Throughout your academic career, you'll be asked to write papers in which you compare and contrast two things: two texts, two theories, two historical figures, two scientific processes, and so on. In the "lens" or "keyhole" comparison, in which you weight A less heavily than B, you use A as a lens through which to view B. Just as looking through a pair of glasses changes the way you see an object, using A as a framework for understanding B changes the way you see B. Lens comparisons are useful for illuminating, critiquing, or challenging the stability of a thing that, before the analysis, seemed perfectly understood. Often, lens comparisons take time into account: earlier texts, events, or historical figures may illuminate later ones, and vice versa. Faced with a daunting list of seemingly unrelated similarities and differences, you may feel confused about how to construct a paper that isn't just a mechanical exercise in which you first state all the features that A and B have in common, and then state all the ways in which A and B are different.
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By assigning such essays, your instructors are encouraging you to make connections between texts or ideas, engage in critical thinking, and go beyond mere description or summary to generate interesting analysis: when you reflect on similarities and differences, you gain a deeper understanding of the items you are comparing, their relationship to each other, and what is most important about them. Here are a few hypothetical examples:. You may want to check out our handout on understanding assignments for additional tips. Making a Venn diagram or a chart can help you quickly and efficiently compare and contrast two or more things or ideas. In the central area where they overlap, list the traits the two items have in common.
A compare and contrast essay examines two or more subjects by comparing their similarities and contrasting their differences. Compare and contrast is high on Bloom's Taxonomy of critical reasoning and is associated with a complexity level where students break down ideas into simpler parts in order to see how the parts relate. For example, in order to break down ideas for comparison or to contrast in an essay, students may need to categorize, classify, dissect, differentiate, distinguish, list, and simplify. First, students need to select pick comparable objects, people, or ideas and list their individual characteristics. A graphic organizer, like a Venn Diagram or top hat chart, is helpful in preparing to write the essay:.
Forget the all-nighters and find some writing inspiration with our free essay samples on any topic. It's time for you to nail your grades! Cars are increasingly becoming basic necessities in the society today. This is because of the convenience and comfort that these cars deliver to the users. There are various manufacturers of cars across the world.
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