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What Should I Know About The Compare And Contrast Essay Format?

Writing a compare and contrast essay is very similar to writing an investigative article on any given subject. You have an idea, and you are trying to address the issue at hand from different, confronting points. You are at the same time the prosecutor and defense of that idea. These kinds of essays can be demanding, so it is very important to follow a certain formatting style.

After you have chosen your topic and done some research on it, you can start writing your essay. Here are two most common formats for these kinds of papers. They are very similar, and it depends on your personal preference and topic what format you want to choose.

Point by point method

This is very good format for topics that are very complex and have many viewpoints. Human rights, politics and history are some of the topics that are convenient to cover with this method, because there is more than one opinion. First, you should write an introduction that tells the reader more about the idea that you are presenting. In the body of the paper you defend statements that are opposite. You can have as many points as you like, but for the sake of clarity, stick to just three of four at most. You have to objectively think about all the aspects of the idea you are presenting, and try to investigate all the hidden meaning they may carry. The conclusion should summarize your essay without making a definite conclusion which viewpoint is the best. You can also make a comment about the future, but you should still remain objective as you can.

Block method

If you are writing about something that is pretty much “black or white” issue, you can choose the block method. It is meant for topics that have two main viewpoints that are strong and you should investigate both of them, with the same care. The introduction is the same with both formatting styles - just point out at the very beginning what are the two main ideas and how will you present their strong and weak points. The body part of the essay is the point that is very different in the block method. You should choose one aspect of your problem, and investigate all the possible issues and strong points of this viewpoint. Then, do the same with your confronting idea. The block method is often used for writing essays about the problems that have “yes or no” answers to them. It is convenient for issues such as the death sentence, preemptive war or abortion.