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Writing an essay on Taoism and Confucianism step by step

Taoism and Confucianism are two Chinese religious philosophies. They appeared over 2500 years ago and have been popular since then. These philosophical streams are studied in contemporary colleges and universities and are usually compared to one another as they have similarities. They are also different in some aspects that is why they can be contrasted.

You may get an assignment to write a compare-and-contrast essay on Taoism and Confucianism. In this article, you will find step-by-step instructions on how to write such an essay.

Understanding the core ideas of Confucianism and taoism

Before you write your compare-and-contrast essay, read several sources about the subject (Taoism and Confucianism). Below you will find the main ideas of these two philosophical streams.

Taoism considers Tao (unknown force) to be the moving energy of the universe. The word Tao has various meanings. In all, it denotes the ultimate reality. If we know about Tao, we can explain the existence of the universe and human beings. The followers of this philosophic theory believe in the unity of everything. People often forget about Tao and unity. In these cases, they make up such opinions as good or bad, kind or evil, etc. Oneness is to be remembered by every Taoist.

The principal goal of Confucianism consisted of becoming more human. Confucius believed that every individual should behave with virtue and courtesy. State, community, family unite and ensure harmony and order. Virtue in all aspects and forms is called Jen. Tao and Jen are somewhat similar. There were special Confucian ceremonies and procedures. Some of them had rigid rituals, such as birth and marriage.

Study the sources carefully to understand the two philosophical streams. Now your task is to write a compare-and-contrast essay using this information.

A simple algorithm to write a compare and contrast essay

The goal of writing a compare-and-contrast essay is in measuring similarities and differences. Follow this simple algorithm in writing your compare and contrast essay.

It will help you to make your essay impressive:

  • Select a topic.
  • State similarities and differences.
  • Think of a structure for your essay.
  • Craft your outline and get down to writing.
  • Carefully check and proofread your essay.

Choose a topic for you compare-and-contrast essay on Taoism and confucianism

A compare-and-contrast essay examines two subjects by comparing or contrasting them, or both. In your case, these subjects are Taoism and Confucianism. When you choose a topic, consider writing about something significant and interesting to you. Don't choose a topic that is too broad. Make sure you choose a topic for which there are a lot of sources that you can use.

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Similarities and differences between Confucianism and taoism

In Taoism and Confucianism several aspects are similar:

  • The country of origin of both philosophical streams in China.
  • The time of the appearance of both Taoism and Confucianism is more than 2500 years ago.
  • Both Confucianism and Taoism search for harmony and try to make human society better.

Among the differences you can single out the following aspects:

  • Taoists believe in nature. Confucianists believe in human nature, in God.
  • Taoists focus on nature, Confucianists try to improve society.
  • Taoists believe women should be respected, Confucianists consider women inferior.

How to choose a structure for your compare and contrast essay

There are several ways in which you can organize comparison and contrast of two philosophical streams:

  1. Examine similarities and differences point by point. This structure seems most appropriate for the reader. In this case, you should be very well informed about what you are going to write. Study the material thoroughly if you choose this type of structure. Example: Taoism and Confucianism are both religious philosophies. Give reasons to support this point. Then discuss the differences, how these two religious philosophies differ.
  2. Discuss peculiarities subject by subject. For example, you start with Confucianism. You tell the reader about its origins, characteristic beliefs, and common practices. Then you describe Taoism in the same order. This structure is convenient for the writer, but in some cases, the reader might be confused. For example, if you don't pay enough attention and forget to compare all significant aspects.
  3. Compare the subjects and then contrast them. This type of structure is convenient both for you and for the reader. First, you write about the similarities between Taoism and Confucianism. Then you discuss the differences.

Craft an outline for your compare-and-contrast essay. Get down to writing

Though you write your outline in your draft copy, it is an essential part of your writing process. After you decided what structure you will use, it's time to outline the main parts of your essay. Traditionally, your essay will include an introduction, body, and conclusion.

In your introduction, you state your intent to write a compare and contrast essay on Confucianism and Taoism. You will explain why you chose this topic, why it is relevant and deserve attention. Write a spectacular thesis statement.

Your body paragraphs will be organized according to the type of structure you've chosen earlier.

There are a lot of aspects to compare and contrast in Taoism and Confucianism. In one essay you can't pay attention to every aspect of these two religious philosophies. Choose two aspects and compare them. For example, you can choose to compare and contrast views on society and the universe.

Your arguments should be supported by examples and quotes. Transitional words and phrases will help to preserve the logical structure and oneness of the essay.

In your conclusion, you summarize your ideas. The thesis statement should not just be written in other words. Try to develop your thought further in the light of what you have written in the body.

Check and proofread your compare and contrast essay

Now that you've written your essay on Taoism and Confucianism, it turns to check it for errors. What makes an essay superb? Logical structure, clear and concise language and compliance with the topic. Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation are also very significant.

Check the structure of your sentences, spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Rectify the mistakes, if there are any. Scrupulously proofread your essay.

To write a compare-and-contrast essay may seem a complicated task. It is thought-provoking. If you know the material and pay attention to details, it's quite achievable for you to write a remarkable essay.

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