What happened or changed during each event?
Why are they significant? Who were the important people involved? How did the events occur, and what consequences did they have later in history? If you're compare and contrasting two ideas or theories, you may ask: What were they about?
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How did they originate? Who created them? What is the central focus, claim, or goal of each theory? What kind of evidence is used to support each theory? If you're compare and contrasting two pieces of art, you may ask: What does each piece of art describe or depict?
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What is their tone or mood? What themes do they address? When were they created? How do the creators of the artworks describe their own work? Why do you think the artworks were created as they were?
Chapter 4. What Are You Writing, to Whom, and How?
If you're compare and contrasting two people, you may ask: Where is each person from? How old are they? What, if anything, are they known for? How do they identify themselves in terms of gender, race, class, etc? Do the two people have any relationship to each other? What does each person do? Why is each person interesting? What are the defining features of each person? Note any gaps in your knowledge or research. Your instructor may require you to do in depth research on a complex topic, like abortion rights, or you may be writing from a purely opinion based perspective, such as why you love cats more than dogs.
Identify any gaps in your knowledge and prepare to do research so you can better compare and contrast the two topics in your essay. Compose your thesis statement. The thesis of your compare and contrast essay will help you create a focused argument and act as a road map for you, and for your reader. Go for specific and detailed, over vague and general.
Why should anyone care about the positives and the negatives of owning a cat or a dog? Your thesis statement is much stronger if you address these questions, and a stronger thesis can lead to a stronger essay.
Organize your paper by the block method. In the block method, each paragraph in the essay addresses one topic only from the pair of topics and looks at the shared traits or aspects you came up with during your brainstorm. The organization for this method is as follows: Introduction: Introduce the general topic, then introduce the two specific topics. End with your thesis, which addresses what is going to be covered in the essay.
Body paragraph 1: Begins with the topic sentence for topic 1. For example, how cats do not have to watched during the day, and are easier to get care if the owner travels or is often not home. Leads into Aspect 2: Cost, with at least two details. For example, how food and healthcare are less expensive for cats and how cats are less likely to cause property damage to the owner's home.
Leads into Aspect 3: Living accommodations, with at least two details. For example, how cats do not take up a lot of space and they are less intrusive as they do not require daily walks or constant play. End the paragraph with a transition sentence. Body paragraph 2 will follow the same structure, with three Aspects and two supporting details for each aspect. Body paragraph 3 can follow the same structure as Body paragraph 2 and 3.
Or it can be a paragraph that develops the comparison made in the previous two paragraphs. You can use scientific data, crowd sourced feedback, or a personal experience. For example, you may have been in a position where you had to compare and contrast adopting a dog or a cat and made your decision based on your lifestyle, finances, and living situation.
This could serve as a personal experience to back up your previous arguments. Conclusion: Contains a summary of your main points, a restating of your thesis, an evaluation of your analysis and any future developments that may sway your compare and contrast to one topic over the other. Use a point by point structure. In the point by point method, each paragraph contains the arguments for only one aspect of both topics. End with your thesis, which addresses what is going to covered in the essay. Body paragraph 1: Begins with topic sentence for Aspect 1. Leads into Topic 2, Aspect 1: Dogs, with two details contrasting dogs to the previous argument.
For example, how dogs are pack animals and shouldn't be left alone for long periods of time, and how it can be difficult to find care for a dog when the owner is away. When the items being compared are basically similar, and when we're looking at only a few characteristics or criteria when we compare them, we usually use a point-by-point pattern , also called organization by criteria.
If we were comparing two mechanical pencils [the two pencils would be our "items"], for example, we might compare them on the bases of price, durability, and ease of use [those would be our "points" or "criteria"]. And we could organize our essay with a separate paragraph for each point--a paragraph on price, talking about both mechanical pencils in the same paragraph; then a paragraph on durability, again including both pencils in the same paragraph; then a paragraph on ease of use. With an introduction up front and a conclusion on the end, we'd have a five-paragraph theme.
When the items being compared are very different as, for example, two people might be , or when we have very many criteria to consider, the point-by-point pattern doesn't work very well. If the items are very different, then the same criteria don't apply to them. If there are very many criteria to explore, the essay tends to break up into too many pieces for easy reading. So in these situations, we usually use block comparison , also called organization by item.
If we were comparing two people, for example, we would have one paragraph on Fred, and then one paragraph on Tim. Grounds for Comparison.
How Does Thesis Statement Generator Work?
Let's say you're writing a paper on global food distribution, and you've chosen to compare apples and oranges. Why these particular fruits? Why not pears and bananas? For instance, in a paper asking how the "discourse of domesticity" has been used in the abortion debate, the grounds for comparison are obvious; the issue has two conflicting sides, pro-choice and pro-life. In a paper comparing the effects of acid rain on two forest sites, your choice of sites is less obvious.
A paper focusing on similarly aged forest stands in Maine and the Catskills will be set up differently from one comparing a new forest stand in the White Mountains with an old forest in the same region. You need to indicate the reasoning behind your choice. The grounds for comparison anticipates the comparative nature of your thesis. As in any argumentative paper, your thesis statement will convey the gist of your argument, which necessarily follows from your frame of reference.
But in a compare-and-contrast, the thesis depends on how the two things you've chosen to compare actually relate to one another. Do they extend, corroborate, complicate, contradict, correct, or debate one another?
The Structure of an Expository Essay
In the most common compare-and-contrast paper—one focusing on differences—you can indicate the precise relationship between A and B by using the word "whereas" in your thesis:. Whether your paper focuses primarily on difference or similarity, you need to make the relationship between A and B clear in your thesis. This relationship is at the heart of any compare-and-contrast paper. Organizational Scheme. Your introduction will include your frame of reference, grounds for comparison, and thesis. There are two basic ways to organize the body of your paper.
If you think that B extends A, you'll probably use a text-by-text scheme; if you see A and B engaged in debate, a point-by-point scheme will draw attention to the conflict.