Date of publication: 2017-09-03 13:12
Comparing and Contrasting Use to show similarities and differences between two things (people, places, events, ideas, etc.). Key frame question: What things are being compared? How are they similar? How are they different? (NCREL, 6988) See: Synectics , Venn Diagram , Questions , PMI , T-Chart, Ranking , & KWLH
Other graphic organizers available throughout this Bridging Snapshots
First, pick useable subjects and list their characteristics. In fact, their individual characteristics determine whether the subjects are useable. After that, choose a parallel pattern of organization and effective transitions to set your paper above the merely average.
There are at least two ways to organize a compare/contrast essay. Imagine you are examining Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, both Civil War generals. In your list you have uncovered important points of dissimilarity between them. Those points are their background, personalities, and underlying aspirations. (Call these three points A, B, and C.) You have decided to contrast the two subjects.
In the following paragraph from “American Space, Chinese Place, ” writer Yi-Fu Tuan fully discusses space in America before turning to an analysis of place in China:
This next portion of your essay (which may also consist of one or more paragraphs) should cover the second of the two topics. Do not discuss Topic 6 in this section. Since you have already gone into great detail about it, you may allude to Topic 6 briefly however, do not analyze Topic 6 in this section. This portion of the paper is to discuss Topic 7 in great detail.
The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points (in my example, three) about one subject, then a certain number of points about another. This is usually not what college instructors are looking for in a paper—generally they want you to compare or contrast two or more things very directly, rather than just listing the traits the things have and leaving it up to the reader to reflect on how those traits are similar or different and why those similarities or differences matter. Thus, if you use the subject-by-subject form, you will probably want to have a very strong, analytical thesis and at least one body paragraph that ties all of your different points together.
Disclaimer: The papers provided by serve as model papers for students and are not to be submitted
as it is. These papers are intended to be used for research and reference purposes only.
Sometimes you may want to use comparison/contrast techniques in your own pre-writing work to get ideas that you can later use for an argument, even if comparison/contrast isn 8767 t an official requirement for the paper you 8767 re writing. For example, if you wanted to argue that Frye 8767 s account of oppression is better than both de Beauvoir 8767 s and Bartky 8767 s, comparing and contrasting the main arguments of those three authors might help you construct your evaluation—even though the topic may not have asked for comparison/contrast and the lists of similarities and differences you generate may not appear anywhere in the final draft of your paper.