How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay?

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay?

You are familiar with myriads of different types of essay. You think that you know how to write each essay well when your professor comes up with the new one. And today you will get to know how to write a compare and contrast essay.

What is a compare and contrast essay?

The task of a compare and contrast essay is describing two questions, phenomenon, issues, problems from all possible sides. As the name of this essay implies, author is asked to convey a comparison and contrast of these two issues.

The problems that are the objects of the essay may be both very similar to each other and radically oppositional. However, something should unite these problems and the author should provide the proofs of this unity to the reader.

What does compare and contrast mean

Summarizing the task, one should note that compare and contrast process in essay is in analyzing two problems. The text of the essay is an analysis of two issues in the form of comparing the similarity of the issues and contrast of differences between them.

Compare and contrast essay outline

The task looks quite exciting and anticipates very engrossing work process. However the composition of the compare and contrast essay is not as simple as exciting. In order to create well-written compare and contrast essay author should be acknowledged with the ways of its creating.

And the first mistake that can be made by the newcomer in the field of compare and contrast essay writing is writing it from scratch. There are several ways of structuring this kind of essay but all of them exist because the structure is the most complex thing in compare and contrast essay.


The most convenient and prevalent way of structuring of the compare and contrast essay is a point by point method. Its nature gives writer a possibility to create the text in the most holistic and coherent way. Moreover, it is easier to read this kind of essay structured by point-by-point method.

It follows legendary three-part organization of all kinds of essay – introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion parts. The main distinction for the writer is in body paragraphs, though its principles are also respected.

  • Introduction. As usual, this part is determinant for the success of the text. Here you need to provide a little different sentence comparing with other essays. First, you introduce the theme that you are going to discuss in the essay. In other words, you need to depict the general and, in some way, superficial information.

After you clarified the field where your discussion would be held you need to specify the problem. Namely you need to name the objects you are concentrating on while writing this essay.

And in the end of the introduction part you need to state the thesis: give brief characteristics of both issues and why your essay focuses on it. Regarding these issues, introduce the number of aspects you are going to compare and contrast in the body paragraphs. And go on to the next part.

  • Body paragraphs. In your thesis statement you specified for example four sides, from which you are going to examine these issues. The amount of aspects is the amount of paragraphs in the body part. One aspect is covered in one separate paragraph.

And here starts point-by-point method: in one single paragraph (that represents only one approach to the objects) you specify the aspect that is considered. Then you take the first subject and start to describe it in through the lens of this aspect. After you provided argumentation for the first subject, you do the same with the second one.

Thereby in one paragraph that concentrates only on one aspect, you consider both subjects providing compare and contrast of it. After you gave all needed argumentation for one aspect, you go to the next one and start writing the next paragraph by the same scheme.

Throughout all the body part you process these operations. This organization allows not to digress from the topic and to provide a coherent and holistic comparison of two issues. And as it was told earlier, it is easier to read and comprehend.

  • Conclusion. Conclusion traditionally is very easy to write but do not think that you can pay it less attention comparing with the previous parts. Bad conclusion may spoil the results of your hard work carried in the introduction and body parts.

Concluding compare and contrast essay you need to summarize the information described in argumentation. Highlight the essence of the essay and give the reader feeling that he or she comprehended it well. It means that your conclusion should emphasize the integrity of the text and in some way complement it.

Besides obvious striking a balance, do not be afraid to explain the importance and significance of your work. Tell your reader why you wrote at all.

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