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ENG 121: Academic Writing (Anna Crerand): Compare and Contrast Essay

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Sample Essays

Compare and Contrast Essay

ARGUMENT: To begin, it is necessary to identify the argument here. What makes this paper argumentative? At first glance, not much. However, you are being asked to compare two subjects in order to recommend one as being better than the other overall. "Better" may be defined in different ways, depending on your argument. But by the end of the paper, it should be clear to your readers that you have chosen one subject over the other and why you have done so.

Your compare and contrast essay may be organized one of the following two ways, as described in detail in the Module 6 AVP:

Point-by-Point:

Introduction of two subjects for comparison. Explains to audience why they will want to compare the two subjects. Reviews the points of comparison.

Body paragraph 1:  Introduces and explains point 1 for comparison and discusses how it applies to both subjects.

Body paragraph 2:  Introduces and explains point 2 for comparison and discusses how it applies to both subjects.

Body paragraph 3:  Introduces and explains point 3 for comparison and discusses how it applies to both subjects.

Conclusion of essay, highlighting the similarities and differences of the two subjects and giving overall receommendations for the audience.

Subject-by-Subject (Note: This format is NOT recommended by me, as organization is very tricky and difficult to do well):

Introduction of two subjects for comparison. Explains to audience why they will want to compare the two subjects.

Body paragraph 1: Introduces subject 1 and looks at it in detail using the 3 points of comparison as talking points.

Body paragraph 2: Introduces subject 2 and looks at it in detail using the 3 points of comparison as talking points.

Conclusion of essay, highlighting the similarities and differences of the two subjects and giving overall recommendations for the audience.

If you notice, the information is basically the same in each essay. However, the organization of the information is what differs, and the organization is INFINITELY harder in subject-by-suject comparisons. Because it is easier for all of us, I prefer you do a point-by-point comparison.

TOPICS:

As usual, choose a topic you know a great deal about and can discuss at length. Think of your skills, hobbies, and interests. Could you compare two cars to offer which is a better buy/safer/faster? How about two thrift stores: which is better? Or two similar books? Exercises to target abdominal muscles? Recipes for chicken soup? Vacation spots? Types of hair gel? Okay, some of these might be short on useful information but you SHOULD be able to find something in your interest range. If you need help, though, please let me know!