A comparison essay as the name suggests is an essay where a student is required to make a reasoned comparison between two subject matters and also state his or her preference in favor of any one of the two choices. Comparison and contrast essays are common for students who have English as a second language and are required to take examinations such as TOEFL and IELTS. If you are applying for colleges in U.S., U.K. and Australia, expect contrast and comparison questions in the writing sections of these tests. Our suggestion is that you read through our article on how to write a successful comparison and contrast essay.
What is a comparison or a contrast essay?
As their names suggest, comparison essays are those where you either compare or contrast between two given subject matters in order to state your preference for any one of them. The purpose of giving comparison essays is to test your knowledge of English as a foreign language, writing compare and contrast essay starts with organizing your thoughts and your capability to put those thoughts in a coherent manner. Writing successful compare and contrast essay needs an impactful compare and contrast essay topic. This compare and contrast essay topic might either be a real life situation or a controversial social matter that needs the discerning opinion of the examinee. Writing compare and contrast essay is considered important because writing sections contain at least one-fourth of the total marks allotted.
What are the possible subject areas for comparison and contrast essays?
Subject matters can cover a gamut of compare and contrast essay topics. It can range from the mundane to the esoteric. However, since most of the students writing such a compare and contrast essays would be non-native speakers of English, subject matters are usually not too specific. As such no specialized knowledge is required to write comparison essay topics. A general reading of world affairs and contemporary subject matter is more than sufficient. Here are some real life instances of comparison essays given by students of US and Mexico:
- Cows and Whales
- Vacationing in the city or in the beach
- Backpacking or staying in hotels
- Eating fresh food or canned food
- Industrial engineer or administrator
Note that all the five instances concern subject areas which require no technical knowledge. Further, they are not culture-specific. As such people from non Anglo-American societies can also relate to such compare and contrast essay example in college level.
What structure to follow to comparison essay?
Since organization is the greatest problem for non-native English speakers, it is important to organize your thoughts cleverly and write in a structured fashion while writing a compare and contrast essay. Generally speaking there are two methods of organizing comparison essay:
- Block organization
- Point by point organization
Block organization style is one where you state all the points of difference and similarity of one compare and contrast essay topic, first before moving on to the next. Conversely, point-by-point organization is one where you state each point of difference or similarity of both the subject matters one after the other. Here is how you should proceed, with the two organizational styles of comparison essay:
- Block organization: In block organization method of comparison essay, start with your introduction, where you introduce your subject matter. Then move on to each of the two subjects of comparison given. First you state all the points of similarity and dissimilarity of compare and contrast essay topic before moving on to the next one. Let us take a look at the college comparison essay sample. Let us assume that you have been asked to write a comparison essay about vacationing in the city or on beach and you have identified at least three areas of comparison and contrast namely the climate, the type of activity and the location then under the block organization style of comparison essay, you state all the three points of comparison and contrast of the city first before moving on to those of the beach.
- Point-to-point organization: In point-to-point organization style of comparison essay, you take up each point of comparison or contrast of each subject of comparison before moving on to the next one. In a comparison essay on city and beaches, you start with climate of both the city and the beach first and then proceed to the type of activity and the location.
What style of writing should I follow to write comparison essay?
Since comparison essays are supposed to test your English skills your primary emphasis should be on the prose style and not on the information. In any case compare and contrast essay topics which you are likely to encounter would be so non-specific that if would be difficult for you to impress your examiners (there would be more than one examiner) with your knowledge. So our suggestion to write an college comparison essay samples is that, go easy on the information and try to work with your style of comparison essay writing. Follow a simple and stylish prose style. Avoid jarring words, cumbersome sentences and rambling on with the same point while writing a compare and contrast essay examples. Short paragraphs with clearly stated information written in a lucid style of prose are the keys to write high-quality college comparison essay samples.
What are the other points that you should remember while writing a college comparison essay sample?
- Give your writing a thorough reading before submitting the comparison essay
- Whatever organizational style you are following; clearly mention that in the very beginning of the comparison essay
- Have an audience in mind. Since you would be writing for international examiners it is better not to be culturally specific and chose from internationally known compare and contrast essay examples.
Compare and contrast essay example for college students
Here is a compare and contrast essay example that helps in writing a compare and contrast essay:
Vacationing in the city or on the beach
Vacationing gives us a break from our hectic work schedule and brings us closer to nature. There is a variety of options for travelers to choose from. While some prefer the beach others like to explore the hustle and bustle of the city. In comparison essay, our experts would like to foreground some of the points of comparison and contrast of the city with that of the beach. They shall first deal with the city first and then move on to the beach.
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The climate of a city is usually much more extreme than that of the beach. Beach being located near the seaside enjoys the cool sea breeze. The city on the other hand, is usually warmer or colder. Likewise the city offers a host of activities like shopping, night clubbing etc which are absent in beach destinations. Finally most of beaches of the world are remotely located such as the pristine beaches of the Caribbean or the French Polynesia.
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On the other hand, the beaches of the world are noted for their moderate temperatures throughout the year. Beaches may not have night clubs and fancy shopping malls, they nonetheless offer surfing and jet-skiing which cannot be done in the cities. Finally, remoteness of the beaches adds to their mystery.
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