How to Write a Research Paper: Comparing and Contrasting Techniques to Apply

The process of comparing and contrasting items, ideas or concepts has been a staple of research paper for as long as the art has been around. When you compare and contrast two separate variables, you are not only looking at what makes them different but also how sometimes they might be relatively similar to one another.

Several techniques can be used when writing your paper to establish a smarter approach to comparing and contrasting items. These are organized based on how concepts are introduced. These may also be chosen based on how you plan on writing about certain ideas as they come up.

  • Block
    The block approach to comparing and contrasting is the first technique worth reviewing. This works in that you will review one subject in its entirety before moving on to the next. This works best when you have the same number of points to discuss among each entity.
    The key part of the block is that it keeps the subject matter under control. It focuses on one very specific subject before moving on to the next. This gives you a clear idea of what you can talk about. It also shows each item as a whole and can help to link certain attributes with each other.
    You can especially use this to give off a clear understanding of how different two entities might be. You could go in one direction on a certain item and then go in a different one for the second. This is to show that while two items may be contending with one another, they might have drastically differing points in many forms. You will have to explain in detail how each item in a listing is different so you can show readers who makes certain concepts different in some way.
  • Point-by-Point
    The second approach to use is the point-by-point technique. In this format, you will introduce the two concepts together and then compare them side by side within certain points. You will discuss how the two differ or are similar based on one attribute and then do the same for the next point and so forth. This establishes a clear review of many individual variables that may be shared by two items.
    You can do this if you have a defined number of qualities shared among each item that you are writing about. This might work best if you are trying to compare individual products in a line or certain brands within the same industry.
  • Venn Diagram
    The Venn diagram approach can be applied as well. This allows you to visually display how two items are alike and different from each other. You will write about individual points for each entity and then illustrate the diagram to show that there are some things that two items have that they share with one another.
    This could be used with as many items as you want. You can even apply three or four separate spaces in your diagram for multiple items. This is especially to show if two items are alike in some way but a third or fourth are both radically different from the others.

As you compare and contrast ideas, you must show in your research paper that you clearly understand what you want to discuss when looking at two or more separate items. You must choose a proper method for comparing and contrasting based on what you feel is sensible and appropriate. This is all to give off a clear understanding of how two different items work and how they might be different from one another.

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