7 keys to writing a successful compare and contrast essay

The process of writing a compare and contrast essay involves thorough investigation and analysis of two or more subject areas, then finding ways of relating or distinguishing them from each other. Here are 7 key points to follow when writing a compare and contrast essay:

  1. Select your topic carefully
  2. It is quite easy to select a topic that seems interesting at first without realizing that it doesn't provide much material to discuss. Brainstorm a list of possible topics before selecting a topic that is both interesting and complicated enough to allow for lengthy discussions.

  3. Investigate the subjects thoroughly
  4. Before you begin to write, take some time to investigate each subject as thoroughly as you can. Compile all your data and sort through the collection to select only the most relevant and important points to include in your essay. Some topics may have vast amounts of information available and in these cases it is more practical to include only the most important ones.

  5. Always state points in an objective manner
  6. The purpose of this essay is only compare or contrast so ensure that your points are always stated in an objective manner, with your analysis based only on presented data and observations.

  7. Collect data on all subject areas equally
  8. Explore all topics or items involved with equal effort, you want your reader to fully understand each subject area as well as you do.

  9. Use examples to help your analysis
  10. Examples can be quite helpful in showing how two things relate to each other. Present or create a real life example that further expresses a feature of the items under study to help the reader better understand the comparison.

  11. Follow established structure guidelines
  12. Most essays follow widely accepted formats and styles, all of which can be found online. Perform a web search using any good search engine and you will find many examples of these formats. You are free to follow any one of these styles unless a specific one was requested by your school or university.

  13. Ensure your conclusion is accurate
  14. This is a summary of all the points expressed and analyzed in your essay, stated usually in one sentence. It must be fully supported by the evidence or examples you provided and must leave the reader with a sense of completion after having read your paper. Your conclusion must be concise and clearly stated leaving the reader with no doubt about its meaning.

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