The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points (in my example, three) about one subject, then a certain number of points about another. This is usually not what college instructors are looking for in a paper—generally they want you to compare or contrast two or more things very directly, rather than just listing the traits the things have and leaving it up to the reader to reflect on how those traits are similar or different and why those similarities or differences matter. Thus, if you use the subject-by-subject form, you will probably want to have a very strong, analytical thesis and at least one body paragraph that ties all of your different points together.
1690s, from French contraster (Old French contrester ), modified by or from Italian contrastare "stand out against, strive, contend," from Vulgar Latin *contrastare "to withstand," from Latin contra "against" (see contra ) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet ).
Middle English had contrest "to fight against, to withstand," which became extinct. Modern word re-introduced as an art term. Related: Contrasted ; contrasting ; contrastive .
This type of essay can be really confusing, as balancing between comparing and contrasting can be rather difficult. Check out our compare and contrast ...
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This version of How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay was reviewed by Megan Morgan on June 15, 2015.