compare and contrast someone you know (male or female) to the wicked queen in “Little Snow White.”

In three paragraphs, compare and contrast someone you know (male or female) to the wicked queen in “Little Snow White.” Use the “point by point” method of organizing your material, as described in Bedford.

The point-by-point structure looks more complicated, but it’s more fool-proof. It is set up like this:

Point 1
Subject A
Subject B
Point 2
Subject A
Subject B
Point 3
Subject A
Subject B

The word “point” in “point-by-point” structure refers to something that you have to say about your two subjects. If you’re comparing apples and oranges, Point 1 might be that the fruits look different. Point 2 might be that they taste different.
Imagine that you are writing a paper comparing and contrasting your Thanksgiving traditions to those of a neighboring family–the Bankses. Since most American families celebrate the holiday in essentially similar ways, you’ve looked for differences–and found some interesting ones.
The three areas of difference are these: food, fights, and fun.

Using the point-by-point structure, you would treat each of these three points one at a time: food, then fun, and then fights. In a short essay, you might write one paragraph on each point (after you’ve written your introduction):

Paragraph 1: Food

Paragraph 2: Fun

Paragraph 3: Fights

In the paragraph discussing food, you’d discuss both families’ traditional foods:

The Bankses enjoy very different Thanksgiving foods than my family does. My family sticks to the conventional foods: turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce (we like the canned kind), sweet potatoes with little marshmallows, and lima beans. Sometimes Mom puts marshmallows in the pumpkin pie too, for variety. However, believing that one should eat one’s particular favorites on this holiday, the Bankses eat only dessert. This year, they indulged in mince pie, trifle, plum pudding (they eat it again at Christmas), pumpkin flan, and Daiquiri sherbet.

In each of the subsequent paragraphs, you would discuss one point but cover both “subjects”–that is, both families–with respect to that point.
When you finish your point-by-point essay on the two families’ Thanksgiving traditions, you might fill in your outline like this:

Point 1: Food
Subject A: My Family
Subject B: The Bankses

Point 2: Fun
Subject A: My Family
Subject B: The Bankses

Point 3: Fights
Subject A: My Family
Subject B: The Bankses
When you write a comparison / contrast essay, the reader must often be reminded that the essay is about two subjects, not just one. Make sure to mention both subjects in your thesis statement:

Although we are both American families, and fairly typical in most ways, my family and the Bankses celebrate Thanksgiving differently.

(You might decide to write one paragraph at the beginning describing the ways in which your celebrations are similar, but most of your essay would be about the differences.)
Topic sentences should also refer to both subjects, directly or indirectly:

Topic sentence 1: The Bankses enjoy very different Thanksgiving foods than my family does.

Topic sentence 2: The Banks family likes to go hunting on Thanksgiving while Mom bakes pies, but my family prefers to watch videos and play board games.

Topic sentence 3: The Banks family are perfectly amiable with one another whenever they are together, but it is traditional for my family to spend most of the holiday fighting about who is the biggest pig.
The point-by-point structure is the format that essentially forces the writer to compare and contrast. Each supporting paragraph talks about just one point of similarity or difference, but it covers both subjects (the Banks family and mine) with respect to that point.
Although the point-by-point format is really the preferable one, the subject-by-subject format can work too, especially for short papers.

The trick to making the subject-by-subject format work lies in careful organization. Try to cover the same points about each subject–and to cover them in the same order, like this:

Subject A: The Bankses’ Thanksgiving

Subject B: Our Thanksgiving

You can’t always limit yourself in the way that this outline indicates, but the closer you stick to it, the easier it will be for the reader to follow the comparison / contrast essay and to remember your content.
Comparing and contrasting is a vital way of thinking that encourages us to uncover both patterns and subtle distinctions. Writing a good comparison / contrast essay allows you to share what you’ve discovered with a reader. In this presentation, you’ve read about the following topics:

–Using comparison and contrast in everyday life

–Objectives of comparing

–Objectives of contrasting

–Organizing compare / contrast essays
–Point-by-point structure
–Subject-by-subject structure

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