When you are tasked with writing a compare and contrast essay, you might be at a loss when looking for a perfect topic that will allow you to use the structure of this paper to the fullest. The purpose of this essay is to analyze and compare two subjects. Your task as a writer will be to write down a list of their similarities or differences, depending on the assignment.
The words “comparison” and “contrast” speak for themselves in this case. So, you should have a pretty good idea of the tools you’ll need to use and the points you’ll need to stress when you get your assignment. However, choosing a topic is still a very important part of writing a high quality work.
So, how does one go about determining what kind of topic will be the best for this kind of task?
If you are lucky, the subjects of your study will have characteristics that are so similar or different, that you won’t have to think about this too much, like “Poems by Edgar Allan Poe vs. poems by Charles Bodler”.
However, things may not be so simple, for example, “Addiction counselors and support groups”. When you have to compare the subjects that are similar in nature, you will need to focus on their distinctive features instead of the task they aim to accomplish.
Depending on your assignment, you will need to choose the topic that will have the strongest impact on the reader. Thus, it will be up to you to decide whether you should point out the dissimilarities between the subjects or stress that they are, in essence, the same.
There are two most popular patterns of compare and contrast essays you can use. They are:
In this case, you will be comparing the subjects, focusing consecutively on each of their similarities and differences.
If you choose this type, you will need to discuss both subjects together.
This pattern will make you break down the body of the paper into several parts, because it requires analyzing every subject separately.
This is how the structure of your work will look like: introduction, discussing the pros and cons of the first subject, discussing the pros and cons of the second subject, conclusion that includes restating the thesis and short summary of the similarities and dissimilarities between the two subjects.
It’s essential to end this type of essay with a conclusion that summarizes your points and clearly states your point of view on the topic.