Whenever you want to point out the differences and/or similarities between two things For example, you may want to compare hip- hop to jazz or Lily, the main character in The Secret Life of Bees to Scout, the main character in To Kill a Mockingbird.
First,you should choose two subjects that have some basis for comparison. In other words, there should be some things that they hold in common and/or some things that distinguish them from each other. Second, there should be at least three points of comparison/contrast between the two subjects. This supplies enough information to make the comparison a viable one. Third, make sure there is enough accessible information about the subjects.
There are two options you can use to organize your essay:Subject-to-subjectPoint-to-point
In the subject-to-subject option, you first address one subject and give all the points/details about that subject, then you address the other subject, giving the corresponding points/details about that subject.
In the point-by-point option, you take a point/detail of one subject and compare/contrast it to a corresponding point/detail of the other subject.
SUBJECT-TO-SUBJECT OPTIONTopic sentence: State the main ideaSubject A Support point 1 and specific details Support point 2 and specific details Support point 3 and specific detailsSubject B Support point 1 and specific details Support point 2 and specific details Support point 3 and specific details
POINT-BY-POINT OPTIONTopic sentence: State the main ideaSupport point 1 Subject A Subject BSupport point 2 Subject A Subject BSupport point 3 Subject A Subject B
There are certain words you use as transition words or phrases in acomparison/contrast essay that will help to clarify what you are communicating.
FOR COMPARISON FOR CONTRASTand AlthoughIn the same way in contrastAlso ButJust as, so too, is on the other hand ConverselyBoth UnlikeLike DespiteEach of WhereasNeither HoweverIn addition While, yetsimilarly
BLOCK ARRANGEMENTI Introduction in which you state your purpose which is to discuss. differences between airplanes and helicoptersII Airplanes. A. Shape and design B. Speed C. Direction of takeoff and flightII HelicoptersI A. Shape and design. B. Speed C. Direction of takeoff and flightI ConclusionV.
Let’s say your topic is a comparison of two movies. Answer these questions: What do the movies have in common? i.e. theme, characters, setting, genre, plot? Use invention strategies to diagram your ideas and responses to each movie. Go back and look for connections that show similarities and differences Develop your thesis statement In paragraphs 1-3 develop details for first statement In paragraphs 4-6 develop details for second statement Another option is to alternate paragraphs giving details about one and then the other Each paragraph can focus on theme, character, setting, genre, plot, etc.
POINT-BY-POINT or ALTERNATINGARRANGEMENTI. Introduction in which you state your purpose which is to discuss differences between airplanes and helicoptersII. Differences between airplanes and helicopters A. Shape and design 1. Airplanes 2. Helicopters B. Speed 1. Airplanes 2. Helicopters C. Direction of takeoff and flight 1. Airplanes 2. HelicoptersIII. Conclusion