Compare Similarities and Contrast Differences in your Compare and Contrast Thesis
If an assignment asks the student to compare and contrast, then it is obvious that a compare and contrast thesis has to be written. But when you are given an academic thesis assignment without explicit instructions it is difficult to say whether you are expected to compare only or contrast only or you have to compare and contrast. Study the three examples below and note that the expectation of each assignment is obvious.
• Compare and contrast the President Lynden B. Johnson’s policies in Vietnam and President George Bush’s policies in Iraq.
• Compare Godfather by Mario Fuzo to Memories of another Day by Harold Robbins citing similarities in plot and main characters’ background and personalities.
• Contrast the limitations of freedom of expression under a democracy and a dictatorship.
How to Identify Similarities and Differences
There are two methods for to identifying the similarities and the differences of the two things being compared. Using a table to list all the aspects and the values of the two things will make it easier to identify the similarities and the differences. Use of a Venn diagram will show the not-so-obvious differences too. A simple Venn diagram can be made by drawing two overlapping circles to represent the two objects. In the overlapping area, write down all the common traits. In the two non-overlapping areas the characteristics peculiar to each of the objects is listed. Now it is your turn to identify the attributes relevant to your thesis statement because you must not consider the traits that are not relevant to your thesis idea in the compare and contrast thesis.
Structure of the Compare and contrast Thesis
For a compare and contrast thesis the structure is different from any other thesis style. The purpose of the thesis is to examine the similarities and the differences. One method is to examine the traits of one object in one section or chapter and then state the traits of the second object in another section. Next section is devoted to do the comparison and the contrast. It is possible to use two separate sections for the comparing and contrasting. Another method is to take one trait at a time and do the comparing and contrasting one aspect in one chapter. For an example if the thesis considers three separate attributes, three different chapters can be used.
Use of Link Words in Comparing and Contrasting
When two things are compared it is always necessary to use two sentences or phrases. Make use of these link words cleverly when comparing or contrasting.
“similarly, moreover, likewise, conversely, on the other hand, like, similar to, also, unlike, in the same way, again, compared to, in contrast, in like manner, contrasted with, on the contrary, however, although, yet, even though, still, but, nevertheless, conversely, at the same time, regardless, despite, while, on the one hand … on the other hand.”
You can deliver the point strongly in your compare and contrast thesis by appropriate use of the linking words. Mastery of using these words also contributes a lot to improve your thesis writing skills.