The assignment sheet may say exactly what you need to compare, or it may ask you to come up with a basis for comparison yourself. Once you know your basis for comparison, think critically about the similarities and differences between the items you are comparing, and compile a list of them. For example, you might decide that in Great Expectations , being a true gentleman is not a matter of manners or position but morality, whereas in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , being a true gentleman is not about luxury and self-indulgence but hard work and productivity.
The list you have generated is not yet your outline for the essay, but it should provide you with enough similarities and differences to construct an initial plan. Once you have listed similarities and differences, decide whether the similarities on the whole outweigh the differences or vice versa. Create a thesis statement that reflects their relative weights.
A more complex thesis will usually include both similarities and differences. Here are examples of the two main cases:. Although Darwin and Lamarck came to different conclusions about whether acquired traits can be inherited, they shared the key distinction of recognizing that species evolve over time. Note that the French and Russian revolutions A and B may be dissimilar rather than similar in the way they affected innovation in any of the three areas of technology, military strategy, and administration.
To use the alternating method, you just need to have something noteworthy to say about both A and B in each area. Finally, you may certainly include more than three pairs of alternating points: allow the subject matter to determine the number of points you choose to develop in the body of your essay. When do I use the alternating method? A good way to test if you're writing effective topic sentences is to read them by themselves, and see if you can understand the gist of the essay.
Topic sentences are super important because they help the reader follow the flow of your essay, and keep them interested in what you're saying. A topic sentence is usually meant to be an opener for your individual paragraphs. A point is different than a topic sentence such that it may not be a complete idea if you are writing it in draft format, or it is just additional information to the main topic at hand which would be the topic sentence.
In other words, the topic sentence is the main idea of the paragraph, and the point is the additional supporting evidence of the topic sentence. It is much different than a thesis since a thesis or thesis statement is the main idea for potentially your entire written work. If you think of it like a bunch of connecting branches it would flow as thesis statement, topic sentence, point with paragraph included.
For example, I will create a scenario of a written topic on why dogs are cute. The thesis statement would be sentences almost summarizing this point, but not giving so much away that the paper would not be interesting to read. The "point" of something is not necessarily meant to be a sentence.
If you were going to write a paper about the lives of lions then the point of the paper is "the lives of lions. It isn't a full sentence. The point of a paper can be pretty general. A thesis statement tells what specifically you are going to discuss in the whole paper. For example, if we're talking about lions but specifically going to discuss the eating habits of lions, the structure of a pride of lions and the kinds of environments that lions live in, your thesis would state those.
It is more specific that the "point" of a paper. A topic sentence is meant to introduce what the point of a paragraph is. For example, if I want to discuss the eating habits of lions your topic sentence could be "Lions are fierce predators.
Although Darwin and Lamarck came to different conclusions about whether acquired traits can be inherited, they shared the key distinction of recognizing that species evolve over time. Note that the French and Russian revolutions A and B may be dissimilar rather than similar in the way they affected innovation in any of the three areas of technology, military strategy, and administration. To use the alternating method, you just need to have something noteworthy to say about both A and B in each area.
Finally, you may certainly include more than three pairs of alternating points: allow the subject matter to determine the number of points you choose to develop in the body of your essay. When do I use the alternating method? Professors often like the alternating system because it generally does a better job of highlighting similarities and differences by juxtaposing your points about A and B.
It also tends to produce a more tightly integrated and analytical paper. Consider the alternating method if you are able to identify clearly related points between A and B. Otherwise, if you attempt to impose the alternating method, you will probably find it counterproductive. For example, a comparative essay using the block method on the French and Russian revolutions would address the French Revolution in the first half of the essay and the Russian Revolution in the second half.
If you choose the block method, however, do not simply append two disconnected essays to an introductory thesis. The B block, or second half of your essay, should refer to the A block, or first half, and make clear points of comparison whenever comparisons are relevant. A Paragraphs 1—3 in body How the French Revolution encouraged or thwarted innovation B Paragraphs 4—6 in body How the Russian Revolution encouraged or thwarted innovation When do I use the block method? This is an example of how the thesis statement sentence varies by subject.
In this example, we put the thesis statement first. This method is also frequently preferred. Again, we mentioned a specific reason in our example. We will explain this reason in more detail in the development paragraphs. A thesis statement provides us with a guide at this point. We need to look at the thesis statement for the entire article and explain the distractions one by one.
We have made our side clear in the Thesis statement. We have presented two different reasons to choose face-to-face education. It is necessary to focus on these two reasons in development paragraphs. The thesis statement can occur for two or three reasons. If you provide more than one specific reason, you should mention them in the article.
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