Comparecontrast writing

How are two things different from and like each other?

This is a very common structure. It shows the similarities and differences between two things and, in the process, it tells you more about each of them. One common feature of university writing is that the 'things' may well be quite abstract or intangible - for example, two different social policies or two different psychological theories. You can handle the compare/contrast structure by moving back and forth between both 'things' or by discussing each in turn. This structure might form the main part of your assignment or it may be used for just a part of it. The need for it may well be identifiable in the title of an assignment.

The following kinds of writing are less to do with the way the writing is organized or shaped as with what you are actually doing as you write; in other words, we are concerned with the work that the particular type of organization is doing.

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