a golden thread. You want the “yes, we’re buying a dog” reaction, not the “okay, what was that I’ve just read?!”
Tip # 3. Brainstorm and Research
Once you defined the topic and where you stand, it’s time to come up with as many similarities and differences as you can only think of. These will be your evidence to fortify your point of view. Certainly, you won’t be using all of them (the size of an essay is limited, after all) but this is a good way to get your creative juices flowing. And you will have something to work with; some thoughts will be worthy and relevant for your essay, others – dumped without regret.
Here, a good idea is to use numerous visualizing techniques. This may be column lists, Venn diagram, or any other method that helps you structure your ideas and see the full picture of the essay-to-come.
Tip # 4. Devise a Plan
Unless you’re George Martin himself, you can’t afford to wait years for inspiration when the words naturally fall into place. So, prepare for hard work and devise an elaborate plan of what you are going to say. Consider the structure, the voice, and the ways to deliver the message. Deal with all the fussy work now to make it ten times easier when writing.
You can start with similarities first, or go into discussing differences and get back to them later. Alternatively, you can use an “on the other hand” principle and discuss the same feature from both perspectives at once. The structure will strictly depend on your intended message, and that is why at this step, it is important to bring in line the argument and the evidence reinforcing it.
Tip # 5. Write a Bad Draft Compare-and-Contrast Essay and Fix It
Every genius piece of writing starts with a terrible output that was fixed later on. Therefore, once you come up with a middling essay, come back to it and edit as many times as you need, until it becomes great.
When your essay is ready, it’s time to take a breath and verify all the critical points that may affect your grade.
Check if the structure matches the original idea, where every new thought starts with a separate paragraph and transition words create a natural flow.
Verify the words you are using. Are they polite and opportune enough? Do they convey the message intended?Also, remove all the slang words and vulgarisms (unless you’re comparing them exactly).
Finally, make sure that your work is clean in terms of grammar and punctuation. The least you want is to lose points because of some silly typo you might have missed.