How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay. A Guide for the Beginners

Writing Tips

Pre-Writing Stage: Things You Need to Remember

Before you start writing, it is vitally important to think about the writing process organization. You don’t want to toss between these and those parts of your essay having no idea of what to do next, right? So, to avoid that mess, you shall take the following steps to make the whole thing work:

  1. Make a list of paragraphs your compare and contrast essay will consist of. They are introduction, body, and conclusion
  2. Think of ideas you could write about. Use newspapers and magazines, even a conversation heard in the street can be useful! It needs to be something that questions the truth of a certain statement, its value, and its description. It can also question the cause and the result of an issue
  3. When you find something that seems worthy to you like a topic, think of whether it will be possible to develop it throughout the whole paper

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay: Step by Step Instruction

Well, now you are about to start writing. If you have followed the tips given above, you must already have a clear scheme of your future essay as well as basic ideas of what and how to write.
So, what each particular paragraph shall be about in order to compose a perfect compare and contrast essay example?

It must be one paragraph long and here is where your thesis statement shall appear. A thesis statement is a sentence that briefly covers the topic and your main claims and views. Remember that your thesis statement must be strongly crafted as it tells the reader or a listener of what your essay is actually about.

You can present your thesis statement either in question/answer way or as a disproving protestation. Disproving protestation means that you shall state one side of an issue and then give a disproving part.

Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment.

There is also another way of giving a thesis statement. It is called a “roadmap” and presents several issues or points you are going to cover just in few words.

Example: While some people think there is no way to divorce-proof your marriage, studies have shown that there are fewer divorces when people carefully prepare for that commitment by taking the time to get to know the other person before becoming engaged; by spending time with one another’s family and friends; by talking about hot-button issues like finances; and by getting extensive premarital counseling.

Remember that your introduction must be concentrated around the thesis statement. It shall give a reader that basic information that will help to get the essence of your arguments. Strong evidence is also essential here.

It will be useful to pay attention to your audience and figure out what issues and evidence might convince and interest them better. Don’t forget to appeal to people’s emotions, it will help you to incline them to your side.

One more thing that will play into your hands is to provide some background information to help the audience understand what exactly led you to this discussion.
When composing your introduction, you can make it more lively by starting with an interesting fact or statistic data, a deep quote or a provoking question that can lead to a discussion. And don’t forget to introduce your evidence!

  1. Body of an essay

The body of your compare and contrast essay shall consist of at least three paragraphs. At the same time, each paragraph must present only one evidence supporting your statement. Here you can explain why people shall agree with you. Make sure your arguments are strong enough to convince the others.

When you write about the reasons why everyone should agree with you, provide around three reasons for that, but not less. Also, it is essential to support each of them with a strong, logically built arguments. Feel free to use statistics, examples from authorities, etc.

Besides, you will only reinforce an impression from your words by mentioning another point of view on this case and explaining why you are not agreeing with those.

  1. Conclusion

In a way, your conclusion will mirror the introduction, only here you need to get together your thesis statement and arguments, as well as convince the audience that your argument is the best and most reasonable.

In your conclusion, try to think broadly, especially if you are writing about some global issues. Use realistic examples of how your ideas could work and allow people to see what would happen if they accepted your point of view. Remember to always address the listeners’ or readers’ emotions, logic, morals, etc.

What Types of Arguments You Can Use

To build a strong argument, you can choose between three main argument strategies.

  1. Classical

Here you highlight an issue or a problem, propose your solution and try to convince the audience that it’s the best one.

  1. Rogerian type

This type persuades by finding common points of agreement. Good to use if you are sure that your opponent will hardly listen to you.

  1. Toulmin model

Unlike previous ones, this model of making arguments is based on clear logic in order to reduce the argument to something that can be agreed upon.

To give yourself more useful ideas on writing, you can go to any scientific writing online resource and search for compare and contrast essay examples. Like that, your own paper will be beyond praise.

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