Comparison and contrast writing seems easy as 1, 2, 3. One – choose the objects, phenomena or issues for comparison, two – decide what is similar and different between them, three – write down your findings.
Actually, this is an easy matter only verbally, whereas when it comes to the practical side, there arise many questions.
Let us start from square one – chosing the objects for comparison. The point is that these should be comparable issues though without vivid differences and similarities. If you decide to find out what is common between soccer and box, you are likely to arrive at a single obvious conclusion – these are kinds of sports. But the contrast between communism and capitalism will be far more interesting and productive, since these social systems have more extended common background.
Once this stage is behind, you can shift to paragraphs organization. You have only two variants to arrange your contrast and comparison arguments.
- Consecutive method suggests gradual way of information presentation. First, you dwell on one object, specifying its features, then you pass over to the second element for comparison, giving detailed description of its characteristics. To make both passages sound coherent and actually comparable, employ corresponding linking words, like similarly, in contrast, on the contrary, etc.
- Simultaneous way of information presentation lies in synchronous argumentation. Having written a feature of one object, you provide an opposing or similar characteristic of the other element. This method is also called a point-by-point one. To arrange your contrasting ideas into meaningful text unity, you should utilize more transition words than in the previous variant: although, unlike, whereas, however, nonetheless,
Writing contrast/comparison essay you should always keep your audience in mind. If you don’t stick to either of the two above described comparison/contrast methods, your composition will be a mess. Consequently, readers will fail to grasp the message you want to get out.