Comparison – Contrast Essay and the Example

Comparison-Contrast Essay

Being able to write a comparison-contrast essay is important because this kind of essay always presents similarities and differences of two things based on a particular item.

The Comparison-Contrast Essay

Comparing and contrasting are very common in academic writing. The purpose of a comparison is to show how people, places, things, or ideas are similar, and the purpose of a contrast is to show how people, places, things, or ideas are different (Boardman, 2002: 149).

Characteristics of the essay (Anderson, 2001: 254):

  1. Two subjects from the same general group are compared or contrasted.
  2. The structure clearly separates one subject from the other.
  3. The same features are discussed for both subjects—there is a balance to the comparison or contrast.
  4. A conclusion results from the comparison or contrast of the two subjects.

 

How to organize the ideas in comparison-contrast essay (Boardman, 2002: 149-151):

 Basic Block Style

Introductory paragraph

(Thesis statement)

Body paragraph 1: Differences between the two things

a. …………………………

b. …………………………

c. …………………………

Body paragraph 2: Similarities between the two things

a. …………………………

b. …………………………

c. …………………………

Concluding paragraph

 

Block Comparison Style

Introductory paragraph

(Thesis statement)

Body paragraph 1: Description of The Item 1

a. …………………………

b. …………………………

c. …………………………

Body paragraph 2: Description of the Item 2 compared with the Item 1

a. …………………………

b. …………………………

c. …………………………

Concluding paragraph

 

Point-by-Point Comparison Style

Introductory paragraph

(Thesis statement)

Body paragraph 1: First point of comparison of the two items
  1. ……………………………
    1. ……………………..
    2. ……………………..
    3. ……………………..

Body paragraph 2: Second point of comparison of the two items

  1. ……………………………
    1. ……………………..
    2. ……………………..
    3. ……………………..

Concluding paragraph

 References

  • Anderson, Marilyn. Keys to Successful Writing – Unlocking the Writer Within. New York; Longman, 2001.
  • Boardman, Chynthia A. and Jia Frydenberg. Writing to Communicate: Paragraphs and Essays. 2nd ed. Lebanon: Longman. 2002

____________________________________________________ 

 

Example of a Comparison-Contrast Essay

The following text has been taken from Anderson’s book, page 264-265.

Student writer Ofoegbu wanted to share his experiences in the world of work by focusing on the subject of coworkers. As you read his essay, notice that some of his work experiences point out cultural differences between America and Nigeria.

Chucks Ofoegbu confides, “My writing process started when I was in high school.” Born and raised in Nigeria, Chucks is interested in politics and likes to write about contemporary issues. In drafting his essays, Chucks learned the importance of defining all terms that an American audience might not understand. Chucks is currently working as paralegal with a law firm and reports that he’ll be able to think about long-term career plans when his financial situation is solid.

 

COWORKERS

“You boss is not your mother.” That’s the good news from one of the books I read recently, Oedipus Wrecks, by Brian Desroches. The book was named after Oedipus in the Greek legend who, in ignorance and partly from ambition, killed his own father and married his mother. The bad news, on the other hand, is that a lot of us feel and act like our managers or bosses are members of our families. The result is that we coworkers may squabble with one another in the workplace for selfish reasons. Based on the way my coworkers interact with other workers and their bosses, I can place them in three groups, the Butter-ups, the Get-alongs, and the Judases.

For the Butter-ups, flattery is the only method to get ahead. For the first year of the five years I worked as a cashier in the Ministry of Finance in Nigeria, I encountered the Butter-ups constantly. Their strategy was to compliment the boss excesively in order to win favorable personal evaluation reports, which were sent to office headquarters. These compliments came in the form of presents given to the boss on his birthday and wedding anniversary, or presents given to him for his wife’s or children’s birthdays. This group of Butter-ups was comprised of young men and women who needed a promotion and a raise in their salary to enjoy the good things of life. The Butter-ups would give such presents and a shower of praises to the boss even for no apparent reason.

Another group of coworkers I came in contact with were the Get-alongs. They just “got along with the boss.” They believed in the old fable, “Slow and steady wins the race.” I was among this Get-along group. We had a good relationship with the boss because we would often come to work fifteen minutes or more before the official opening hour and we would perform our job assignments efficiently. In spite of the fact that we offered the boss no special gifts or flattery, he had a soft spot for us because our level of neatness in our work, our attire, and our desks was impressive. In addition, our interactions with our coworkers were unruffled.

The third group of coworkers were the Judases, from the Biblical character Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. This group believed in the “divide and rule” method to gain power. These workers created disharmony between the boss and the other coworkers through back-bitting and false allegations. They accused other workers of taking gratifications from members of the public, cheating in promotion examinations, and keeping false records in personnel files at headquarters. Why would they do this? The Judases actually wanted to create this disharmony so that the boss would be toppled. They wanted him out because they had a clash of interest with him over staff control and the way office furniture sent from headquarters had been shared among workers.

In the end, the Judases were either posted to handle managerial posts elsewhere or reprimanded through letters to desist from their false accusations. I survived this time of turmoil with the three groups of coworkers. However, collegues, I would advocate for peace and harmony in the workplace rather than showing the seeds of disunity and acrimony between coworkers. Just as Oedipus discovered, ignorance and ambition are a dangerous combination.

Total words:  555  

One thought on “Comparison – Contrast Essay and the Example

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    12040254(15/b)
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