A comparison essay is an essay in which you either compare something or contrast something. To write a comparison essay that is easy to follow, first, decide what the similarities or differences are by writing lists on scrap paper. Which are more significant, the similarities or the differences? Plan to discuss the less significant first, followed by the more significant. It is much easier to discuss ONLY the similarities or ONLY the differences, but you can also do both.
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Then for organizing your comparison essay, choose one of the plans described below whichever best fits your list.
Plan A: Use Plan A if you have many small similarities and/or differences.
After your introduction, say everything you want to say about the first work or character, and then go on in the second half of the essay to say everything about the second work or character, comparing or contrasting each item in the second with the same item in the first. In this format, all the comparing or contrasting, except for the statement of your main point, which you may want to put in the beginning, goes on in the SECOND HALF of the piece.
Plan B: Use Plan B if you have only a few, larger similarities or differences.
After your introduction, in the next paragraph discuss one similarity or difference in BOTH works or characters, and then move on to the next paragraph to the second similarity or difference in both, then the third, and so forth, until you're done. If you are doing both similarities and differences, juggle them on scrap paper so that in each part you put the less important first ("X and Y are both alike in their social positions . . ."), followed by the more important ("but X is much more aware of the dangers of his position than is Y"). In this format, the comparing or contrasting goes on in EACH of the middle parts.
Now, when you know the possible ways of comparing and contrasting, let's check out our list of compare and contrast essay topics:
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