Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay: Steps, Topics & Examples

compare and contrast essay

Comparing and contrasting is the most common type of academic assignment or essay writing assignment given to students at high school and college. A compare and contrast essay needs you to deeply analyze two subjects, focusing on their similarities and differences. This essay helps us understand all the ways a subject is or is not similar to another.

For writing compare and contrast essays you need to follow a particular format and approach. This blog provides you with easy step-by-step guidelines for drafting your compare and contrast essay.

We will tell you how to write papers of this type in a clear and organized manner. Continue reading our guide to have a better comprehension of this essay.

What is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

In a compare and contrast essay, you compare two or more subjects by highlighting their similarities and pointing out the differences.

People make choices by comparing things. For example, if you have a limited budget, you might compare products and find one that best suits your needs.

To write a compare and contrast essay, you need to put two things together and compare them. After that, you need to form a claim about them.

Compare and Contrast Essay Purpose

When writers want to discuss several topics at once, they use a compare and contrast essay.

The purpose of compare and contrast is to show the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. This is often done in an essay, where you might point out how things are similar and different.

Comparing and contrasting can also be helpful for showing how related things or concepts are different or similar.

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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 an excellent guide to writing a good essay. It helps writers to stay focused and on track as they write.

The following is an example of a compare and contrast essay outline. You should divide your essay into the following sections:

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

The organizational structure of outstanding compare and contrast writing pieces assists a lot in clearly expressing ideas and thoughts. Readers want straightforward, explicit descriptions that are hard to achieve without outlining the material.

The structure of an essay is important for presenting ideas. Readers want clear and explicit descriptions, which is possible when you outline the content.

How to structure a compare and contrast essay?

You can structure your comparison and contrast essay in any of the following three ways.

  • Alternating Method (point by point)
  • When you use the alternating method, you compare and contrast two items.

    For instance, you compare and contrast two things when you use the alternating approach. This example covers how much computer time is needed for an in-person course and an online course.

    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.

    To give you a better understanding of how it is written, here's an example.

    Alternating Method Example

  • Block Method (subject by subject)
  • The block method is a way to discuss one subject at a time. You write one paragraph discussing all the aspects of the first subject, and then come to the second object. You continue in this way until you finish discussing all the subjects.

    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.

    Below is an example of a block method to help with your writing process.

    Block Method Example

  • Combination Method
  • You can write a compare and contrast essay by using the combination method. This means that you will use some paragraphs that are in the alternating method, and then other paragraphs will be in the block method. This will give you a deeper analysis of each of the subjects.

    There is no one perfect way to write about any given topic. Each subject is different and might require a different approach. However, by using these methods as guidelines, you can develop your own writing style that works best for you.

    Below we have provided an example of a combination method for your help.

    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. 1. Brainstorming - You need to brainstorm ideas that excite you. If you have trouble deciding which subject to be compared, try using a Venn diagram (two or three overlapping circles). It shows the relationship between two subjects.
  2. 2. Choosing the Structure - To organize your ideas, you should decide whether to use similarities and differences, alternative, or blocking structure.
  3. 3. Make an Outline - Before starting the writing process, create an outline for your essay.
  4. 4. Start Writing Your Essay - Start writing your essay and work your way from paragraph to paragraph, adding sections as you go.
    • Introduction
    • The introduction is the first part of a paper, and it should tell the readers what to expect in the rest of the paper. It has three parts:

      • A hook - It is a sentence that catches your attention, arouses your interest and makes you want to read on.
      • The major similarity or difference - Here, the writer should present the major similarity and difference of an essay. Make sure to keep your sentences short, clear and concise.
      • Thesis statement - It is a sentence or two that presents the main idea of an essay. A thesis statement informs readers what to expect in the rest of the essay.
    • Main Body
    • The main part of an essay is the section that presents the reader with all your gathered information. Body paragraphs explain and prove your thesis statement, or the claim you have made about a topic.

      Usually, the body section has three paragraphs. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence which previews the point of that specific paragraph.

      The best way to combine your body paragraphs is with transition words. These will help give the entire essay logic and flow, making it easier for readers to understand the essay's content.

    • Conclusion
    • The conclusion of your compare and contrast essay should provide an overview of the main points discussed in the essay.

      It restates the thesis statement, together with summary and key information that you have discussed in this paper. Avoid any extraneous material as it will only confuse readers!

  5. 5. Proofreading
  6. Proofreading and revision is the last and an important writing step. Now, you will check your paper properly before turning it in.

    It is important to make sure that all the vocabulary, grammar, spelling and citations are accurate. Also, make sure you compare, contrast or write about the objects carefully.

    If you catch any mistakes, fix them before you hand in your essay to your teacher.

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Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

We have gathered some simple examples to help you understand compare and contrast essay concepts. Take a look at it:

Compare and Contrast Essay Template

How to Write Compare and Contrast Essay Guide

Compare and Contrast Essay Example

Related: Best Compare and Contrast Examples to Help You Write Better

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Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Here are some interesting compare and contrast essay topics for your next assignment.

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

Related: Impressive Compare and Contrast Essay Topics Ideas for 2022

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Tips to Write a Good Compare and Contrast Essay

Below are some expert tips to write a great compare and contrast essay.

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

We understand, writing a compare and contrast essay could be daunting, but these tips can make it easier to write. If you have trouble drafting multiple essays, feel free to use a service that lets you buy essays.

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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?

A good introduction is where you introduce the topic of the essay. This helps your readers understand the points and details you talk about in the essay. To make it even better, you can add some information and brief historical details about the points discussed in the essay.

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

A good way to start your essay sentence with an engaging and interesting hook. The hook can be interesting facts, statistical information, anecdotes, and questions.

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