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Example comparison contrast essay thesis statement

Jun 15, 2018

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As the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill points out, instructors often assign comparison/contrast essays because such writing requires students to analyze objects or concepts and explain the similarities or differences between them. For example, an essay might examine how high school is like -- and not like -- college or how the causes of World War I and II were different and similar. The thesis for a comparison/contrast essay explains the essay's purpose and organization in one concise sentence.

Examine the Assignment

The thesis establishes the main point of the essay. Does the assignment ask you to compare, contrast or both? A thesis asking you to compare or contrast might read, "The newest version of the game differs from the older game in terms of characters, technical specifications and price." However, for a comparison and contrast, the thesis could be "Although both use the same story line and offer similar game play, the newest version of the game differs from the older game in terms of characters, technical specifications and price," indicating the essay will cover both similarities and differences. If the assignment requires you to argue a position, indicate your position with a thesis like "Although the newest version of the game differs from the older game in terms of characters, technical specifications and price, the older version is much more popular with users."

Select a Topic

After determining the assignment requirements, come up with a topic that fits and creates an interesting essay you can set up in your thesis. Rather than discussing obvious similarities and differences, an effective comparison/contrast explains ideas not readily apparent. For instance, looking at the similarities between two brands of shoes may not be the best topic if such comparisons are easy to see. A more effective topic choice could result in a thesis such as "American and European soccer differ in equipment, scoring and penalties." Although both games are considered soccer, this paper will cover the contrasts.

Create the Thesis

Put your points together to create a thesis for your comparison/contrast essay. The main part of the thesis should explain the importance of the similarities or differences in the paper. Such a paper could argue that one political candidate makes a better choice than another or that viewers will find an original movie more entertaining than a remake. The thesis reflects the attitude that the main body of the essay will convey, so write a thesis you feel you can support with details in the essay.

Refine the Thesis

List the specific points you will compare or contrast in the order they will appear in the body. This structure gives the reader a map of your essay, either in a block format or point by point. Block format covers each object in an individual paragraph, while point by point covers each similarity or difference. For example, for the thesis "The Morkie makes a better pet for kids than a pure Yorkshire because of its loving attitude, playful personality and easy care," the body could have one paragraph for the Morkie discussing all these concepts followed by a paragraph about the purebred. The point-by-point organization would have one body paragraph talking about the loving attitude of the Morkie and how it contrasts with the purebred followed by one about the personalities and then one for the care. The thesis sets up the order of ideas.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. Margaret Thatcher

Essays that ask the writer to compare and contrast ideas, texts, events, and so on are very common in academic settings. Writing a compare and contrast thesis statement can be one of the more challenging aspects of such an essay, but there are several ways to write a solid thesis statement, which will then set the tone for the rest of the essay. To begin, one must first read the question carefully and decide which aspects of the topic are important and must be included in the essay. This step will guide the writing of the thesis statement.

A good essay writer will consider what the person asking the question wants to hear. These types of essays are common in college, so a professor will often be posing the question. When reading the question, consider what the professor will be looking for: an understanding of main ideas, an analysis of complex relationships, and so on. This may sound complicated, but basically, the idea is to capture what the question is asking and analyze your perception of it. For example, if the question asks the writer to compare and contrast a high calorie diet with a low calorie diet, the writer should be sure to first understand the advantages and dangers of each. Then, the writer must make a determination of what's important.

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