A comparison essay or a contrast essay is an essay where you should compare something. You can speak both of similarities or differences, however, emphasizing similarities refers to comparison essay, while emphasizing differences is more likely to be a contrast essay.
In our everyday life we often use comparison thinking. It is the most adequate way to choose something, for example, a university. Mostly often we choose several universities and make our decision, comparing pros and cons of each one.
Organizational Patterns of a Comparison Essay
There are two classic patterns of a comparing essay organization. The first one is based on arranging ideas in blocks, while another is based on a point-by-point representing of ideas. Simply speaking, when you have two things to compare and start to speak about the first one, then follow up with the second one, revealing their differences and similarities, this refers to the first pattern. When you speak about differences and similarities of both things, it is called a point-by-point organization.
Generally, block arrangement of ideas is convenient to use when you have many similarities and/or differences. On the other hand, when you have a few large similarities and/or differences, it’s better to use a point-by-point organization.
Comparison essay should always contain a personal point of view, so it’s better to choose the topic you’re really interested in. After you’ve chosen your topic, stick to it throughout the entire essay. Remember, that every point you’re going to reveal must be relevant to the topic. It goes without saying, it’s better to create a chart, representing all possible points with the similarities and/or differences you’re going to discuss, before writing the essay. It helps you to see if the points are really related to your topic. Also, such outline is helpful to choose only the most interesting and the best suitable facts.
Several Useful Tips
It’s a good idea to devote enough time to an introduction and a conclusion. The introduction should grab the reader’s attention and provide the thesis statement of the comparison essay. The conclusion should summarize all the information, given on the topic. Usually, the main ideas of the essay are shortly revised in the conclusion, just to formulate a general opinion of a reader about the essay.
Comparison essays are very various. They are used in high schools and colleges to evaluate the knowledge and analytical skills of the students. Also, comparison essays are often used in journalism, they can be written with amusing purpose or with a scientific one. Considerably, the language and wording of the comparison essay are tightly related to its purpose.