English for Language Studies


Text type 1: Compare-and-contrast essay

A compare-and-contrast essay discusses the similarities and differences between two or more topics. The paper should contain an introduction with a thesis statement, a body where the comparisons and contrasts are discussed, and a conclusion. 

IntroductionApart from briefly introducing the background of your topics/ themes, a compare-and-contrast essay also needs a thesis statement. The thesis statement should not only tell your reader what you will do, but it should also address the purpose and importance of comparing and contrasting the material. 

BodyBecause this is a compare-and-contrast essay, both the similarities and differences should be discussed. This will require analysis on your part, as some topics will appear to be quite similar, and you will have to work to find the differing elements. There are two ways to construct the body paragraphs, namely using a block or a point-by-point structure. For the block structure, all of the information about one of the objects being compared/contrasted is given first, and all of the information about the other object is listed afterwards. For the point-by-point structure, each similarity (or difference) for one object is followed immediately by the similarity (or difference) for the other. Both types of structure have their merits. The former is easier to write, while the latter is generally clearer as it ensures that the similarities/differences are more explicit. 

Block style: 

Object 1 – Point 1 
Object 1 – Point 2 
Object 1 – Point 3 
Transition paragraph 
Object 2 – Point 1 
Object 2 – Point 2 
Object 2 – Point 3 

Point-by-point style: 


Point 1: 
Object 1  Object 2 

Point 2: 
Object 1  Object 2 

Point 3: 
Object 1  Object 2 


Conclusion: To conclude an essay, you have to draw its main argument to a close. The best way to learn how it’s done is to analyse our compare and contrast essay conclusion sample. But before we go there, you need to know the key elements of the closing paragraph. To make a conclusion in an essay, make sure to write the following: 

  • Paraphrased Thesis Statement 

The core sentence of your conclusion is a paraphrased thesis statement. It must capture the main idea of the essay and its scope. An example of an effective paraphrase is below: 

  • Points of Comparison 

Call the reader’s attention to the similarities and differences between the compared subjects by discussing several points of comparison. There is no need to reiterate each argument in your conclusion; mention only the most important ones. 

  • Your Opinion 

If an essay prompt calls for an evaluative approach, make sure to take a position in favour of one subject over the other. To understand whether there is a need for your opinion in the conclusion, look for the following words in the prompt: evaluateexplainassesschoose, and analyse among others. Explain your position in reference to the main points of comparison. 

Citation style: APA (7th edition) 

Text type 2: Critical analysis essay

A critical analysis essay requires its writers to write a critical evaluation of an argument. The main purpose of a critical analysis essay is to tell a reader about a subject, and to explain its purpose and meaning. You will also need to present your personal point of view and critically analyse the subject. 

Background Information: Give the readers some context; help them understand the nature of the work.  

  • Information 
  • Title 
  • Author 
  • Publication information 
  • Statement of topic and purpose 
  • Thesis statement: After giving the reader some context, provide your reaction to the work in a thesis statement. 

Summary: Demonstrate your understanding of the source, as described in the Summary section above. 

Critical Analysis (Interpretation and Evaluation): Here is where you finally present your analysis of the work based on your reading and critical evaluation.  

  • Talk about how the source is organized; 
  • Discuss the style and rhetoric of the source; 
  • How Effective was the source and the message; 
  • How was the topic treated; was the writer biased or did he do it justice? 
  • Discuss how the source appealed to its target audience 

ConclusionA key thing to remember is that you should not introduce any new ideas or arguments to your paper's conclusion. It should only sum up what you have already written, revisit your thesis statement, and end with a powerful final impression. The following are some points to consider when writing the conclusion: 

  • Wrap up” the entire paper 
  • Demonstrate to readers that the author accomplished what he/she set out to do 
  • Show how you the author has proved their thesis statement 
  • Give a sense of completeness and closure on the topic 
  • Leave something extra for your reader to think about 
  • Leave a powerful final impact on a reader 

Citation style: APA (7th edition) 

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