The essay is one of the most concise literary forms that have a clear structure. Different types of essays like an argumentative essay, comparison and contrast essay, narrative, descriptive, etc. can reflect literary criticism, political manifests, arguments, observations of everyday life, the memories and thoughts of the author.
Recently, writing of the essay has become one of the components of formal education as a scientific theory and one of the most common writing assignment at high school. This type of writing is often used by educational institutions to determine the quality of knowledge. College students are encouraged to explain, comment, or evaluate the topic of research in the form of the essay.
In this paragraph, we are going to talk about comparison and contrast essay and ways how to start it. Comparison and contrast essay is aimed at the development of the relationship between two or more things. As a general rule, the goal is to show that superficial differences or similarities are insufficient and that a careful analysis reveals their unobvious, but significant, relationships or differences. You can compare and contrast a different number of items.
In this kind of assignments college students present their own interpretation of facts, express their own argumentative ideas, thoughts, feelings. Writing a good compare and contrast English essay is difficult, but possible. It is necessary to organize their thoughts: to form their personal attitude to the topics, to draw up a clear outline of action. The main problem for students in writing this essay in college is the inability to briefly but correctly put forward their thoughts. Therefore, it is recommended to use point by point method, also called the slice or alternating method and block method. As a rule, these types of methods are useful when you have to make any decision, or you need to choose one of the two different items.
Point by Point Method
A point-by-point method is an organizational scheme of comparison and contrast essay. Point-by-point essay assigns to the comparison of one point of a topic with the point of the other topic. The main peculiarity is that the writer considers the analogies and differences of two comparative topics or items adherently for the purpose to make some conclusions. In comparison to the block method, the point-by-point method comprises more information.
Here is the outline of how to do the comparison and contrast essay in accordance with the point by point method:
- The first paragraph is your introduction that presents two ideas or items that we should compare and contrast;
- The second paragraph is the main body of point by point essay, that includes the reasoning of the first point designating the similarity, as well as the difference between the two topics;
- The third paragraph is also placed in the main body and includes the discussion of the second point to demonstrate another similarity and difference between the topics;
- The fourth body paragraph gives the third point to compare and contrast the two items;
- The fifth paragraph is like a conclusion, that restates the comparison thesis and points above in other words.
So, here are some examples of essay topics where point by point method can be used:
- Running your own business or working for an organization?
- Six days trip to Amazon or a vacation in Vienna?
- Something is always better than nothing.
- Better late than never.
Windows versus Mac OS
Point by point method is simpler to use for college students, as similar and different aspects are more visible when they are located next to each other, and it is easier to make some parallels in compare and contrast process.
Point by Point Essay Example
There is the example of how to start your essay using point by point method.
High school versus College
In the life of every teenager, it’s time to make an important decision: to continue to study at high school or to make a choice in favor of vocational education and to enroll in a college. These both alternatives are good and have some similar facets, but mostly they are different. So, these options can be distinguished according to the following options: the cost, time and schedule and academic load.
Firstly, according to the cost, college is voluntary and expensive, while high school is usually mandatory and free. In a college, every student needs to buy his own books when at a high school they are provided free of charge. Besides, the learning process in here is funded by the government.
Secondly, in terms of time and schedule, college is more suitable for students, as they are responsible for scheduling their own classes, while at the high school the school day is highly structured and organized by teachers. Students are expected to study and work on assignments outside of class unlike school, where they need to work in class. In addition, college students have less time to devote to extracurricular activities because academic expectations are higher and they require more time for studying, despite the fact that they have classes meet 3, 2 or only once a week in comparison to school, where students have most classes meet five days a week. The priority in a college is given to independent processing of the material by the students.
The third block is related to the academic load. If we are talking about tests, it should be noticed, that college is more serious in this aspect, as tests here are mostly cumulative and covers large amounts of material. Test grades usually carry a great amount of weight in the final grade, while at high school homework, quizzes, projects, and extra credit often raise a student`s overall grade. Another peculiarity of college is that most assignments are given in a syllabus at the beginning of the semester. The main point of the college is that students must take responsibility for their own education while at the high school this responsibility belongs to parents and teachers.
Taking into account such points as cost, learning process and academic load, we can make the conclusion that studying in a college sets up for students more serious demands and requires to be more responsible. And every student who is going to enter the college should consider this fact in order to have success in the educational process.
A compare and contrast essay is a commonly used type of English writing assignment in various classes of high school and college, from art to science. The main goal of this type of essay is a critical analysis of any two subjects, finding and pointing out their similarities and/or differences. Depending on the assignment, such an essay can be comparative only (looking just at similar aspects), contrasting only (determining the different aspects only) or both comparative and contrasting. If you are not sure how to do your essay, it is recommended to use point by point method, that will help you to organize the clear structure of your work.