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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

What Does Compare and Contrast Mean

Modern students have to deal with multiple tasks and solutions: they need to find solid research sources, write down every guideline, choose good problem solution essay topics, and much more. That is why we decided to write the most comprehensive article on different kinds of written assignments and to help students across the world to master them without any difficulties.

In today’s guidelines, we will discuss how to succeed in writing a compare & contrast essay. Even if you know how to write a good profile essay or a research paper, you may find it quite difficult to deal with a compare and contrast one.

The first step is to identify all the similarities and differences, which exist between discussed issues. Then you need to explain to readers what you are going to write about and what methods you will use. That is what a thesis statement is for.

Finally, it is necessary to choose a proper formatting style (based on tutor’s instructions) and to use transition words for a perfect flow. In case you don’t want to waste time, you can always turn to us for compare & contrast or argumentative essay writing help.

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Writing Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

When working on an essay, you can choose one of two main outline types:

Outline # 1

  1. Introduction. Write about what you are going to discuss;
  2. First topic. Describe topic 1 but don’t mention topic 2;
  3. Second topic. Describe topic 2 but don’t mention topic 1;
  4. Combination of topics. Analyze both topics;
  5. Conclusion. Restate your thesis and provide a summary of the paper.

Outline # 2

  1. Introduction. Give background information on your work and don’t forget to include a thesis statement;
  2. Similarities. In this section you discuss how two topics are similar;
  3. Differences. Here you need to discuss their differences;
  4. Conclusion. Paraphrase your thesis statement and give a summary of all the arguments you have discussed.

Although this may seem quite a complex task, you are not alone! We are always there to provide you with help writing a persuasive speech, research papers or compare & contrast essays!

Introduction

Now, when you know what does compare and contrast mean it is the right time to learn how to write every section to get the highest grade.

Introduction of a compare & contrast essay is quite similar to the introduction of any other type. In this section, you introduce the subject, event, or item to the reader. Your introduction should consist of the following elements:

  • Mentioning the topic. You should start with a hook. Hook sentence may be a question, quote, joke or any catchy element that will fit the subject you are going to discuss;
  • Indication of the subjects you are comparing and contrasting. Here you shouldn’t write about their similar and different features but try to give a brief explanation of their backgrounds and importance. This part should be not more than several sentences long;
  • Thesis statement. This sentence sets the tone for the whole essay and catches readers’ attention at once. Your thesis should be brief and laconic but straight to the point. You shouldn’t be wordy. Remember, all the arguments you provide will refer to your thesis, so you need to write it wisely. Good news is that you don’t need to write your thesis at once and you can always alter it if you see that your essay has changed its direction.

Similarities

Body paragraphs are the skeleton of your essay because they make up the biggest part of the whole work and aim to distinguish similarities and differences of chosen concepts.

The number of paragraphs depends on the number of aspects and arguments you are willing to discuss. For example, if you want to compare & contrast two issues based on three aspects, you will have three body paragraphs. Four aspects require four paragraphs, and so on.

Sometimes you will be given an exact quantity of similarities to discuss from your tutor. However, in the majority of cases, it is up to you.

When you are going to discuss the similarities between two different concepts, it is important to research the topic deeply. There may be many similarities under the surface, which are impossible to notice without analysis.

Words and phrases that may help you in comparing two issues include:

  • Both;
  • At the same time;
  • Correspondingly;
  • Compared to;
  • In addition;
  • At the same time;
  • In the same way;
  • Similarly;
  • Same as;
  • Likewise.

Differences

Every paragraph should start with the main sentence (point # 1, criterion # 1, items A, B), which is focused on a difference you are going to discuss. Later in the paragraph, you should provide details, which support the idea. However, you should use the results of research, and not provide your own opinion on the subject.

The whole point of a compare & contrast essay is not about stating the differences one by one: it is about supporting your thoughts with studies, official data, and evidence and comparing them.

To amplify your text, it is important to use the following connectors:

  • Although;
  • Even though;
  • Conversely;
  • In contrast;
  • Meanwhile;
  • However;
  • On the contrary;
  • On the other hand;
  • Unlike;
  • Nevertheless. 

Conclusion

By this time, your compare and contrast essay already has an introductory section and body paragraphs. Now it is the right time to write the conclusion. Luckily, it is the simplest part, but you should still use a proper structure and format.

Here is what your conclusion should contain:

  • Summary of key points. Start with a brief discussion of the chosen topics and the main points of your essay. Here you should synthesize the thesis statement with main paragraphs;
  • Evaluation. You need to give a brief analysis of the aspects you have discussed in your paper. You should also offer possible solutions and make a prognosis. A great idea will be to motivate readers to conduct further research on the topic;
  • Importance. You should not only mention the importance of the general topic but also explain why it is necessary to compare or contrast various issues. If you think that it is very difficult, don’t worry! Just answer the question ‘What was my aim in reflecting similarities or differences of these items?’ Your answer will indicate the importance of the topic.

15 Creative Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

  1. Modern Capitalistic Movement and Karl Marx theory;
  2. Constitutions of the UK and the US;
  3. The political regime of the US 100 years ago and now;
  4. Similar duties of HR managers and Marketing specialists;
  5. Differences between baroque and renaissance art;
  6. What are the similar and different features of public and private schools?
  7. What’s better: civil unions or official marriages?
  8. Government of your university VS government of the US;
  9. What is similar between Christopher Columbus and specimen?
  10. US and UK football clubs;
  11. Christmas in the US and in European countries;
  12. How do role models for teenagers and grown-ups differ?
  13. What is a more comfortable mean of transport: cars or planes?
  14. Benefits of traditional learning over remote schooling;
  15. Staying in front of a TV or playing sports outside.

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