In this method, the writer uncovers points related to item A and item B and alternates between the two based on the point being made. Regardless of whether or not the items are similar or different, the Point-by-Point method necessitates that the writer have something of value to say about each item in each point. There is not stipulation on how many points can be compared, provided that the points being made are relevant. Generally speaking, teachers prefer when students use the point-by-point method because it has been proven to more accurately highlight the differences and similarities by contrasting each point.
This method also produces a more thought provoking and analytical research paper. If you are able to clearly and concisely identify relatable points between subject A and subject B, the alternating method is likely the most productive format to follow. Also referred to as the Subject-by-Subject method, the block method requires that the writer discusses point for subject A and then every point for subject B.
When choosing the Block Method, do not attempt to inject two unrelated essays into a thesis statement. The second subject should refer to the first subject and make clear reference as to how the two are comparable or different. This will help to ensure continuity and strengthen reader engagement. Less commonly used, the block method is beneficial when you are having difficulty establishing points that closely relate subject A to subject B or when you are attempting to compare and contract three or more items.
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As you create your list, is it clear why you are comparing and contrasting these two subjects? Do you have a preference for one or the other? If so, make sure you are evaluating each side fairly.
Beef Up Critical Thinking and Writing Skills: Comparison Essays
A point-by-point list helps you maintain balance. Once you have a list, decide whether there are more similarities or differences between the topics.
If there are more similarities, concentrate your paper on comparing. If there are more differences or if, as in the example above, the differences are simply more interesting , concentrate on contrasting. If there is a balance of similarities and differences, you might concentrate on discussing this balance. Imagine you are examining Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, both Civil War generals. In your list you have uncovered important points of dissimilarity between them. Those points are their background, personalities, and underlying aspirations. Call these three points A, B, and C.
What does contrast mean? What about compare?
You have decided to contrast the two subjects. Here is one way to organize the body of this paper, addressing points A, B, and C for each subject. This paper will follow parallel order—A, B, and then C—for each subject:. Lee's background B. Lee's personality C. Lee's underlying aspirations.
Grant's background B.follow site
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Grant's personality C. Which characteristics highlight the most significant similarities?
Which characteristics highlight the most significant differences? Which characteristics will lead to a meaningful analysis and an interesting paper?
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Lee vs General Ulysses S. Dog history.
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Dog personalities C. Dog commercialization. Cat history. Cat personalities. Cat commercialization.
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Dog history A Cat history. Dog personalities B. Dog commercialization C. Transitions in the essay for comparison can include:.