How to write an in-class compare and contrast essay

Compare and contrast essays are dreaded by many students, especially if they have to be written in class! You don’t have much time, you might not know much about the two things you have to compare and your teacher is standing on your head the whole time. All these things can give you a panic attack and you might end up messing the essay.

Relax! Take a deep breath and follow the simple instructions below to write a good compare and contrast essay.

Think

Your teacher is not your enemy, he/ she will always give you a topic that you will know about, (it was probably discussed in class or given to you as an assignment) so don’t worry about not knowing the topic. All you have to do is to think. Try to remember what you were taught in class regarding the two things that you have to compare and contrast. Give yourself 5 minutes to think on the topic

Make a list

After you have come up with the comparing and contrasting points, immediately write them down on a piece of paper. Make sure that you write the comparing points i.e. the similarities of the two things separately from the contrasting points i.e. the differences. Writing the points down will help you in two ways. Firstly it will make sure that no point escapes your mind when you are writing because you will have all of them in front of you, secondly it will help you to organize the points. You will know which points you should write first.

Make up your mind

Decide whether you want to side with the similarities i.e. take the stance that although the two things appear very different they are actually very similar, or vice versa. Always take the side of the points you can write more about. If you can write more on differences than say the two things might appear similar but are very different.

Start writing

Start with the introduction of the topic. Since this is an in-class essay you will have limited time so start directly by writing your thesis statement. This is where you will take up you stance and give your opinion that the two things are very similar/ different.

Compare and contrast

In the body of your essay you will compare and contrast the two things. Do not jumble up your essay. Make sure that you write the compare part in a different paragraph than the contrast part. If you have taken up the stance that the two things are actually very different then start of by comparing the two things i.e. giving their similarities. Always keep the part on which you can write better and more for the end.

Conclude

In a compare and contrast essay the conclusion is quite similar to the introduction. Once again you will talk a little about you topic and then give your own view points. However make sure that although you will be writing the same thing your words should be different. Don’t just copy paste the intro to the conclusion.

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