Compare and Contrast What does a Compare and Contrast paper mean? When we learn about new things, our brain wants to compare these new things to something that we already know about. (What do they have in common?) Our brain also wants to know how they are different. (contrast) The first step in a Compare and Contrast paper is a Venn Diagram. Let's Compare and contrast soccer and basketball.
First ask yourself, "What do they have in common?"
Both played with balls
Both games played using timed quarters
Both played on a rectangular field, with the object of the game being to penetrate the opponents territory and scoring.
Both are popular spectator sports
Now, for the contrast part. Put soccer on one side of the diagram and basketball on the other. Each game's unique characteristics will appear under the title, and the facts listed will directly be contrasted against the other. Ask yourself, "How are they different from each other?"
Keep in mind, the reader does not want to just see a list of similarities and differences. BORING! Don't just write, "In soccer, the ball is kicked into the goal for a point. In basketball, the ball is thrown into the new for a point." Try showing the reader, instead:
"Dribbling the ball on the gym floor, the basketball player weaves in and out through the opposition, his final destination, a 10 foot high net, clearly in his sights. The soccer player, however, dribbles the ball with his feet, kicking his way down the grassy field, finally 'shooting' the ball with all of his might, past the goalie, and into the rectangular net at the end of the field."
A Compare and Contrast paper should have· a lead paragraph that lets our reader know what they will be learning about· at least one paragraph that focuses on the similarities· at least on paragraph that focuses on the differences· and a paragraph that sums up the paper and what we have learned.