A staple of many college writing classes is the compare and contrast essay. Along with the research paper, this is probably the paper most people are likely to write at least once in their lives. It is a very straightforward essay, and is designed to test critical thinking, analytical skills, and technical writing.
The compare and contrast essay, like all essays, should have an attention grabbing title and an interesting opening line in its first paragraph. The introduction should be dedicated to a brief summary of the things being compared and contrasted. Often it is two novels or two short stories, but it can be a whole host of other things as well. Describe the two things you will be talking about in your paper, and finish the paragraph with a thesis statement. This should inform your reader than they are about to read a comparison paper. However, you should be a little more descriptive than: “Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Othello have many similarities and differences.” Instead, try something like: “Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Othello feature two very different main characters that are driven mad by their own psychological issues.” This tells your audience it is a comparison essay, but still presents an argument.
The subsequent body paragraphs should generally be divided into comparison and contrast paragraphs, which are exactly as they sound. Discuss the similarities the things have, and then where they differ, all the while supporting your thesis. For the sample thesis offered above you might discuss how both Hamlet and Othello are self-absorbed and wrapped up in their own thoughts, and how this leads to both of their deaths. Then, in the next paragraphs, you could discuss how although they were similar, Hamlet’s problem was over-thinking, while Othello’s was acting too rashly. Try to find two similarities and two differences to discuss.
Of course, a compare and contrast essay should end with a strong conclusion. In this final paragraph, you will re-state your thesis, succinctly reiterating the important points of the paper and bring it to a natural end. Although it is a conclusion, it should not be too repetitive. The compare and contrast essay, like the five paragraph essay or the research paper, is something you will not be able to avoid, but, if you use the professionals at Essaywritingcompany.com, you can definitely get some great help.