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Definition of a good roommate Compare and Contrast Essay

Roommates are an essential part of life especially in college. Most students prefer this option because it is a simple and affordable way to start life in the big bad world completely independent. Besides this, it provides an opportunity for forming social relationships. So who makes a good roommate? This paper will examine the qualities of the given roommate posters and use these posters to compare and contrast these qualities.

The definition of a good roommate to me would be a person who is out-going, tidy, responsible, considerate, diligent and most importantly sociable. These are just a few characteristics that define what is desirable to me in choosing a roommate and are my guidelines when choosing a roommate. But a few more come to mind, though this can be considered to be picky and thus rule me out of someone else’s list.

For example, from experience I have come to realize that people hate being told what to do so a good roommate should naturally be responsible since this eliminates the potential for friction. I had a roommate who used to skip class then later on vilify me for being selfish and inconsiderate for not insisting on her going to class with me.

Another example is the issue of tidiness. Who wants to come into their abode and be greeted by a mirage of dirty laundry or half-eaten sandwiches? This not only breeds pests and diseases, but is also a general discomfort (for most people).

Consideration for others’ wellbeing and their personal values is an important element for amiable relationships. A roommate who brings strange house guests into the house at all hours and shows no concern for one’s privacy and personal space is quite irritating.

Diligence is a quality that is essential. If you are too lazy to do simple tasks as clean up after yourself then late rent payments and dependency are bound to follow soon.

Lastly, sociability and being out-going is important to maintaining a friendly relationship. For example in the ad put up by Bryan, he expects that there be little or no social interaction between him and his roommate. He may get very few responses because most people like to have friends as roommates with whom they could hang out. On the other hand, most people would want to hang out with an edgy and rude person.

Comparison and contrast is a one of the types of rhetorical mode.

As discussed earlier, Bryan is an edgy roommate, can be rude, inconsiderate and irresponsible as well as generally anti-social. Bryan is different to Shap and Otto in these ways. Bryan is not very particular about his roommate except for minor specifications that suggest his dislikes and dislikes but not how the person should behave or what they should cook or how they should cook.

His only specifications are in regard to being in the apartment when he is present. In relation to my specifications, Bryan is quite a far-cry from my ideals. He is untidy, anti-social, irresponsible as described by his statements about rent, and may be a tad lazy. He also seems like an introvert. On the other hand, Bryan shares some similarities with Otto and Shap.

Otto is friendly, warm, considerate, hospitable but very particular even about his dog! He contrasts the others in the ads put up in that he tries to be more receptive and hospitable to the potential roommate although he is the most particular of all in terms of cooking, personal time and music. He seems to be making an effort to make a friend out of the roommate and has no problem with having guests. He seems rational. This is in line with my ideals but in terms of tidiness, responsibility, nature of his personality and diligence but he contrasts these ideals when it comes to his pickiness.

Shap is friendly and quite particular too. He can be quite contradictory in his specifications since he discourages drinking yet he puts his alcohol under lock and key. Also, he cites the roof top deck as an attractive feature which he does not the potential roommate to access it.

Most of his specifications are also ridiculous. For example, he wants a roommate who sleeps in the street, goes out to eat most of the time and has no social life. Differences between him and the others are his insensitivity towards the potential roommate’s personal freedom and his general prejudice.

Similarities between Shap and the other ads are the particularism when it comes to guests and the cooking. I find that he is obnoxious and prejudicial. There are major differences that distinguish him as a candidate for me: his obnoxious character that is not a sociable quality and his prejudice against ugly people. Similarities between his specifications and mine are the tidiness and responsibility as seen in his comment about recycling newspapers.

Cause and effect is another rhetorical mode that can be used to analyze the ads. Shap’s causes for needing a roommate a re not specified but can be inferred from his final comments on the physical attractiveness of the potential roommate. His reasons for looking for a roommate may be to find a partner who will comply with his rules and is willing to pay up quick and beforehand.

He also seems that he may be conning the potential tenant as he wants payment in advance and for another six months that the tenant may not utilize. The effects of this may be friction and a tense atmosphere because the tenant may not want to be pursued or is unwilling to pay for a full year based on an open house.

Otto’s causes seem to be motivated by money with the added bonus of friendship. The effects of this are that he finds a roommate who is responsible and friendly and who can help alleviate some of his financial burdens.

Bryan’s reasons or causes for looking for a roommate may also be financially motivated. This can result in a roommate who helps pay for rent but is very uncomfortable and thus may want to move out soon and leaving him in the same position as before all over again.

Narrative is another rhetorical mode. This is an anecdote of a friend’s encounter with his first roommate.

Andrew put up an ad for a roommate and after a matter of a few weeks he found his ideal roommate. She was funny, friendly, tidy, mature, kind hearted and never delayed on monthly payment of rent. They got along well and as fate would have it they shared some classes.

Of course there is no perfect person in the world and this showed in her laxity to pick up laundry from the floor and her incessant need to be around him most of the time. Andrew was mindful of this because he also had annoying habits. After some time they developed deeper feelings and started going out with each other and eventually got married. In summary, one should be careful in choosing roommates and should learn the value of compromise.


In conclusion, the ads put up by Otto, Shap and Bryan say a lot about their respective personalities and are an indication to potential tenants of what they may be in for. Otto seems to be the most genuine and open-minded and may get more calls. He seems to be the most compatible with my personality based on my ideals and those that are implied by his statements in the ad. He seems friendly, accommodating and hospitable. Based on the comparison and contrast analyses, he seems least likely to butt heads with.

Shap and Bryan are the polar opposites of my ideals. They are too picky and anti-social. Shap is prejudicial and seems quite difficult to be around while Bryan is just generally not a person who likes to be around people. His statements in the ad suggest and reinforce his assertion that he is rude and is not interested in making friends. As mentioned above, no one likes to be bossed around!

Lastly, it is important to note that roommates have the potential to influence our lives drastically as shown in the anecdote about Andrew and his bride. The key points in choosing one are summed up in two concepts: personality and ability to keep up rent payments.

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IvyPanda. (2018, May 10). Definition of a good roommate. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/definition-of-a-good-roommate/

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"Definition of a good roommate." IvyPanda, 10 May 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/definition-of-a-good-roommate/.

1. IvyPanda. "Definition of a good roommate." May 10, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/definition-of-a-good-roommate/.


IvyPanda. "Definition of a good roommate." May 10, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/definition-of-a-good-roommate/.


IvyPanda. 2018. "Definition of a good roommate." May 10, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/definition-of-a-good-roommate/.


IvyPanda. (2018) 'Definition of a good roommate'. 10 May.

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