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It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the similarities or the differences, not both, will be discussed. There are two main ways to structure a compare and contrast essay, namely using a block or a point-by-point structure.
For example, if you are comparing a cat and a dog, feel free to select between these methods of creating your future document: Method 1. Thanks to this structure, your audience can find similar and different things throughout your work. The first half of your document contains characteristics of the first item, and in the second half, you put characteristics of another item.
It is a complex method because the entire work can be one-sided if you didn't give equal time to both items.
Compare and contrast is a common form of academic writing, either as an essay type on its own, or as part of a larger essay which includes one or more paragraphs which compare or contrast.
This page gives information on what a compare and contrast essay is, how to structure this type of essay, how to use compare and contrast structure words, and how to make sure you use appropriate criteria for comparison/contrast.
A compare and contrast essay does two things: It discusses the similarities and differences of at least two different things.
First, you must find a basis of comparison to be sure that the two things have enough in common. You may structure the compare and contrast essay using either the alternating method (stating one aspect of one thing and immediately discussing the same aspect of the other item and how they are similar or different) or the block method (discussing all of the aspects of one thing and then discussing all of the aspects of another).
This essay type is common at university, where lecturers frequently test your understanding by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical periods, two characters in a novel, etc.
Sometimes the whole essay will compare and contrast, though sometimes the comparison or contrast may be only part of the essay.
It is possible to use three various methods of structuring your paper.
We will provide you with detailed information on each method and give various structure examples below.