Simple Tips For Writing A 5-Paragraph Compare And Contrast Essay
In a compare and contrast essay, you should put together two subjects (people, events, places, objects, etc.) and focus on their differences, similarities, or both. It isn’t difficult to accomplish this task well as long as you know everything about the subjects being compared. If you should compare two books, read them. If you want to compare two presidents, learn everything about their policies. The only challenge in crafting compare and contrast papers is to decide how to structure them. If you analyze all similar features in one body paragraph and all differences in the second one, your essay will consist of only four paragraphs (including an introduction and a conclusion). However, what if you are required to follow a standard 5-paragraph structure in your piece of writing? Don’t puzzle over this question in vain! Consider the following tips to easily cope with the task.
Organize your paper point by point.
It means that you should focus on one aspect of two subjects in each body paragraph. Pick three aspects to be compared and contrasted and you’ll receive a 5-paragraph paper as a result. For example, if you write about two poems, you may focus on their themes, images, and figurative language in separate body paragraphs.
Develop your introduction efficiently.
To create an effective introduction for your compare and contrast essay, take the following steps:
- Introduce your main topic in the opening sentence. Try to do it with a hook. For example, let a surprising statement or an anecdote lead the reader into your topic.
- Present two subjects you are going to compare and contrast.
- State your thesis.
- Your thesis statement should clearly specify what your paper will be about. Therefore, present three specific aspects you are going to analyze.
Include all relevant details into your body paragraphs.
Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence mentioning the aspect you are about to compare and contrast. Provide at least two details for each subject being compared. These details will be your supporting evidence and they will effectively demonstrate similarities and differences between your subjects.
Wrap up your essay with a complete conclusion.
Make sure that you conclude your paper strongly:
- Summarize your main points, combining your thesis with the information from body paragraphs;
- Evaluate what you have discussed by explaining what these differences and similarities mean;
- Tell why differences are significant.
If you still are not sure how to approach any component of your 5-paragraph paper, don’t worry! Find several well-written samples, read them, and you’ll definitely understand the essence.
The Next Step: Organizing and Writing
In writing a compare and contrast essay, your thesis statement is very important. It can help you create a focused argument and help your reader not got lost in the many points of the essay. Your thesis should be detailed and specific.
There are many different ways to organize a compare and contrast essay. In a subject-by-subject essay, you can begin by saying what you have to say about the first subject you are discussing, then make all the points you want to make about the second subject. In a point-by-point essay, rather than addressing things one subject at a time, you may want to talk about one point of comparison at a time. Depending on the length of the essay, you can use either format and write a point of comparison and contrast in one paragraph, or write several paragraphs about a point.
Finally, to help your reader know where you are in the comparison and contrast, you should use transition words. When comparing things, you should use words such as similar to, also, similarly, in the same way, likewise, again, compared to, and in like manner. When contrasting things, you should words such as contrast, on the contrary, however, although, yet, even though, but, conversely, regardless, despite, and on the other hand.