Organization is crucial to a Compare and Contrast paper. With all the characteristics and observations to keep track of, the reader needs to be able to follow the overall ideas of the paper with ease. The introduction is the perfect place to establish the pattern and basis of comparison, which usually ends up being the thesis statement. Because the writer will want to give equal weight to each subject and each characteristic, there will need to be a sense of balance in the essay. Here are two common patterns for organizing and balancing information within a compare and contrast paper. Use the following two patterns to create an outline for your paper. Remember that even a compare and contrast paper will require transitions between ideas. Don't let it be a simple list of characteristics!
Let's look at an example using the characteristic pattern: Slinky vs. Spring
The slinky and spring share a similar shape and material, but have different purposes derived from their different types of movement. The conclusion would focus on the point for the comparison, why you told the reader about the similarities and differences between a slinky and a spring.