How to start off a compare and contrast essay? I’m comparing the iPod to the iPod video?
Writers using a comparison/contrast structure might begin by discussing the ways in which corsets are similar to footbinding, then they move to a description of the ways in which the two ideas are different. This method is probably the one used most commonly.
A quick outline comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding shows one way that such a paper might be structured.
II. Corsets and footbinding are similar.
III. Corsets and footbinding are different.
This structure focuses on the comparison and contrast instead of on the two ideas (e.g., corsetry and footbinding) being compared and contrasted.
A quick, specific, outline of how a paper comparing and then contrasting corsets and footbinding might look:
2. Corsets and footbinding are similar
3. Both practiced in the far past, through the 19th century, and into the 20th.
4. Both restrict women’s movement and impair health.
5. Both practiced by women of all classes, though most people imagine tight-
lacing and footbinding were limited to the upper class.
6. To use Veblen’s argument, both enhance man’s value in the culture to be
responsible for women who were too delicate to work.
7. Both practiced by women on women. Women laced corsets; women boundfeet.
8. Corsets and footbinding are different
9. Chinese culture is radically different from that of western Europe and America.
10. Every Chinese woman so bound was deformed for life; only most extremecases of tight-lacing did permanent damage.
11. Corsets trivialized by everybody since the end of the dress reform movement.
Clearly, the sequence is important. If you begin with the comparison, then the contrast will get emphasis – the logical movement is from thinking about similarities to thinking about differences. If you begin by contrasting the ideas (and then move toward a comparison), the similarities get emphasis.