If you're asked to contrast two things, then you're being asked to tell people how they are different.
So just be aware, when you're doing compare/contrast, sometimes you may be asked to compare or contrast, sometimes you may be asked to do both.
So that is selecting which two things I'm going to use in my essay and then understanding am I being asked to compare, contrast or do both of those. And then the next step is to pre-write and develop categories.
So obviously if we're talking about how things are similar and different, we are going to start categorizing the ways that they are similar or different.
Depending on the depth of your assignment, you might also consider bringing in outside criticism to back up your points.
If that's required or recommended, though, your teacher will probably let you know.You can't write a good compare and contrast essay without first reading what you've been assigned!Moreover, to generate a good essay you've got to read them carefully.Pick out elements, for instance, that are central to the identity of both works.Consider their major themes, main characters and the messages of each - it's likely one of these things will provide the basis for your essay.Once you've read everything you have to, draw up lists of how those works are similar and different to each other.This is when those notes you might've taken back in step one could come in handy.You could split them up into two paragraphs on each text (one for comparing and one for contrasting) or two paragraphs that compare both works and two that hold all the contrast.Or you might find a hybrid of those two ideas works best - you'll want to go with whatever you think does the best service to your paper.Once you're satisfied with your lists, you can go back through and cherry-pick the points you feel are most importantly similar and different.Here you should be looking for the things that you think will lead to the most compelling essay you can write.