During studies you will face many writing assignments that deal with comparing of two things. Classic papers of this kind cover two similar things with one crucial difference or two different things with one common feature.
Another type of compare and contrast is a "lens" comparison. In this case it is necessary to use one thing as a lens through which you have to view the other thing. This kind of comparison is the best one if you have to criticize or challenge the stability of a thing. In most cases lens comparison brings into notice the time: events or texts that have appeared earlier can illuminate the later ones.
Writing this kind of essay doesn't look like creation of a table where you can list all similarities and differences of two things. It calls for thorough analysis of the collected data and turning it into meaningful argument.
- Find a frame of reference. In fact, it is a context where it is necessary to put the compared items. For example, it can be a quote of a scientist or another high-powered person in the sphere you are writing about. A paper without such frame will have no focus and no point of view on what to lean on when writing.
- Let the reader know the reasons of the choice of certain things for comparison. Indicate the grounds for comparison.
- Create your thesis statement according to the grounds of comparison - it will depend on the relations of the chosen compared things.
- Choose the organizational scheme for the paper: text-by-text (discussion of all A and then all B) and point-by-point (select A point and then compare it with B point). Still, consider eliminating the number of times when you alternate from A to B to get rid of the ping-pong game effect. Do not prolong the introduction part of the paper, get to the core of the argument.
- Link the points of the paper.