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I am trying to write a paragraph comparing two of my friends, can you give me some...

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rozh | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:56 PM via web

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I am trying to write a paragraph comparing two of my friends, can you give me some ideas for comparison?

I did not think yet of my friends characteristics yet to compare between them so please provide some ideas.

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shmarold9 | Student | Honors

Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:15 PM (Answer #1)

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You can compare (find simililarities) and contrast (find differences) the following:

  • favorite colors
  • favorite music (not only songs, but genres and styles as well)
  • residence (house, apartment, homeless, currently moving to a new address, etc)
  • ambitions and goals for the future (short-term goals and long-term goals, careers, special trips planned, etc)
  • general style (casual, sporty, fashion-conscious, etc)
  • outstanding traits (friendly, warm, clever, bubbly, athletic, intelligent, optimistic, patient, loyal, kind, understanding, helpful, generous, caring, sensible, etc)
  • best assets (good listener, good at building things, can fix anything using mechanical tools, tells interesting and entertaining stories, has common sense, has leadership ability, etc)
  • favorite foods and beverages
  • family size (how many brothers, how many sisters, how many pets and what kind, etc)
  • at least one unique thing that you like about each friend (for example, you can say one friend has great handwriting and the other friend is a terrific cook, or one friend is a good dancer and the other friend is a good singer, etc)
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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 10, 2012 at 10:15 PM (Answer #2)

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For a compare and contrast essay of two of my friends, I would first decide the perspective from which I would compare them. This is what I would be presenting again in my concluding paragraph:

Despite their different characteristics, it is possible to have different kinds of friends—each unique in his or her own way.

Before you begin your brainstorming of characteristics, anticipate the message of your paper:

A good paper will not simply offer a summary...Your job is to think about how these comparisons and contrasts create meaningful connections to a larger issue.

In other words...

It is up to you to argue why those similarities and differences matter...

Delve into the importance of having true friends: why is it "meaningful?" 

Here, begin my brainstorming. Identify what you value most and go from there, listing specific characteristics: honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness, and support during difficult and good times, etc.

Then look at characteristics that make you want to spend time with them:

  • Can they make me laugh?
  • Do they think I'm funny, too?
  • Are they good listeners?
  • Can my friends tell me the truth?
  • Just as important, how is my friend honest—in a caring way?
  • What motivates my friend to be my friend—kindness, support and love? Or competitiveness and/or insecurity?
  • Will my friend not to embarrass me in public.
  • Finally, is my friend willing to put the world on hold if I'm in need? 

These are the things that matter to me. You might have others: someone who likes to have fun, or someone you can take vacations or join in some kind of athletics with. If your friends are similar, then the ways in which they differ may be more subtle. If they are not alike, the differences may be more dramatic. Remember the position you are taking about friends, as discussed at the beginning.

Now introduce your topic with your thesis statement. I would follow this with what "true friend" means to me. At the end of the introductory paragraph, I'd provide a general idea about the importance in having friends: it may be as simple as making you comfortable enough to be yourself. (Make sure it is general.) 

Before you start the body paragraph, choose the form of organization you will use, and follow the pattern throughout your writing. You might start with the most important qualities of the friend and move to the less important, or vice versa. Note: try not to cover too many characteristics (or your paper will be really long); and for each characteristic you list, provide an example supporting the importance of this characteristic.

In a new paragraph, I would write about one friend and the things that make her/him special. Then I would write a new paragraph and describe your second friend. In yet another paragraph, I would concentrate on what makes the two alike, and if there is enough information, write another paragraph on how they are different. If they are very similar, you may be able to cover this in one paragraph. (At this point you are providing the compare and contrast.)

In your conclusion (when you summarize, pull it all together, deliver your "clincher"), you need to avoid any specifics or new information. I would—as mentioned in the introduction—make a general statement about both friends being special despite their differences, and note that it is possible to have different kinds of friends who are special not only because of what you have in common with them, but because each is unique in his or her own way.

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