Which thesis should be used for a compare-and-contrast essay

Make sure you know the basis for comparison

For a compare and contrast essay, use several of your main points in your thesis to show the reader where your argument is going. While bats and bears appear to have little in common at first glance, they are remarkably similar in their species classification and hibernation habits. This method is almost like writing two smaller essays in one. One half of the body paragraphs would cover the first subject, and the other half would cover the second subject. This method allows you to break down your topics by each point of similarity or difference. For each body paragraph, you support the thesis by writing about each topic at the same time.

Unique and Traditional Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Either one of these methods can work for your compare and contrast essay. And remember—the thesis is only as strong as the evidence that supports it, so choosing your method before you start writing is a good idea. I know, I know—this is just something your professor tells you to do. But it really works! My advice: Grab a snack and a cup of coffee. Stare out the window. Let the ideas start flowing in, and think about what you might have to say about them. Jot down some notes. Need some help with brainstorming?

Another step? You bet! Trust me—outline each paragraph of your essay.

Sources to be Used

Need some more help with outlining? Instead, jot down a few ideas of what your thesis might be.

Comparison / Contrast Essays

Try writing your body paragraphs first. Did you know that Kibin has a neat tool that can help you build that thesis if you get stuck? Give it a try: Kibin Thesis Builder. Say it with me now: this essay is going to be awesome. And it will be. As a final bit of advice, if your professor gives you instructions for how to organize and write this essay, follow them as closely as possible.

Ask your professor for clarity if necessary. Also make sure you read some good compare and contrast essay examples to familiarize yourself with this essay style. In a paper comparing the effects of acid rain on two forest sites, your choice of sites is less obvious. A paper focusing on similarly aged forest stands in Maine and the Catskills will be set up differently from one comparing a new forest stand in the White Mountains with an old forest in the same region.

You need to indicate the reasoning behind your choice. The grounds for comparison anticipates the comparative nature of your thesis. As in any argumentative paper, your thesis statement will convey the gist of your argument, which necessarily follows from your frame of reference. But in a compare-and-contrast, the thesis depends on how the two things you've chosen to compare actually relate to one another. Do they extend, corroborate, complicate, contradict, correct, or debate one another?

In the most common compare-and-contrast paper—one focusing on differences—you can indicate the precise relationship between A and B by using the word "whereas" in your thesis:. Whether your paper focuses primarily on difference or similarity, you need to make the relationship between A and B clear in your thesis.

This relationship is at the heart of any compare-and-contrast paper.

Organizational Scheme. Your introduction will include your frame of reference, grounds for comparison, and thesis. There are two basic ways to organize the body of your paper.

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How to Write Compare and Contrast Essay?

If you think that B extends A, you'll probably use a text-by-text scheme; if you see A and B engaged in debate, a point-by-point scheme will draw attention to the conflict. Be aware, however, that the point-by- point scheme can come off as a ping-pong game. You can avoid this effect by grouping more than one point together, thereby cutting down on the number of times you alternate from A to B. But no matter which organizational scheme you choose, you need not give equal time to similarities and differences. In fact, your paper will be more interesting if you get to the heart of your argument as quickly as possible.

Thus, a paper on two evolutionary theorists' different interpretations of specific archaeological findings might have as few as two or three sentences in the introduction on similarities and at most a paragraph or two to set up the contrast between the theorists' positions.

The Comparative Essay | Writing Advice

The rest of the paper, whether organized text- by-text or point-by-point, will treat the two theorists' differences. You can organize a classic compare-and-contrast paper either text-by-text or point-by-point. But in a "lens" comparison, in which you spend significantly less time on A the lens than on B the focal text , you almost always organize text-by-text. That's because A and B are not strictly comparable: A is merely a tool for helping you discover whether or not B's nature is actually what expectations have led you to believe it is.


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Linking of A and B. All argumentative papers require you to link each point in the argument back to the thesis.


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Without such links, your reader will be unable to see how new sections logically and systematically advance your argument. In a compare-and contrast, you also need to make links between A and B in the body of your essay if you want your paper to hold together. As a girl raised in the faded glory of the Old South, amid mystical tales of magnolias and moonlight, the mother remains part of a dying generation. Schedule an Appointment.