First choose whether you want to compare seemingly disparate subjects, contrast seemingly similar subjects, or compare and contrast subjects. Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare, contrast, or both as well as state what can be learned from doing so.
Given that compare-and-contrast essays analyze the relationship between two subjects, it is helpful to have some phrases on hand that will cue the reader to such analysis. See for examples.
In a brief article on swords specimens of the 15th to 16th centuries from three major museum collections, including samples from the Stibbet Museum in Florence, Dr. Timothy Dawson noted no single-hand sword weighed more than 3.5 pounds and no greatsword weighed more than 6 pounds. He concludes, “From these examples it can be seen that the ideal that medieval and Renaissance swords were heavy, clumsy objects is far from true.” (Dawson, p. 34 & 35).
Here the thesis sets up the two subjects to be compared and contrasted (organic versus conventional vegetables), and it makes a claim about the results that might prove useful to the reader.
The body of the essay can be organized in one of two ways: by subject or by individual points. The organizing strategy that you choose will depend on, as always, your audience and your purpose. You may also consider your particular approach to the subjects as well as the nature of the subjects themselves; some subjects might better lend themselves to one structure or the other. Make sure to use comparison and contrast phrases to cue the reader to the ways in which you are analyzing the relationship between the subjects.
Similarly, to focus on comparison, choose two subjects that seem at first to be unrelated. For a comparison essay, you likely would not choose two apples or two oranges because they share so many of the same properties already. Rather, you might try to compare how apples and oranges are quite similar. The more divergent the two subjects initially seem, the more interesting a comparison essay will be.
Quite frequently, some well-meaning academician or elderly curator trained in art history who is not an athlete, not a martial artist, and has not trained in handling historical arms since childhood will declare with authority that a knightly sword is "heavy." The same sword properly wielded in well-conditioned hands will typically be found light, well-balanced, and agile. For example, noted British arms curator Charles Ffoulkes in 1938 declared: "The so-called 'Crusader' sword is heavy, broad-bladed, and short gripped. There is no balance, as the word is understood in swordsmanship, and to thrust with it is ·its weight made swift recovery impossible." Ffoulkes' opinion, wholly without merit yet shared by his military co-author Captain , was derived from his understanding of what could be done only with sporting tools in polite contests. Ffoulkes was no doubt basing his opinion on his understanding of contemporary fencing as conducted with the featherweight foils, epees, and duelling sabers of the modern sport (in the same way a tennis racket might feel "heavy" to a ping pong player).
Despite the measurable facts, many are convinced today that these large swords simply are, or even have to be, exceptionally heavy. The view is not one limited to modern times. For example, Thomas Page's otherwise unremarkable 1746 military fencing booklet, , exclaimed nonsense about earlier swords that became largely accepted as fact in the 19th (and 20th) century. Revealing something of how much things in that period had changed from earlier skills and knowledge of martial fencing, declared how their: "Form was rude, and their use without Method. They were the Instruments of Strength, not the Weapons or Art. The Sword was enormous length and breadth, heavy and unwieldy, design'd only for right down chopping by the Force of a strong Arm." (Page, p. A3). Page's views were not uncommon among fencers then use to featherweight smallswords and the occasional saber and short cutlass.
The key to a good compare-and-contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. The purpose of conducting the comparison or contrast is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities. For example, if you wanted to focus on contrasting two subjects you would not pick apples and oranges; rather, you might choose to compare and contrast two types of oranges or two types of apples to highlight subtle differences. For example, Red Delicious apples are sweet, while Granny Smiths are tart and acidic. Drawing distinctions between elements in a similar category will increase the audience’s understanding of that category, which is the purpose of the compare-and-contrast essay.
Writing a Compare/Contrast EssayA comparison essay notes either similarities, or similarities and differences â¢ A contrast Compare and Contrast Essay Structure: Block Method In the BlockComparison and Contrast Essay: Block MethodComparison and Contrast Essay: Block Method In the block method, you describe all the similarities in the first body paragraph and then all the differences inCompare & contrast essays - EAP FoundationCompare and contrast is a common form of academic writing, either as an by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical two main ways to structure a compare and contrast essay, namely using a block orBlock Method Paragraph outlineSubject Focus (block) Introductory commentary Block Method Paragraph outline: Here are the two common ways to organize comparison/contrast essaysComparison and Contrast EssaysA comparison and contrast essay focuses on how two items or texts are similar, different, or The first (and often the clearest) method is the Point-by-Point method POINT 1 Paragraph 1: Mill believes that the majority makes moral decisions
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