There are two general formats for compare and contrast papers:
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Some instructors prefer that you only write about the differences between two things, while others want you to focus on explaining the similarities as well. Either way, you'll need to make sure that your thesis statement reflects your instructor's expectations. For example, if I wanted to write about Social Networking sites, I'd need to write different thesis statements depending on my compare/contrast assignment.
Fran Hooker & Kate James, Webster University Writing Center, 2007
Sample thesis statement for contrast paper: In terms of social networking sites, Facebook focuses on presenting your daily life to others, whereas MySpace allows you to focus more on demonstrating your personal style.
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Your instructor may ask for multiple similarities and differences--make sure you're prepared to write a well-developed, meaningful essay on a topic that you know well before you get started!
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The Best Way to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay - wikiHow
Chunking: placing all of the information for each individual subject in one place (chunk), and then using similarities as transitions.
Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
Piecing: giving pieces of the information for each individual subject in each paragraph—arranging the information by topic rather than by subject.