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The creation of an outline or a mind map is strongly encouraged, even in a timed exam.
While the structure of a compare and contrast essay is important, so too is the structure.
In this type of essay, you are still looking for strong topic sentences that convey the meaning of the paragraph to the reader.
Start with a brainstorm or mind map – even if you are writing a timed essay under exam conditions.
An essay that is well organised will be more likely to convince the reader that you actually know what you are talking about when you write.
Compare and contrast essays can be fun for a lot of reasons, mainly because you get to demonstrate how much you know about a particular topic.
Remember that it is essential to be organised as you work through your essay.Inevitably, there are always going to be some comparisons and contrasts that you feel are really strong and other connections which exist, but are, perhaps, weaker arguments.You are likely better to stick with the strongest arguments, but if you are struggling to get up to the word count and you need to include these weaker arguments, then make sure you embed them somewhere in the middle of your paper where they are surrounded by the strong arguments.As you are organising your thoughts, remember that the compare and contrast sections do not have to be of equal lengths.That said, you cannot have a whole essay of only comparisons, as this would not meet the essay requirements.This is a particularly useful strategy when you are arguing for one particular theme where parts of the theme are similar between the two works, but differ in other areas.Using this strategy also avoids repetition and keeps the reader focused on whatever theme you are trying to convince them of.The strengths of this type of approach mean that you can focus on making clear claims using evidence from both pieces of literature.You are essentially making one very strong argument at the beginning, telling your reader - ‘look, these pieces of work have a lot in common.’ You then lead your reader on a journey, which then allows them to see that while the two works are similar, they are not necessarily the same, thus the need for a contrast.See if you can brainstorm two or three comparisons and two or three contrasts.For each of these points, see if you can highlight some examples from the original works in the brainstorm, this will make the writing process much easier once you begin.