WHAT IS A COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY?
The core feature of a compare and contrast essay is that it is focused upon examining the similarities and differences which exist across two or more different entities or ideas. Quite simply, writing a compare and contrast essay means comparing and contrasting the characteristics of two or more entities that you have chosen or which have been assigned to you so as to make an argument, embodied by the thesis of your compare and contrast paper, about how these two different things relate to each other.
Writing a compare and contrast essay means that you must have a good understanding and command of the two or more concepts that you are writing about. Because you will need to apply your critical thinking skills as you write a compare and contrast essay, writing a compare and contrast essay is about more than just describing the two terms or concepts. Rather, it is about finding their core similarities and differences and building a thesis that sums up the differences which exist between these different entities and phenomena in a manner that is cohesive and easy to understand.
In writing a compare and contrast essay, you must be able to unpack the differences which exist between the things you are writing about by using sources and the scholarly literature on the subject. Writing a compare and contrast essay thus requires research in relation to the definitions of each of these things, and an ability to extrapolate from these definitions to highlight similarities and differences. This involves using secondary sources to better understand the nature of the things that you are writing your compare and contrast essay on as well as applying your critical thinking skills to separate these similarities and differences into distinct categories.