Compare and Contrast Essay
Most students will be required to write a compare and contrast essay at some point. A compare and contrast essay is simply an academic document that both compares and contrasts two or more items, concepts, or other subjects. Compare and contrast reports should discuss both how items are similar and how they are different.
Compare and contrast essays are often difficult for students to write because they do not know where to start and where to stop. Students are often unsure how many comparisons and contrasts to make during the course of their documents. And, they are often unsure as to how to do so.
The number of comparisons and contrasts a student should make when writing a compare and contrast essay generally depends on the instructions given to students by the course instructor and the overall required length. The course instructor might require that students make a certain number of comparisons and contrasts during the course. Some instructors might require that students make a minimum number of comparisons and contrasts during the course of the report but leave the final number of comparisons and contrasts up to the pupil.
Whatever the actual number of comparisons and contrasts within a compare and contrast essay, learners should be sure that they fit within the length limitations set forth by the instructor. An instructor will generally assign a range of pages or words that students have to work within. It is up to the student to make sure that their comparisons and contrasts fit within that range.
A one-page compare and contrast essay does not invite a great deal of discussion within the document. Since papers are required to follow the basic paper formatting of introduction, paper body, and conclusion, students generally have only three body paragraphs for discussion. A one-page paper with three body paragraphs invites the discussion of three separate comparisons and contracts.
Students often have no idea how to present a compare and contrast article. For instance, students wonder if they should list all comparisons first, and then all of the contrasts, or whether they should discuss one comparison and one contrast within each body paragraph. Again, it is the length of the report which often determines how to present the compare and contrast article. A one-page paper might be best presented by discussing one comparison and one contrast per body paragraph, for a total of three comparisons and three contrasts. A longer paper can be broken up to discuss the comparisons first and the contrasts second, or vice versa. Using more than one paragraph in a longer paper to discuss the aspects of the items being compared and contrasted is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged as a longer paper invites a more in-depth discussion.
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