The comparison contrast essay
The comparison essay reveals similarities, and the contrast essay shows differences, but the word comparison is often used to describe essays that discuss both similarities and differences.
Whenever a writer lines up two things for discussion, he will almost always be comparing and contrasting them. Never forget however, that for this essay type to be really meaningful, all the subjects must be members of the same group. A writer might profitably compare and contrast a vocational major with an academic major because both are courses of study. Another writer might effectively compare and contrast a vocational course with an industrial training program because both lead to a job. However, it is not likely that any writer could meaningfully compare and contrast an academic major with an industrial training program. When you employ the comparison/contrast mode of writing, be sure the subjects are plainly related.
There are two ways the details in a comparison paragraph may be arranged: the point-by-point pattern or the block pattern. We will examine the block pattern first because it really is quite simple. To begin, you describe the pertinent points of the first subject: then you describe the pertinent points of the other. You should always try to conclude the essay with a brief statement that brings the two into focus and restates your reason for comparing them. The block pattern is appropriate to use and easy to organize when the subjects are brief and not too complicated. The point-by-point method helps to keep the reader’s attention when the material becomes detailed or full of refinements or exceptions.
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