How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

  • Writer: Harold Shewmaker
  • Date: September 22, 2022
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Paper comparison and contrast is probably one of the most common college assignments. While some students start to tremble when they hear the magic words “compare and contrast essay”, we want to give you a brief but complete guide on how to write them. After reading the article, the question “how to write a comparison and contrast essay” will not even come to your mind as we have included many useful details and tips.


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What is a Comparison and Contrast essay?


The definition of a compare and contrast essay is hidden in its name. You get two things to compare, analyze their similarities and differences, then put everything together in a sophisticated way (read “academic writing”). There are many elements you want to include in your article to compare contrast essay outline looks reasonable and the compare-contrast words fit perfectly. So the best way to write a compare and contrast essay is to imagine it as a Lego building tool and watch the tutorial.


What can I compare and contrast?


You can compare and contrast anything… but as long as it makes sense to your reader. Obviously, you must write a compare-contrast essay by emphasizing two main topics, which must be in the same semantic area. Take a look at some comparison and contrast essay examples that could actually be used to write this article:






Good example



Example to improve



Examples to avoid






Apples & Pears



Apples & Seeds



Apples & Unicorns









Scrubs & Zach Braff



Rub and napkin



Social Politics



Radical Feminism & Liberal Feminism



Radical Feminism & Women’s Day



Radical feminism & water pollution






Java & C++



Java & Websites



Java & Chips






Socialism & Communism



Socialism & self-governance



Socialism & animal shelters



Self-driving cars



Uber and Tesla



Uber & Tires



Uber & Blankets


This table perfectly illustrates how you want it funny comparison and contrast theme test. In the “Good Example” column, you see two phenomena, which belong to one field. They may not be quite contrasting, which will certainly give you some extra elements to analyze. “Example for improvement” implies two related topics that, however, cannot be correlated due to their type. This means you can’t set criteria for a comparative and contrasting college essay, but simply delve into a topic and its core elements. “Examples to avoid” is just a little lacking.


Prepare a Compare and Contrast essay


Coming up with the right title and thesis is a routine for any academic essay. What checkpoints should you follow?


    • Your title mentions things to compare and contrast;


    • It is no longer than 12 words (depending on your format);


    • It acts as a preview for your essay;


    • Your argument is at the end of the first paragraph;


    • It is a sentence to briefly describe the relationship between the objects you have selected;


    • It does not contradict your content and conclusion.


Choose a comparison and contrast essay format


The comparative and contrasting essay format often depends on the educational institution providing your assignment. There are many academic writing formats you can follow (APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard). All templates have precise instructions for title pages, table of contents, citations, and reference pages. Comparative essay format templates can be downloaded from academic web resources; however, double check the form with your professor before filling in your personal stuff.


How to prepare a compare and contrast essay structure?


If a comparison essay isn’t your first study paper, you’re probably already familiar with the typical comparison and contrast outline. Remember the core functions of every department that good essay structure will have:



1 paragraph



2 paragraphs



3 paragraphs



4 paragraphs (can be explained into more pages.)



5 paragraphs












Introduce the topic by making a strong point



Description No.1 Theme with all the features needed for analysis



Description of Theme #2 with all the features needed for analysis



Analyze all the details mentioned and compare these/


compare and contrast the passage(s)



Summarizing all previous sections, verdict statement


What is the appropriate comparison and contrast essay structure?


Compare and contrast the essay introduction


In most cases, professional writers try to give a comparative and contrasting introduction after the core of the text has been written. The point is, you want to demonstrate the core elements of your analysis and be able to give a bit of a clue as to your personal stance on the matter. The introduction to the compare and contrast essay should be no more than a few lines long, this will emphasize your compare and contrast approach. At some point you want to include a few of your references, but make sure there are no quotes in the first paragraph.


Compare and contrast passages


When googling “how to write a comparison and contrast essay,” students often aim to find the correct order of paragraphs (outline). The first task you have to do now is to provide the basis for comparison that will serve the semantic landmarks later. As it has already been mentioned, it is important to correctly reason about your choices in comparison and contrast paragraphs so that the text looks logical and easy to read.


It is not necessary to give equal space to similarities and differences as some of them will naturally prevail. Therefore, you may want to pay special attention to the type of relationship between concepts. For example, the most typical options would be:


In some cases, you can include your analysis in one paragraph. In most cases, however, you intend to separate paragraphs to group ideas and make clear to the reader the nuances of your analysis.


    1. Comparing passages mainly draws the reader’s attention to the similar aspects that the subjects have. The transitions “Similarly,” “both,” and “similarly” would be appropriate in this paragraph.


    1. Contrasting paragraphs highlight possible differences between Subjects and justify your discovery with appropriate evidence. The best contrasting words for this section are “otherwise,” “opposite,” and “anyway.”


How to write a conclusion for a comparison and contrast essay?


Again, you can write a comparative and contrasting essay conclusion as soon as you have facts to sum up. Since your reader knows about the data you presented, do not use any other facts or simply reformat your thesis. The ending often looks like an introduction, but you might end up wanting to use rather complicated language.


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