Crafting an Unforgettable College Essay Most selective colleges require you to submit an essay or personal statement as part of your application. It may sound like a chore, and it will certainly take a substantial amount of work.
You may choose to focus exclusively on comparing, exclusively on contrasting, or on both-or your instructor may direct you to do one or both. First, pick useable subjects and list their characteristics. In fact, their individual characteristics determine whether the subjects are useable.
After that, choose a parallel pattern of organization and effective transitions to set your paper above the merely average. Picking a subject Focus on things that can obviously be compared or contrasted.
For instance, if you are examining an idea political or philosophical examine the opposite of that idea. Or, if you are examining a person, like a president, pick another president for comparison or contrast.
Don't try to compare a president and a cab driver, or existentialism and a legislative bill on car tax refunds. Listing characteristics Divide a piece of paper into two sides.
One side is for the first subject, the other for the second subject. Then, begin to list the similarities and differences that immediately come to mind. Concentrate on characteristics that either are shared or are opposing between the two subjects.
Alternately, you may construct a Venn diagram of intersecting circles, listing the subjects' differences to either side and their similarities where the circles intersect.
Keep in mind that for a balanced paper, you want to make point-by-point, parallel comparisons or contrasts. Similarities between my math and English instructors: Both are welcoming and available to students.
Both are organized and keep a neat office. Both are knowledgeable and professional. Differences between my math and English instructors Math teacher listens to classic rock.
English teacher listens to jazz. Math teacher drinks Earl Grey tea.
English teacher drinks strong black coffee. Math teacher likes to chat about movies. English teacher sticks to business.
As you create your list, is it clear why you are comparing and contrasting these two subjects? Do you have a preference for one or the other? If so, make sure you are evaluating each side fairly.
A point-by-point list helps you maintain balance. Once you have a list, decide whether there are more similarities or differences between the topics. If there are more similarities, concentrate your paper on comparing.
If there are more differences or if, as in the example above, the differences are simply more interestingconcentrate on contrasting.
If there is a balance of similarities and differences, you might concentrate on discussing this balance. Imagine you are examining Robert E.
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