Lanzbom comp/cont 1
The Compare/ Contrast Essay
First, let’s explain compare and contrast:
When we compare, we show our readers a subject's similarities.
When we contrast, we show our readers a subject's differences.
Compare and Contrast essays are
learning-process essays. You learn
about your subject as you gather and
This type of essay takes a bit of
organization, and it's this
organizational process, this
gathering of facts, that helps you
learn as you go.
You will create lists of qualities or
traits that each of your subjects has, and as you do this, you will discover insights to your
subject that, at first glance, you may not have realized were there.
It’s like buying a new shirt. The moment you spread it out on your bed, you start seeing
things you hadn't noticed in the store. Perhaps a button is loose, or the pocket is torn, or
it's a size too big. But there's more! As an intelligent, probing writer you're going to ask
questions of this shirt: why, what, where, when, how, who. Why are buttons on the
collar? What other type of shirt does this shirt remind you of? Where was it made?
When was it made? How did it get to your store and into your hands? Who made it?
The questions are endless. But you must ask them to understand your subject. Using
why, what, where, when, how, who, you to probe into the core and the reason this shirt
The same type of probing and uncovering will happen to you as
you outline your subject's qualities. You’ll discover all sorts of
new things as you ask why, what, where, when, how, who, and
as you uncover these new points, your essay will change. In the
end, most essays end up far different than expected.
Lanzbom comp/cont 2
You will offer a thesis, like in an argumentative essay, but in this essay, your thesis sets
the tone of your paper. In other words, through your thesis, you