How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

664 Words Nov 7th, 2012 3 Pages
Instructions of How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

First look at the items you are supposed to compare and contrast. Do you understand them? If you are writing an essay outside of class, look them up. Start with your text book but also look at your notes from class, and even go and check them out at Wikipedia. If you are taking a test, and can't look things up, pause and think over what these things mean. The next two steps will help you remember.

Make a list of ways the two items are the same. This is the "compare" part of a compare and contrast essay. (For an in class essay, it will be good if you can bring in extra paper. If you can't, you can make some notes on the back of your blue book.)

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If you feel they are more different than the same, start by comparing the similarities.

Now get to your point of view. If you are writing a classic "five paragraph essay" you may want to spend a whole paragraph pointing out what is wrong with the arguments you made for the other side. If don't have to meet a specific number of paragraphs, you can just get straight to supporting your own point of view. Look at your list items that support you, and write about them all, and why they are important.

With compare and contrast essays, the conclusion will be a lot like the introduction. You summarize what you just said. You may find that some points came up in writing that you hadn't put in your intro. This is a good time to refer back to those.

If this is not an in-class essay test, you should try to set the essay aside after you finish, so you can go back later with your mind fresh. You may come up with a few other items you want to talk about on your compare or contrast list. You may come up with a better way to write your introduction or conclusion.

If you can master how to write compare and contrast essays, you will find that you can use that form for a lot of other essays when the instructor doesn't give you a format.

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