Comparison and Contrast Essays

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Comparison and contrast essays are often given as assignments for Composition 101 classes during your freshman year of college. Remember that in order to write a good comparison and contrast essay, you need to write about both the similarities and differences between the two things you are being asked to compare and contrast. Students often make the mistake of writing only about the similarities between the two things, so avoid this error when writing your comparison and contrast assignment. Essays of this type should have four paragraphs. Introduce your topic in the first paragraph of your essay and make your conclusion in the final paragraph. In the main body, you will need to devote one paragraph to your comparisons and the other one to your contrasts. Remember that planning is the key to a successful essay, so be sure to make a list of your key points before you start writing. You should make a list with two columns: one for similarities and the other for differences. Students often ask whether they should begin the main body of the essay with the similarities or with the differences. Our advice is that you should place your best paragraph as paragraph two. So, for example, if you feel that the paragraph that you have written on similarities is better than the one you have written on differences, put your paragraph on similarities as paragraph two and continue with the differences in paragraph three. Also remember that you may be asked to give your opinion about whether one of the two things you are comparing is better than the other. If you are asked to give an opinion on the topic, you may do so in your conclusion.

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