Block Style Compare And Contrast Essay Conclusion

College Essays include a complete sequence of activities and exercises that will guide and help students, step by step, in the process of comparing and contrasting two subjects in a standard essay format. It is highly suggested for the students to have at least basic knowledge of essay structure and constituents before working on the essay in order to understand the concepts better. 

A comparison displays how two topics are alike or similar; a contrast displays how two topics are dissimilar or different. Students must identify adequate statements for contrast essay and write appropriate thesis statements and concluding statements to end the comparison and contrast essay. Essay writing in short will give students practice in clear and logical reasoning. 

What are Contrast Essays?

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An essay academic essay consists of an introductory paragraph or the introduction, three supporting paragraphs called the body, and a concluding paragraph or conclusion. All five paragraphs must be associated to discuss one single topic. Writing an essay helps students to sort out and consolidate ideas, and think them through clearly. A comparison and contrast essay observes the similarities or one can call it “compares” and/or “contrasts” differences between two items in order to make a point. Below are few examples of comparison and contrast ideas:

  • Compare / contrast two professions
  • Compare / contrast two colleges
  • Compare / contrast two bikes


In all the cases the similarities and differences lead to a convincing definite conclusion which is an important feature of the comparison and contrast essay. This essay focuses on a common thought process, as we tend to use it in our day to day lives whenever we make decisions.

The comparison or contrast essays should make a point or serve a purpose. Often such essays do one of the following: ƒ

  • Clarify something indefinite or not well understood. ƒ 
  • Lead to a fresh understanding or new way of observing something. ƒ 
  • Bring one or both of the subjects into shriller focus. ƒ 
  • Show that one subject is better than the other.  

Comparison/ Contrast Essay Outline

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In a Comparison or contrasted essay select objects that are related in some way, so they can be compared or contrasted. Choose a process of progress that works well with organizing idea. Use precise and relevant examples for support. Give equal conduct to both components that you is being discussed. Compare according to a single planned idea. Use transitional words or phrases to help readers understand the similarities and differences in the subject. Conclude the paper by restating or paraphrasing the thesis, summarizing the main points, and give the reader the final ‘so what’ - of the major similarities and/or differences discussed.

  1. The two subjects must make sense to compare or contrast. For instance you can compare two soccer teams , but not a cricket team and soccer team. By way of selecting a topic, remember that a student is not supposed to be describing the two things they’re writing about. 
  2. The introduction should state the reason for comparison or contrast for instance which is the most desirable or lesser desirable of the two. 
  3. The thesis statement should clearly represent the two things to be compared or contrasted such as the subject and the main points or criteria for the comparison or contrast. 
  4. The main points must be grammatically parallel. 
  5. The main points or criteria must apply to both items. 

The Purpose of a Compare and Contrast Essay 

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The thesis statement is, the controlling idea of the entire essay. It also acts as the main idea of a compare and contrast essay. It is the sentence that controls and summarizes the direction and the content of the essay. At the same time, the thesis sentence associates the introduction paragraph with the body of the essay. In the comparison and contrast essay, the student must give their OPINION in the thesis statement.

  • The student is required to take a stand and tolerate it through the essay.
  • The thesis statement provides control, strength, and direction to the body of the essay. 
  • The direction and control is achieved by Parallel Structures.
  • The thesis statement is not the heading or the title of the essay.
  • Thesis statement organizes and outlines the ideas for the body paragraph. 
  • The thesis statement is not a individual announcement.
  • Never use expressions such as “In this essay I am going to compare, my essay is about…” in a formal essay.
  • The conclusion brings the paper to an ordinary natural and beautiful end, sometimes leaving the reader with a final thought on the subject.

Connectors that show similarities or comparisons

  • In addition ƒ 
  • Correspondingly ƒ 
  • Compared to
  • Similarly ƒ 
  • Just as ƒ
  • As well as
  • Likewise ƒ 
  • Same as ƒ 
  • At the same time

Connectors that show differences and contrast

  • However ƒ
  • On the contrary ƒ 
  • On the other hand
  • Even though ƒ
  • In contrast ƒ 
  • Although
  • Unlike ƒ 
  • Conversely ƒ 
  • Meanwhile

Basic Methods for Organizing Comparison / Contrast Paragraphs

  1. If you let X and Y stand for the two subjects being compared, then you can use the block method in which you tell all about X, then tell all about Y. Thus you discuss X in a block and Y in a block.
  2. If you let X and Y stand for the two subjects being compared, then you compare them point by point. Every time you say something about X, you also say something about Y – right in the same sentence or in the sentence immediately following.

The Point by Point Method

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The Point by Point method is also called the alternating method or slice method which makes a comparison of the items one point or criteria at a time. The main topic or theme statement or sentence aims on the point being used as the base for comparison rather than the item. A comparison of one point of a subject with a point of the other subject is called the Point by Point Method.

Advantages: 

  • Keeps each set of ideas, arguments, thoughts for discussion
  • The reader does not have to remember as much facts and figures.
  • Keeps the paper undoubtedly well planned and organized
  • Avoids summary

Disadvantages:

  • Can appear automatic and monotonous
  • Does not provide a combined discussion or conversation of the two sides

Structure:

Point 1 - discuss A 

Point 1 - discuss B 

Discussion about overall links between A and B  

Point 2 – discuss A 

Point 2 - discuss B 

Discussion about overall links between A and B

Block Method

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Block Method describes all the similarities in the first body paragraph and then all the dissimilarities and differences in the second body paragraph. A presentation of all facts and supporting details about one topic followed by the facts and supporting details about the second topic

Advantages: 

  • Offers the complete picture of the two sides
  • Can be more effective if the essay is short and covers a general issue
  • Does not appear as monotonous and boring

Disadvantages:

  • If the writer is not careful it tends to become a summary 
  • The paper is not always organized clearly
  • Is not successful for papers over 3-4 page

Structure:

Point 1 - about A 

Point 2 - about B 

Point 1 about B (with discussion about relation to A)

Point 2 about B (with discussion about relation to A)

Structure of a Compare and Contrast Essay

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  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraphs
  • Conclusion

Comparison or Contrast Essay Topics

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Contrast Essay Topics are given below:
  • Apple vs. Microsoft
  • Republican vs. Democrat
  • Monarchy vs. Presidency
  • Childhood vs. Adulthood
  • Communism vs. Capitalism
  • Mozart vs. Beethoven
  • Friends vs. Family
  • Newton vs. Einstein
  • Go on Vacation vs. Stay at Home
  • Halloween night to prom night.
  • Christopher Columbus to early astronauts.
  • Living on a farm to living in the city.
  • Being a teen to being a toddler.
  • Your experiences before and after giving up a bad habit
  • The car you own and the car you dream of owning
  • Your best birthday to your worst birthday.

Exercise

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Choose one of the essay topics, and write a comparison or contrast essay. 

  1. Compare or contrast two musical styles, such as jazz and reggae. 
  2. Compare or contrast two restaurants.
  3. Compare or contrast doing research at the library with doing research on the Internet. 
  4. Compare or contrast living on campus with living off campus. 
  5. Compare or contrast raising children in a city and raising children in a small town.

The Compare-and-Contrast Essay

by Owen Fourie

We do it all the time. We compare and we contrast virtually everything that occupies our attention. It helps us to make choices between one thing and another, whether to have beefsteak or chicken, tea or coffee, watch a movie or take a nap. As long as we have to make choices, we are comparing and contrasting. Ordinarily, it is quickly done and driven largely by our desires at any particular moment.

The same process is in operation when we are faced with a choice between two alternatives on a more complicated level where we need information about each alternative before an intelligent choice can be made. We look closely at their similarities as we compare them, and we also note their differences as we contrast them.

Do the spadework

The compare-and-contrast essay is not difficult to write if you do the spadework first. Depending on your choice of topic and your knowledge of the things involved, you might or might not have to do some research. Normally, students elect to deal with things that are familiar to them to avoid spending time in research.

That is fine if you can put together a properly organized and well-reasoned paper in which your reader is given accurate information on which to base a wise decision. Some degree of research should be undertaken, though, even if it is to check only a few facts to be sure that what you are stating is valid.

If you have an inquiring mind and a thirst for knowledge and a desire to find out more about things that are new to you, you would have no problem doing the research and writing your compare-and-contrast essay. In the process, you will have expanded your knowledge. Whatever you choose to write about for this exercise, you have to be sure that you have done the spadework.

Two different methods that can be used to arrive at the same conclusion

Having established this basic need for this type of essay, you now have to make a decision: What form is your essay going to take? There are two ways to format your compare-and-contrast essay: One way is the block method; the other is the point-by-point or feature-by-feature method. Whichever one you choose will determine how you construct your outline.

By the word “feature” is meant any aspect, quality, facet, or characteristic of the persons, things, or ideas being compared and contrasted.

Block Method

Introduction:

  • What are the two objects being compared and contrasted?
  • What is your reason for comparing and contrasting them?
  • What is your purpose in comparing and contrasting them?
  • Thesis statement.

First Body Paragraph:

  • Object A: All the features of Object A;
  • Facts and examples or tests, experiments, and findings;
  • Do not include any information about Object B.

Second Body Paragraph:

  • Object B: All the features of Object B;
  • Facts and examples or tests, experiments, and findings;
  • Do not include any information about Object A.

Third Body Paragraph:

  • Note the similarities as you compare Object A and Object B.

Fourth Body Paragraph:

  • Note the differences as you contrast Object A and Object B.

Conclusion:

  • Sum up in terms of a major similarity and a major difference;
  • Point out the advantage of one and the disadvantage of the other;
  • Come to your preference and a paraphrased restatement of your thesis;
  • Leave the option open for your readers to make their own decision.

Point-by-Point (Feature-by-Feature) Method

Introduction:

  • What are the two objects being compared and contrasted?
  • What is your reason for comparing and contrasting them?
  • What is your purpose in comparing and contrasting them?
  • Thesis statement.

First Body Paragraph:

  • First feature:
  • Compare Object A and Object B (similarities);
  • Contrast Object A and Object B (differences).

Second Body Paragraph:

  • Second feature:
  • Compare Object A and Object B (similarities);
  • Contrast Object A and Object B (differences).

Third Body Paragraph:

  • Third feature:
  • Compare Object A and Object B (similarities);
  • Contrast Object A and Object B (differences).

Conclusion:

  • Sum up in terms of a major similarity and a major difference;
  • Point out the advantage of one and the disadvantage of the other;
  • Come to your preference and a paraphrased restatement of your thesis;
  • Leave the option open for your readers to make their own decision.

In both methods, more than one paragraph can be devoted to each section if necessary.

The compare-and-contrast essay can be applied to virtually any topic you can name from the mundane to the lofty, from dishwashing liquids to Newtonian Physics and Quantum Physics, from iPad and MacBook to William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. If you know your facts, have a penchant for one or the other, and choose your method, you can put together an essay of this sort.

What is your experience with writing compare-and-contrast essays? Do you have any useful insights? What are your particular struggles? Which method do you prefer to use, and what are your reasons for using it? What are your thoughts about using this type of essay as an opportunity to learn something new? Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome.

Here are more articles to help you with English words, grammar, and essay writing.

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