You may be assigned to write a compare and contrast essay on different topics. If your task is to discuss similarities and dissimilarities between Australia and New Zealand, consider the following tips on how to organize your writing process.
Before you start writing, make sure that you have extensive background knowledge on both countries. Read your textbook or use online resources to find out as many facts as possible. Write down all the similarities and differences between two countries that you spot while reading.
You don’t need to cover all possible common and divergent features you’ve noticed. You should narrow them down to a few particular aspects. You can study in what ways Australia and New Zealand differ in terms of geography and history or share common features in culture. Read your prompts carefully; it may turn out your teacher specified the points for contrasting. Also, the discipline in which you’re writing your essay will define your approach.
It’s very important to create a clear and meaningful thesis to help your readers understand what main points you’ll cover in your essay. Compare and contrast these two countries right from the start. You may write that although they have a lot in common (geographical position, the first language), they differ in a number of ways (population, climate). You should include those particular areas of likeness and divergence to make your thesis sound more precise. It’s advisable to expand it with the elements of analysis.
There are two popular ways in which you can organize this type of writing.
Discuss everything concerning one country, and then do the same with the second one. For example, cover three main points about Australia; perhaps geography, population, and culture. If it’s a short essay, you should write them in one paragraph; if it’s a lengthy paper, dedicate a separate paragraph for each point. Your next paragraph(s) should cover the same key aspects but in relation to New Zealand. The main pitfall of this kind of organizing for your paper is that it can turn into a simple listing that doesn’t contrast things. To avoid this, include another paragraph where you’ll logically connect the described points.
This type of organization presupposes that you introduce a particular aspect (e.g. population) of one country and immediately compare it with the same aspect of the other. Its main advantage is that readers can clearly see what is being contrasted.