How To Ace Your Compare And Contrast Essay On A Movie And A Book

Students love watching movies produced on the basis of the books they have just read. This can be used as an opportunity to practice their skills of writing compare and contrast essays. Although a movie reiterates the plot of a book, a variety of differences can be noticed in the style, themes, focus, and details of two pieces. To write a strong compare and contrast paper, you should discuss both similarities and differences and analyze why they occur.

Searching for Similar and Different Features

While it may be easy to trace similarities and differences in the plot, your task is more than that. Include your personal analysis to make your essay stronger. Answer the following questions:

  • What themes are emphasized more in the book or the movie? What details are omitted in the movie? Do any new ideas appear in it?
  • What do your observations tell about the strong and weak points of the book or the movie?
  • How do the time periods when the book was written and the film was produced affect their plots?
  • What audiences are these two different mediums aimed at and how does that affect their plots?

Pre-Writing Stage

If you are clear about the points that should be included in your essay, think how you’ll organize them. Take the following steps:

  • Arrange your similarities and differences in a Venn diagram or simply create a list with two separate columns.
  • Present your points in the order you want to use them in your paper.
  • Decide whether you want to contrast or compare first. Proceed from the least important to the most important. Namely, if the differences are more significant, start with the similarities.
  • Create an outline. If you discuss similarities of the movie and the book in one paragraph and write about differences in another, you’ll get two body paragraphs. If you want to compare and contrast separate points of two mediums, the number of body paragraphs will depend on the number of these points.

Writing Stage

  • Create an introduction. Start your essay with a hook (a quote or an intriguing question). Give some general background on the topic. Present your thesis statement. Remember that your thesis should not only hint at differences and similarities but also answer the “so what?” question.
  • Write the body. Follow your outline and use appropriate transitions.
  • Conclude effectively. Restate your thesis and summarize your points. Let your reader understand that the synthesis of all of these points gives them the opportunity to learn something new about both the movie and the book.