Compare and Contrast Essay - An Ultimate Guide For Beginners

Written by

Rickey Clarke

10 mins read
compare and contrast essay

One common type of essay writing assignment in high school and college is the compare and contrast essay. In this essay, you compare and contrast two subjects, looking at their similarities and differences. This understanding can help us see all the ways a subject is or is not similar to another.

The key to a great compare and contrast essay is in the format. This blog provides you with easy step-by-step guidelines for drafting your paper so that it flows smoothly, telling two stories side by side while also making one taller than another through specific techniques!

Read our guide to learn how you can write a paper of this type in an organized and clear manner.

What is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

In a compare and contrast essay, you take two or more subjects that are similar in some way and point out their differences.

To write a good compare and contrast essay, you need to first introduce your readers with an introduction that sets up what they are about ready for.

The compare and contrast essay is a powerful tool for writers because it forces them to think critically about their subject matter. It also provides a writer an opportunity to put a detailed critical analysis in front of a reader.

Compare and Contrast Essay Purpose

The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to show the similarities between two or more subjects.

This can be done by pointing out how they are similar, while also indicating their differences so that your reader knows what you're trying to say about each topic in particular without having read every paragraph beforehand!

Comparing and contrasting can be helpful for showing how related things or concepts are different. It also gives us a better understanding of what we're studying by allowing deeper insight into the details.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

‘What is the compare and contrast essay structure and format?’

A compare and contrast outline is a great way for students to stay on track when writing their essays. It helps them avoid getting lost in the weeds, which can happen if you don't have any idea of where your paper's going from the start!

The following outline can help you write a compare and contrast essay. Start off by introducing your topic, then break it down into its most basic components:

  1. Introductory Paragraph
  2. Three-Body Paragraphs
  3. Concluding Paragraph

The organizational structure of outstanding compare and contrast writing pieces allows for an easy understanding by readers. They want straightforward, explicit descriptions that are hard to achieve without outlining the material this is why they appreciate good outline-making skills so much!

The outline can be used as a map for your journey through the content, helping you stay on track and making sure that all-important points are covered.

How to structure a compare and contrast essay?

Following are the three structuring methods of compare and contrast essays.

  • Alternating Method (point by point)

    Different methods of instruction have their pros and cons. One way to teach students is by using an alternating approach that compares two items, for instance how much computer time will be needed in person vs online courses?

    It's important that teachers find the right method because not all approaches work well with every purpose or audience.

    You claim that you will need to work on the computer for the in-person course. For the online course, you'll need to spend twice as much time on the computer, though.

    Here is an example to give you a better understanding:

    Alternating Method Example

    Alternating Method Example

  • Block Method (subject by subject)

    The block method is an efficient way to discuss one subject at a time. You first write about all aspects of your first topic and then come back for more details on that same issue or related topics.

    The writer does this until they have covered every detail relevant in regard this particular matter. The main idea will always remain clear because it's standing out from other information within each sentence.

    For example, if you talk about an online course, you might say how much computer time is needed, how much it costs, how often people succeed, and what the teaching style is like. If you then talk about an in-person course, you would say the same things but for that kind of course.

    Here is a PDF example of the block method to help you out in your writing process.

    Block Method Example

    Block Method Example

  • Combination Method

    The combination method is an effective way to write a compare and contrast essay. This means you will use some paragraphs that are in the alternating method. While other parts may be blocked out for a more detailed analysis of each subject's individual qualities or differences between them.

    No one way to write about any given topic. It's important for each subject matter and might require a unique approach, but by following these general guidelines you can develop your own voice that works best with what interests or inspires you!

    Here is a PDF example of the combination method for your better understanding.

    Combination Method Example

    Combination Method Example

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay?

‘How do you write a compare and contrast essay?’

Here is how you can write your compare and contrast essay successfully;

  • 1. Brainstorming - The best way to get ideas for a new project is by brainstorming. You can do this with any type of media, but if you're stuck try using Venn diagrams (two or three overlapping circles).

    It shows the relationship between two subjects in which one subject may be more important than another at first glance. However, they both play an essential role together as well!

  • 2. Choosing the Structure - The choice of structure will depend on the kind and nature or organization you want to achieve. For instance, if your goal is similarities between two groups then an alternative might be best while blocking out certain aspects with specific topics would work well for blocking structures
  • 3. Make an Outline - In order to make the process of writing an essay easier, it is important that you first create an outline before starting. This will help with organization and keep your thoughts cohesive so they flow more smoothly from one paragraph or section in which they belong.
  • 4. Start Writing Your Essay - By now you should have a good understanding of how to structure your essay. The goal is always beginning with an introduction, then moving into the body of the text, and ending with conclusions.
    • Introduction

      The introduction of a paper should offer the readership what to expect in later sections. It has three parts:

      • A hook - Hooks are like a fisherman's bait. It captures your attention, engages readers, and makes it impossible for them to let go.
      • The major similarity or difference - The major similarity and difference in an essay is its length. It should be short, clear & concise to avoid confusion with the reader who might not have read all of it yet!
      • Thesis statement - The main idea of an essay is usually presented in the first few sentences and it should be clear what readers can expect from thereon. A thesis statement tells them how you want to feel about whatever topic or subject matter we're addressing, so keep this short!
    • Main Body

      The body of an essay is where you should present all your gathered information. Paragraphs explain and prove the thesis statement, or claim about a topic that needs explanation in order for readers to understand it fully.

      Each paragraph in the body of your paper should have an interesting topic sentence that summarizes what will be discussed later on.

      There are a variety of ways to create transitions between body paragraphs. These will help give your entire essay logic and flow. This makes it easier for readers to understand the content in each section as they go along!

    • Conclusion

      The compare and contrast essay is a great way to demonstrate your understanding of the topic. The conclusion should summarize all points discussed in-depth, while also leaving readers eager for more information or insights from you!

      Your paper will be more interesting and comprehensive if it restates the main points of your argument, including an explanation or summary. Make sure there is no unnecessary material included because this could confuse readers!

  • 5. Proofreading

    Proofreading and revision are very important steps in the writing process. It allows you to check your work for errors before submitting it, which will give rise to better results overall!

    In order to make your paper look more professional and well-researched, it is important that you check all of the vocabulary words against a dictionary. Make sure every citation or reference cited in the essay comes from an authoritative source.

    It is very important that you proofread your work before submitting it. Any mistakes in the text will be picked up on by a teacher, so make sure everything's perfect this time around!

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Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

To help you understand the concept of compare and contrast essay, we have provided some simple examples. Take a look at it!

Compare and Contrast Essay Template

Compare and Contrast Essay Template

How to Write Compare and Contrast Essay Guide

How to Write Compare and Contrast Essay Guide

Compare and Contrast Essay Example

Compare and Contrast Essay Example

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Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Here is a list of creative and interesting compare and contrast essay topics for your next homework assignment.

  • Xbox vs. PlayStation
  • Netflix or Youtube
  • Make a comparison between Russian emperors
  • Android vs. iOS
  • Psychology and Psychiatry
  • Strict Parenting vs. Relaxed Parenting
  • Argumentative vs. Persuasive essays
  • Watching a film at home versus in cinema
  • Traditional writing vs. Online writing
  • Apples vs. Oranges

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Tips to Write a Good Compare and Contrast Essay

The compare and contrast essay is one of the most popular types for students to write because it allows them to explore how two things are alike or different. To make sure your paper flows well, follow these expert tips from our professional writers!

  • Brainstorm as many ideas as you can, and gather all the information available.
  • Make use of credible sources to support your claims.
  • Select an interesting and familiar topic.
  • Take some time to plan early on so you have an idea of what you’re doing.
  • Proofread your essay thoroughly once you’ve completed it.
  • Draft a rough version of your paper early in the writing process.
  • Divide the sections into manageable chunks and work on them separately.

The process of compare and contrast writing can be difficult, but with these tips, you'll find it easier. If drafting multiple essays is too much for one essay draft though use our service which lets customers buy their own custom paper from us!

YourEssayWriter.net is a writing service specialized in providing services for all academic fields and our professional writers are skilled at helping you with any type of assignment, be it an essay or term paper!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are compare and contrast words?

Here is a list of compare and contrast words:

  • Also
  • Like
  • Unlike
  • Similarly
  • Likewise
  • Again
  • Yet
  • Even
  • Still
  • Though

What is a good introduction for a compare and contrast essay?

Introducing a topic is important in an essay because it helps readers understand what they will be reading. The introduction should include information about the points and details you're discussing, as well as some brief historical context for those topics.

What is a good way to start a sentence in an essay?

The first step to writing an engaging and interesting hook is by using facts, statistical information, or any other kind of knowledge that you might have. It can also include anecdotes and questions in order for readers to want more!