Compare and Contrast Essay Samples

Here are a series of questions to focus your thinking: What is the thesis—or main argument—of each book?

Comparison and Contrast Essay - Examples and Definition of Comparison and Contrast Essay

If the author wanted you to get one idea from the book, what would it be? How does it compare or contrast to the world you know? What has the book accomplished? What exactly is the subject or topic of each book? Does the author cover the subject adequately?


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Does the author cover all aspects of the subject in a balanced fashion? Can you detect any biases? What is the approach to the subject [topical, analytical, chronological, descriptive]? How does the author of each book support his or her argument? What evidence [i. Do you find that evidence convincing? Why or why not?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics – A Full Author’s Guide

Does any of the author's information [or conclusions] conflict with other books you've read, courses you've taken, or just previous assumptions you had about the research problem under study? How does the author structure his or her argument?

What is a comparative essay?

What are the parts that make up the whole? Does the argument make sense to you? Does it persuade you? Were there any questions left unanswered? Were limitations to the study effectively addressed? How has each book helped you understand the subject? Would you recommend the books to others? Beyond the content of the book, you may also consider some information about the author and the circumstances of the text's production: Who is the author? Nationality, political persuasion, education, intellectual interests, personal history, and historical context may provide crucial details about how a work takes shape.

Does it matter, for example, that the author is affiliated with a particular organization?

What difference would it make if the author participated in the events he or she writes about? What other topics has the author written about? Does this work build on prior research or does it seem to represent a new area of research? What is each book's genre? Out of what discipline do they emerge? Do they conform to or depart from the conventions of its genre? These questions can provide a historical or other contextual standard upon which to base your evaluations. If you are reviewing a book described as the first book ever written on the subject, it will be important for your readers to know this.


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  • Structure and Writing Style I. Bibliographic Information Provide the essential information about each book using the writing style asked for by your professor [e. In general, they would be arranged alphabetically by title and look like this: Racing the Storm: Racial Implications and Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina. Reviewed by [your name] II. Thesis Statement The thesis statement of an essay that compares and contrasts multiple works should contain an idea or claim that unites the discussion of each texts under review.

    If you find it difficult to discern the overall aims and objectives of each book [and, be sure to point this out in your review if you believe it to be a deficiency], you may arrive at an understanding of the purpose by asking yourself a the following questions: Scan the table of contents because it can help you understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed [e.

    How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    Why did the authors write on this subject rather than on some other subject? From what point of view is each work written? What is the general field or genre, and how does each book fit into it? If necessary, review related literature from other books and journal articles to familiarize yourself with the field. Who is the intended audience for each book? Is it the same or are the books intended for difference sets of readers? What is each author's style? Is it formal or informal? You can evaluate the quality of the writing style by noting some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, accurate use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, and fluidity.

    How did the books affect you? Were any prior assumptions you had on the subject that were changed, abandoned, or reinforced after reading the books? How are the books related to your own personal beliefs or assumptions? What personal experiences have you had that relate to the subject? Would you recommend this book to others? Methods of Organization Organization is critical to writing an essay that compares and contrasts multiple works because you will most likely be discussing a variety of evidence and you must be certain that the logic and narrative flow of your paper can be understood by the reader.

    Here are some general guidelines to consider: If your professor asks you to choose the books to review, identify works that are closely related in some way so they can be easily compared or contrasted. Compare according to a single organizing idea [e. Choose a method of development [see below] that works well with your organizing idea.

    Use specific and relevant examples to support your analysis. Use transitional words or phrases to help the reader understand the similarities and differences in your subject. Why are they important? The method looks like this: I. Briefly summarize how your proved your argument IV. Critically Evaluate the Contents Regardless of whether you choose the block method or the point-by-point method, critical comments should form the bulk of your book review essay.

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    Ask yourself: Has the purpose of the books been achieved? What contribution do the books make to the field of study or discipline? Is the treatment of the subject matter objective? Are there facts and evidence that have been omitted, either in one of the books or collectively? What kinds of data, if any, are used to support each author's thesis statement? Can the same data be interpreted to alternate ends? Is the writing style clear and effective?

    Step 1 - Choose Your Subject

    How does it help their understanding of the novel or change it in some way? The most effective conclusions leave the readers with a thought that sticks with them for a period of time after they put your work down. Nichole 0. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Good topic, I will eventually write a hub on the compare and contrast essay formats- do you mind if I link?

    Compare and Contrast Essay

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