There are many things to pay attention to when writing a comparison and contrast essay. After all, it is the most popular type of assignment in US schools and other educational institutions due to several reasons. It helps develop and improve such important skills as critical thinking, rationality, and understanding. Here are a few things to keep in mind when working on a comparison and contrast essay.
1) You will be required to take two or more things, ideas, or famous figures and evaluate the similarities and differences between them. Some possible subjects for comparison are weather patterns in various geographical areas, attitudes of different politicians towards the same subject, thematically similar movies, etc.
2) There are several techniques one might use to make their essay more engaging. One of them is creating a Venn diagram after you’ve finished researching but before writing anything down. It is ridiculously easy to make one, but the actual effect of visualizing your arguments is incredible. And if the prospect of actually drawing something terrifies you, try one of the on-line services instead.
3) If you have a more analytical mind, making a classical chart would be more helpful. Each of your columns should be dedicated to one of the subjects you are focusing on. After you have listed all the possible comparison points, eliminate the insignificant ones. Now, you essentially have your paragraphs in front of you!
4) Imagine yourself as the reader and think about the question your audience might want to find the answers to while reading your essay. There are some questions that are very topic specific, so you’ll have to determine what those are on your own. However, the generally accepted ones include the following: What does your professor expect you to write?; Where should the emphasis put?; Why is your topic relevant to?; etc.
5) As mentioned earlier, the structure and content of your essay will depend on who or what your subjects are. If your writing concentrates on physical objects, it might be smart to mention size, height, weight, and other physical characteristics. If you are contrasting the events, try asking yourself what the prerequisites and consequences of those occurrences were or could be. Finally, if your subjects are abstract ideas or theories, you should definitely focus on the people who came up with them, those who adhere to and defend them, as well as what influence they had on the world.
After you’ve finished with all the preparatory steps, it is time for writing. If you’ve followed the suggested course of research and refinement of ideas, the actual process of creating a text should not give you any trouble. Moreover, remember that the first drafts are rarely good, and multiple revisions will only improve your work.
You will have to face and cope with writing comparison and contrast essays at least once during your academic career, so the best thing to do is to use it as an opportunity to learn and improve.