By: Dorothy M.
8 min read
Reviewed By: Rylee W.
Published on: Oct 7, 2022
Writing a compare and contrast essay can be difficult, especially if you don't know where to start.
Most students find writing a compare and contrast essay to be a daunting task. This is because it can be difficult to come up with an interesting topic, as well as find enough information to write about.
Our guide provides everything you need to know about writing a successful compare and contrast essay.
We'll show you how to structure your essay, as well as give you tips on what to include. Plus, we provide examples so you can see how it's done.
Without further ado, let's start!
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A compare and contrast essay is an essay that dives deeper into finding similarities and differences between two or more topics, people, events, and/or objects.
This type of essay requires the writer to critically analyze each topic side-by-side, exploring how they are alike and different.
It's unique because it requires not only analysis but also a well-thought-out argument based on the findings.
These types of essays often use rhetorical devices such as "on the one hand," "on the other hand," and "similarly" to lay out their arguments.
If you're looking for an assignment that really makes you think critically about two topics, then a compare and contrast essay may be just your ticket!
To achieve success in writing a compare and contrast essay, it is paramount to understand the fundamental elements of its structure.
Follow these steps to write a compelling comparative essay in no time.
1. Choose Your Subject
The first step to writing a compare and contrast essay is to choose your subject. This can be anything from two different books to two different historical figures.
As long as you can find enough similarities and differences between your two subjects, you should be able to write a successful compare and contrast essay.
2. Make a List of Similarities and Differences
Once you have chosen your subject, it is time to make a list of all the similarities and differences between your two subjects.
This will help you to see what points you need to focus on in your essay.
Try to come up with at least three similarities and three differences for each subject.
3. Choose a Format
There are several different ways that you can format a compare and contrast essay.
The most common format is the point-by-point method, in which you alternate between discussing the two subjects one point at a time.
Another common method is the subject-by-subject method, in which you discuss one subject fully before moving on to the other.
4. Introduce Your Essay
When it comes to introducing an essay, compare and contrast essays pose an interesting challenge.
It’s important to draw the reader in by providing a vivid image that sets the context for the rest of your work.
Here is how to do it!
This could be a fact, quote or intriguing sentence that pulls the reader in and keeps them engaged.
This will set a foundation for your comparison and ensure that readers have an understanding of what you are discussing before diving deeper into the topic.
Your comparison should effectively highlight their distinguishing characteristics so readers can easily comprehend both.
Whichever route you choose, make sure the introduction provides the reader with enough information to understand the rest of your discussion.
5. Write Your Body Paragraphs
The body paragraphs of your essay provide the essential information and data to your reader, illuminating ideas with well-researched evidence.
Each body paragraph should start with a topic sentence that introduces the point you will be discussing in that paragraph.
As for the conclusion of your paragraphs, that is when you will delve into analyzing any last factors between both subjects to draw a comparison.
To both inform and impress your reader, incorporate some factual information in your essay. This will give them the opportunity to learn something new while they enjoy reading it!
Your conclusion should briefly restate your main points and explain why your comparison is noteworthy.
Your compare and contrast essay conclusion should include the following;
Whether you’re searching for ideas to write a compare and contrast essay on or simply looking for inspiration, these examples below will help you.
Writing an impressive essay begins with finding examples from which to learn. These exemplars reveal the pattern and structure of a successful essay, providing writers with insight into how to create their own essays.
By examining compare and contrast essays you can uncover valuable information that will guide you in crafting your own masterpiece.
Want to get a top score for your next assignment? Take a look at how compare and contrast essays are composed. You can use these examples as tools to further grasp the writing process or steps of creating such an essay.
When writing a compare and contrast essay, it is essential to select an intriguing topic. Start by brainstorming ideas that would be suitable for this type of paper; this will help you select the best an engaging topic.
Need some inspiration to come up with a great compare and contrast essay topic?
Check out these ideas below for the perfect starting point
With these compare and contrast essay topic ideas, you'll quickly realize that the possibilities for writing are virtually endless!
Crafting a superb essay is vital if you wish to capture your readers' attention and hold it until the end.
Our talented writers have compiled some helpful tips so that you can create an intriguing piece of writing with accuracy:
1. Understand the prompt
Before you begin writing your essay, it is important to understand the prompt. The prompt will usually give you two or more topics that you are supposed to compare and contrast.
Make sure that you understand what is being asked of you before you begin brainstorming ideas for your essay.
2. Brainstorm ideas
Once you have a good understanding of the prompt, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas for your essay. Try to come up with at least three points of comparison or contrast for each of the topics that you are considering.
3. Choose a structure
There are two common structures for compare and contrast essays: the point-by-point structure and the subject-by-subject structure.
The point-by-point structure is when you write about each point of comparison or contrast for both topics in separate paragraphs.
The subject-by-subject structure is when you write about each topic in its own separate paragraph and then have a final paragraph that compares and contrasts the two topics as a whole.
4. Develop a Thesis Statement
Once you have chosen your topic, you will need to develop a thesis statement. This is a sentence or two that summarizes the main point of your essay. For example, your thesis statement might be "While both cars have their own unique features, they both ultimately serve the same purpose."
5. Edit and proofread
After you have finished writing your essay, it’s important to edit and proofread it to ensure that there are no errors.
Have someone else read over your essay to catch any mistakes that you may have missed.
There you have it!
Everything you need to know about compare and contrast essays. By reading through the tips and examples above, you should be well on your way to writing this type of essay like a pro.
Just remember to choose two topics that can be compared and contrasted in an interesting way, and back up your points with evidence from reliable sources.
With these measures in place, you’re sure to write a killer compare and contrast essay every time.
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Dorothy M. is a skilled freelance writer who has 5+ years of experience crafting content for clients in a vast array of industries. What sets Dorothy apart is her ability to provide personalized writing services that always meet her customer's needs while impressing their target audience.