Template of a Compare and Contrast Paper

A compare and contrast paper usually uses two primary source documents, which are analyzed to prove areas where the two source documents have things in common and where the information in the two documents is in direct contrast with each other. Although compare and contrast essays are not limited to two primary source documents, including 3 or more source documents can make the paper confusing for the reader.

A. Title page

See template of a title page.

B. Abstract

As with the other paper templates 150 words maximum in single space summarizing the thesis and main points of the paper.

C. Introduction

Must include the names and authors of the primary source documents as well as a thesis statement and reasons why the thesis statement is important to the genre. In the case of the Capote example we have been using a thesis could either include a comparison of a fictional work of Capote's with In Cold Blood, or the works from another author of the same time period or genre could also be used to show journalistic integrity and lack of bias for example.

D. Main body

The paragraphs following the introduction need to include at least one paragraph each describing the main points of the source documents, at least one paragraph describing similarities between the two works and another paragraph describing areas of contrast between the two works, with the focus still remaining on the original thesis statement. In most cases where two source documents are being compared there will be a minimum of five paragraphs in the main body of the paper, each one containing quotations from the source documents and other secondary sources. Normally, the main body of a compare and contrast paper includes:

  • One or more paragraphs discussing similarities of the subject
  • One or more paragraphs contrasting the two sources
  • E. Conclusion

    The conclusion in a compare/contrast essay should highlight the main comparison and contrast points without introducing any new material. This paragraph will then tie the information from the body of the paper to the thesis statement given in the introductory paragraph.

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