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    #1

    essay

    In the compare and contrast essay, is it wrong to write all the similarities together in one paragraph and write all the differences in another paragraph? Is this style wrong?

    I want to know the best way of writing compare and contrast essay.
    Last edited by sash2008; 24-Jan-2009 at 23:26.

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    #2

    Re: essay

    No. That is probably exactly what your instructor does not want.

    First, make sure whether your instructor wants a fully objective comparison (without your evaluations), or wants you to include your evaluations.

    Introduce the general theme of both papers. It must be the same; otherwise there is nothing to compare and contrast. Usually the theme is obvious, but sometimes it is something so deep that you have to work at extracting it. If so, then this is the hardest part.

    Then describe in one sentence Smith's position on the theme, Jones' position on the theme, or their common position, on balance. If they basically agree, summarize how they disagree, or how they treatment of the theme differs, even as they basically agree. This ends your introduction.

    Within the common theme, find the issues they both deal with, and describe whether they agree or disagree, or treat the issue differently, and how. If they both agree and disagree to some extent, identify the sub-issues they agree or disagree on, or treat differently.

    Then describe issues that only one mentions. Let us say that Smith mentions A, B, and C, but Jones mentions D, E, and F. If you can somehow find something in common between A and D, B and E, and C and F, that would be optimal, and would allow you to continue the game of "Smith says A; but Jones says D", which is the main point of a compare/contrast essay.

    Conclude by restating the common theme, and the overall positions of Smith and Jones, and draw general conclusions, in the usual way of any essay.

    If evaluations are required: Lastly, decide for yourself whether you agree more with Smith, with Jones, with both, or with neither, and end your essay by saying why you have this opinion. It is also good to say whether you agree more with Smith or with Jones, and why, as you list each issue, but be very careful to devote considerably more space to each of Smith and Jones than to your evaluation.

    In other words, the art of compare and contrast is to arrange the issues in their proper order, and only then to say whether Smith and Jones agree or disagree, and how. This arrangement obviously depends entirely on what the two essays may be about.

    If you are only supposed to write one paragraph, follow the same structure, only much more briefly.

    This is how I've written every single compare and contrast paper I've even been assigned. If, however, you feel you need more specific advice, here are some references:

    http://web.princeton.edu/sites/writi...pdfs/CandC.pdf

    www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/documents/CompAnalysis.html

    www.bookrags.com/articles/5.html

    http://www.google.com/search?q=compa...x=&startPage=1
    Last edited by abaka; 25-Jan-2009 at 09:19. Reason: added a few thoughts

  2. Senior Member
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    #3

    Re: essay

    Mr abaka,
    Thank you very much for your useful reply and for those links.

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