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Compare & Contrast Essays

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Kelly Parker

on 12 March 2013

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Transcript of Compare & Contrast Essays

Compare & Contrast Compare vs. Contrast Apples & Oranges The function of any comparison or contrast is to clarify and explain. A comparison points out the ways that two or more persons, places, or things are alike. Remember the old saying “That’s like comparing apples and oranges”? The subject of a comparison or contrast should be in the same class or general category; if they have nothing in common, there is no good reason for setting them side by side. For example, you wouldn’t get very far in comparing Ford trucks with Schwinn bicycles, other than to point out that they both are modes of transportation. The writer’s purpose may be simply to inform, or to make readers aware of similarities or differences that are interesting and significant in themselves. Or the writer may explain something unfamiliar by comparing it with something very familiar (for example, by explaining the game of squash by comparing it to tennis). The writer can point out the superiority of one thing by contrasting it with another—for example, by showing that one product is the best by contrasting it with all its competitors. Subject-by-Subject pattern A subject-by-subject outline of an essay comparing two baseball teams might look like this:

I. Texas Rangers
A. Pitching
B. Fielding
C. Hitting

II. Chicago Cubs
A. Pitching
B. Fielding
C. Hitting Point-by-Point pattern For a somewhat longer essay comparing and contrasting solar energy and wind energy, however, you should consider the point-by-point pattern of organization. With this pattern, your essay is organized according to the various points of comparison. An outline might look like this:

I. Installation Expenses IV. Convenience
A. Solar A. Solar
B. Wind B. Wind

II. Efficiency V. Maintenance
A. Solar A. Solar
B. Wind B. Wind

III. Operating Costs VI. Safety
A. Solar A. Solar
B. Wind B. Wind In conclusion: A good compare and contrast essay tells readers something significant that they do not already know. That is, it must do more than merely point out the obvious. Purpose Comparing The Simpsons vs. Family Guy Things to Avoid: Contractions (Use "do not" rather than "don't.")
Second person (you/your). Use first person (I/we/our) or third person (he/she/it/they/the movie/the student/the t.v. show, etc.)
Announcements (Do not write, "This essay will discuss" or "So that is what I think," etc.)
Slang or informal speech (Use "until" instead of "till"; don't use texting abbreviations "idk," etc. A contrast points out how they differ.
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