What is a compare and contrast essay?
In a compare and contrast essay, differences and similarities between two separate entities that belong from the same root are determined. The element of comparing stresses on the similarities while the element of contrasting sheds light on the differences. There are a lot of approaches to write a compare and contrast essay. The most crucial factor which plays a significant role in the success of a college essay is the selection of a unique topic and the conduction of the right research for it. Through a compare and contrast essay, readers are able to make informed choices out of two options and may also take a stand on a subject matter about which they were previously dubious or double-minded. The function of such an essay is to help the readers arrive at a critical decision.
What is required from the students in these essays?
Students should know that it is not just about stating the differences between A and B first and then stating the similarities between A and B. This approach always fails and does not let students secure a good grade. Students are first required to gather all the raw data and blend it in a coherent and meaningful way. Compare and contrast essays are not simple forms of academic writing. Firstly, there should be an umbrella or a broad classification under which the two entities are grouped. This is also called a frame of reference. The best or the most efficient frame of reference cannot come from mere observations. There are specific sources behind it. The frame or the fundamental blueprint can consist of a unique idea, a problem, a question under consideration, or a theme.
Secondly, there must be rational grounds and logic behind comparing and contrasting two entities. If a student is choosing Instagram and Facebook for comparison, they must be able to justify their choice. Why these particular social media sites? Why not Twitter and WhatsApp? A student must let the readers know that their choice is not random and has some meaning. Two entities can belong from the same category or school of thought and this connection should be apparent in the essay.
Finally, comprehensive research can only result if students are focusing on an impactful thesis statement and are sticking to it throughout the essay. Most frequently, the thesis statement is reflective in compare and contrast essay topics. This is another potentially successful strategy and can result in a smooth process. The thesis statement has a very important function. It basically tells the readers how an essay writer has chosen to compare and contrast two things.
Firstly, in a compare and contrast essay, the requirement of the thesis statement must be fulfilled. A thesis statement must depend on the notion that two things have been related to each other by the writer.
Answering these questions can lead the way for meaningful thesis statements. Research of powerful thesis statements can be conducted through skimming and scanning a lot of relevant material. Students should also make sure that their sources are scholarly.
There is a need to hold two ideas, two things, two historical figures, or two concepts together in a compare and contrast essay. For this purpose, the research process must be inclusive of transitional sentences and ideas. In the above-mentioned topics, research should be carried out in a systematic manner. In the second topic, for instance, which asks about the acquired objectives of democracy or dictatorship, students must analyze the data in a historical manner. The pros and cons of both governmental systems can be analyzed and studied under the lens of specific criteria. Particular case-studies can also be pondered upon. For a better essay, students may interview citizens of a democratic nation and then compare the notes with an interview that focuses on a citizen who is living under the rule of a dictator. The historical evolution of both systems can also be compared and contrasted in the essay.
The bottom line is that two ideas that are to be compared and contrasted must be linked with each other in the concluding section of the essay and this linkage should enable the reader to make a decision without conducting any more independent research.
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