There are two general formats for compare and contrast papers:

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I will compare and contrast high school life and college life.

Why is this thesis weak? Think about what the reader would expect from the essay that follows: most likely a general, appreciative summary of Twain’s novel. But the question did not ask you to summarize; it asked you to analyze. Your professor is probably not interested in your opinion of the novel; instead, she wants you to think about why it’s such a great novel—what do Huck’s adventures tell us about life, about America, about coming of age, about race, etc.? First, the question asks you to pick an aspect of the novel that you think is important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children.

As you approach a compare/contrast paper, ask the following questions:

Words to indicate contrast: in contrast, however, on the other hand, nevertheless, although, counter to, on the contrary, conversely, rather than, in opposition to, opposite of Sample Introductory Paragraph

How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Compare-Contrast Essay ..

One way to compare and contrast high school life and college life is student population.

Comparison and contrast are processes of identifying how ideas, people, or things are alike (comparison) and how they are different (contrast). Although you have probably been writing compare/contrast papers since grade school, it can be a difficult form to master.

Such assignments require you to move beyond mere description by thinking deeply about the items being compared, identifying meaningful relationships between them, and deciding which qualities are most significant. This process involves evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing your findings and presenting them in a meaningful, interesting, and logical way.

A thesis asking you to compare or contrast might read, ..

I have chosen two heroes to compare and contrast based on cultural aspect and what they act.

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our for more information.)

Below is a sample of an introduction from a literary compare and contrast paper written by student Kate James: (Some of the terms she uses to indicate comparison and contrast are in boldface.)

In this essay I will compare and contrast a collection of different poems by Carol Anne Duffy, Robert Browning, Ben Johnson and Simon Armitage.
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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay - wikiHow

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

a compare-and-contrast thesis can ..

Suppose you are taking a course on 19th-century America, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: Compare and contrast the reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War. You turn on the computer and type out the following:

clear what you’re comparing and contrasting.

When we first begin thinking about a subject, we generally start by listing obvious similarities and differences, but as we continue to explore, we should begin to notice qualities that are more significant, complex, or subtle. For example, when considering apples and oranges, we would immediately observe that both are edible, both grow on trees, and both are about the size of a baseball. But such easy observations don't deepen our knowledge of apples and oranges. An interesting and meaningful compare/contrast paper should help us understand the things we are discussing more fully than we would if we were to consider them individually.

How to Create a Thesis for a Compare & Contrast Essay

As examples, one can compare and contrast the two mythologies in terms of characters, form and structure, creation myths, and mythology’s relevance to life.

Developing a Thesis for Compare-and-Contrast Essay - …

Instructions: Thoroughly compare and contrast the state of the environment in 1948 and today (Don’t focus on one aspect, but try to give a general overview). Particularly focusing on the US, would you say that environmental regulations have become necessary during this transition period? Why or why not? What key events justify your position?

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