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Many teachers assign topics that ask writers to write an essay comparing and contrasting two or more ideas, but besides its value in organizing an essay, comparison/contrast is also useful as a technique Analogical and metaphorical language: like and as Using lists in your writing: parallelism An Overview of the Writing Process Developing an Introduction Conclusions Essay Organization: The Flow Chart Approach Paragraph Development When Do I Begin a New Paragraph Cohesion Brainstorming Focused Freewriting Invention Questions for Argument and Persuasion Invention Questions for Writing about Cause and Effect Invention Questions for Comparing and Contrasting The various rhetorical modes and types of writing This handout was written by Sharon Cogdill for the Write Place, St. Cloud, MN, and may be copied for educational purposes only.If you copy this document, please include our copyright notice and the name of the writer; if you revise it, please add your name to the list of writers.A structure like this one seems more focused on the ideas being compared and contrasted than on the comparison and contrast itself.
Once you're satisfied with your lists, you can go back through and cherry-pick the points you feel are most importantly similar and different.
Here you should be looking for the things that you think will lead to the most compelling essay you can write.
This method is probably the one used most commonly.
A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured.
You can, and probably do, use comparison and contrast to describe things, to define things, to analyze things, to make an argument -- to do, in fact, almost any kind of writing.
When they are comparing and contrasting, for example, two ideas, like corsets and footbinding, most writers structure their essays one of four ways. Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding, then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different.
Pick out elements, for instance, that are central to the identity of both works.
Consider their major themes, main characters and the messages of each - it's likely one of these things will provide the basis for your essay.
Depending on how organized your thoughts are, you might just jot out a few main ideas on a blank sheet of paper/computer screen or you might actually want to make up an actual list with columns for things the texts share and things they don't.
During this phase, just write down whatever comes to mind, no matter how miniscule you think it may be.