Compare and Contrast Research Paper Writing
The aim of compare and contrast paper is to identify how some things, people, ideas are similar (compare) and what differences exist between them (contrast). This type of papers writing is quite difficult even for those students who had to deal with them during their school years. In order to write a high quality compare and contrast research paper, the writer has to master his skills constantly. Such assignment requires a writer not to simply provide information but think critically about the subject under discussion. Moreover, the writer is required to evaluate, synthesize findings, analyze and present them in a logical way.
Compare and contrast research papers are normally of two main formats:
- The block format (also divided or whole-to-whole format);
- The alternating format (also integrated, or point-by point comparison).
1. The Block Format
The current format requires evaluating the First subject and then the Second subject separately and in its entirety. As a result, the writer can even come up with two papers interconnected by a transition. The following tips will help you write a paper in a block format:
- Start with an introductory part and a clear and strong thesis statement. It should contain the information about main similarities and differences and explanation why it should be done;
- Use references in the paper in order to support your argument;
- Similarity and differences sections should be connected by a strong transition, which indicates that these parts relate to each other. Stick to your thesis and make a summary of the key points in regard to the First subject, as well as a short preview of the main points that will be discussed in the Second section;
- In the concluding part of your paper, do not forget to summarize the main findings of your research and remind the reader about the connection between the two parts of the paper.
2. The Alternating Format
In this format, the writer is required to characterize one similarity or difference of each subject at a time and then go down to the next one.
The tips on writing the paper using this format include:
- Just like using previous format, the alternating structure of a research paper requires introductory part with a clear thesis. The information on similarities and differences should also be provided alongside with a reasoning why this topic is important for discussion;
- The material in the paper should be organized in a logical manner to avoid creating a simple list of issues;
- Conclusion of the paper should summarize the most important findings and indicate the relationships between the discussed subjects.
In order to come up with a professional compare and contrast paper, it is recommended to start writing from a little brainstorming. Think about the subject outlining basic similarities and differences and then start exploring issue more deeply by defining some specific, significant and more complex features. For example, if you compare pears and apples, you can start with describing such characteristics as their size, color, you may also state that both are edible and grow on trees. However, it does not deepen the knowledge of the reader about the fruits as these facts are well known for everyone. Professionally written compare and contrast paper helps us understand the things better by discussion them more fully and considering each of the discussed issue individually.
Questions to Answer While Writing Compare and Contrast Paper
The following questions will help you place a right focus in the process of writing:
- What is the main goal and purpose of the assignment?
- What different and similar features you can identify relate directly to the assignment? For example, if you are taking an economic classes and you are supposed to speak about apples and pears, you can describe the popularity of fruits in the market, demand for apples and pears in the world, which fruit is more expensive and why, etc. It is extremely important to place a correct focus in relation to the course, topic discussed and the requirements provided by the instructor.
- What features of the subject are the most interesting for comparing and contrasting? Which features are the most significant in the given case and which of them are merely descriptive? Which of them will help to create an interesting research paper?
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