Compare and contrast is a common style of academic writing that discusses similarities and differences of two or more things, ideas, concepts etc. By assigning you such papers, your instructors expect that you’ll use your analytical and critical thinking skills to establish connections between ideas or theories and produce an essay that demonstrates your thorough understanding of the topic.
If that sounds too challenging for you, read this easy guide where we discuss how to write a compare and contrast essay in leadership studies. You’ll learn how to get started and organize your work in an efficient manner. We’ll give you simple instructions on how to choose a good topic, create an outline, develop a thesis, and write and edit your draft. If you face difficulties with other types of academic papers, check out other articles on our website. Here you’ll find full guides to all writing assignments out there.
In the compare and contrast essay in leadership studies, you need to examine two or more topics (ideas, concepts, theories, historical figures, texts, processes etc.). Your task is to compare their similarities and contrast their differences. You may focus your essay exclusively on comparison and write about what your subjects have in common, exclusively on contrast and explain how they differ or you may do the both.
The key to writing a good compare and contrast essay is to choose subjects that are connected in a meaningful way. That means that you need to choose two or more things that belong to the same category and have something in common so that you can determine the basis of comparison. Then you should create a list of their characteristics and choose a pattern for organizing your ideas. Let’s discuss each step of the writing process in detail.
Leadership studies is a multidisciplinary field so it focuses on diverse topics related to leadership in human life and in organizational context. When writing your compare and contrast essay, you can explain differences and similarities in leadership styles, approaches to decision making, problem-solving, conflict management etc.
Choose a topic for your essay that you are interested in and make sure it is relevant to your course of study. It’s important to select a topic that you can argue. Then pick 2 or more subjects that can be obviously compared and contrasted. That means that they should be different enough to be compared and belong to the same or similar category to ensure that your comparison makes sense. For example, if you decide to examine an idea, you should select the opposite idea for comparison. And if you decide to examine a person, for example, a political or business leader, you should pick another political or business leader for comparison and contrast.
If you can’t decide what to write about in your compare and contrast essay in leadership studies, feel free to use this short list of impressive compare and contrast essay topics which we created to help you come up with your own ideas.
Now you have to brainstorm the qualities of each subject and use some pre-writing techniques to organize your ideas.
As you are comparing and contrasting two subjects, it’s important to maintain the balance of similarities and differences and evaluate each of your subjects fairly. If you find that there are more similarities between your subjects than differences, you may focus your essay on comparing. If there are more differences, it would be better to focus your paper on contrasting. And if there is a balance of differences and similarities, you may discuss both similarities and differences.
Decide what key points you’ll include in your essay and do additional research to find relevant evidence and examples that you will use to support your argument. As you read your sources, make notes of interesting ideas that you can quote or paraphrase in your essay with proper referencing.
When you gather enough information to support your ideas, you should create a strong and highly specific thesis statement. You should clearly state whether you are going to compare your subjects, contrast them or discuss both their similarities and differences. Your thesis statement should also make it clear why you are doing so. Remember that the point of comparing and contrasting is to present useful information to your readers. For example, if the purpose of your compare and contrast essay is to examine cognitive intelligence vs. emotional intelligence, your thesis may look like this:
‘While both emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence are importance for person’s success in life, cognitive intelligence can better predict performance on individual tasks while emotional intelligence is more important for building stronger relationships at work and achieving career goals.’
Now you should decide how you are going to organize your compare and contrast essay. There are two methods that you can use to structure your argument: the point-by-point method and the block method.
No matter which organization pattern you use in your essay, you should include lots of transitional words and phrases that show when you are discussing similarities and differences. Here are some examples of compare and contrast structure words.
You should follow the basic essay structure that consists of an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. Let’s discuss how to write each part of your essay.
The purpose of an introductory paragraph is to engage your audience and inform them about the topic of your essay. You should use ‘general to specific; structure.
Each body paragraph should discuss one main point and have a single controlling idea. Besides, each paragraph should explain, prove, and support your main claim or thesis statement. You may structure each body paragraph this way.
Make sure you include transition words and phrases between sentences and paragraphs to help your audience see connections between your thoughts. You may use such transitional words and phrases to clarify relationships between different sentences in your essay: for example, in this case, furthermore, therefore, however, that, who, which, when, although, while etc.
A conclusion is one of the most important parts of any paper. It’s your last chance to emphasize the significance of your argument and make a final impression on your reader. Here are some tips on how you can do it right.
When you finish the first draft of your essay, you should put it aside for at least a couple of hours and then revise it and edit. When you revise, your goal is to improve the content and the logical flow of your ideas. You may want to add some additional information or remove some paragraphs and sentences to ensure that your ideas better fit the chosen topic. You should also fix some issues in the logic and organize your writing in way that your readers can understand your message. Besides, you should improve the sentence structure and word choice to ensure that your essay is clear and concise.
After that, you need to edit your essay and fix minor issues like grammar and spelling errors or awkward words and phrases that may prevent your readers from fully understanding your argument. Finally, should polish your essay and eliminate grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors and typos that you may have overlooked. You should also reread your compare and contrast essay in leadership studies once again and make sure that there are no sentences that don’t make sense. You should also check your citations and make sure that you cite your sources strictly according the guidelines of a specific citation style.
Writing a powerful compare and contrast essay in leadership studies is a rather time-consuming process so it’s important to start early to ensure that you’ll have enough time for brainstorming your ideas, planning your essay, writing a draft, editing, and proofreading. We hope that our guide will help you organize the writing process, successfully cope with your assignment, and impress your professor.