How To Write The Best Compare And Contrast Essay

How to Write an A+ Comparison Essay on any Topic

Published 3/10/2013

What is a Comparison Essay?

A comparison essay (or a Compare and Contrast essay) is a commonly used type of writing assignment in various classes of high school and college, from art to science. In a comparison essay you should critically analyze any two subjects, finding and pointing out their similarities and/or differences.

Depending on your assignment, such essays can be comparative only (looking only at similarities), contrasting only (pointing out the differences) or both comparative and contrasting.

Choosing a Topic for Comparison Essay

In order to write a good essay, first you need to have a good topic for it, i.e. a topic that lets you easily demonstrate your writing skills and get a high grade easily.

What does that mean specifically regarding the comparison essay? Very simple: the subjects must be easy comparable, so you don’t need to work too hard to point out their similarities or differences. For example:

A big college campus and a small college campus
World War I and World War II
Two perspectives on the same place: morning and night
William Shakespeare with William Wordsworth
Windows vs. Linux

Using the following links, you can find a lot of good comparison topics for your essay:

100 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

50 Compare and Contrast Topics

List of Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Comparison Essay Structure

Considering the right structure for your essay is one of the key points of success. Sticking to a recommended essay structure is the only way to properly outline and write it, paragraph by paragraph from the introduction to conclusion, without mistakes.

There are two recommended patterns for a comparison essay: point-by-point (or "alternating") pattern and subject-by-subject (or "block") pattern.

Alternating pattern

Alternating pattern is also known as "point-by-point comparison". This mode of comparison will result in your essay having 5 paragraphs. Alternating pattern is also known as "point-by-point comparison". This mode of comparison will result in your essay having 5 paragraphs.

In it, you will need to consecutively compare and contrast each of the similarities and differences in the given subjects:

  • In the introduction you state your thesis.
  • Then you discuss both of your subjects together for each point of comparison and contrast.
  • In the conclusion you restate the thesis and shortly summarize your essay.

Block pattern

Block pattern is also known as "subject-by-subject comparison". According to this pattern, you will be required to separate the body of your compare and contrast essay in two parts.

The first part of the body will be dedicated to the first subject, while the other half will be centered around the second subject:

  • In the introduction you state your thesis.
  • First you discuss the first subject.
  • Then you discuss the second subject.
  • In the conclusion you restate the thesis and shortly summarize your essay.

Writing an A+ Comparison Essay

Introduction

The introduction of an essay is very important. It gives the reader his/her first impression of the comparison essay’s text. Remember: first impression counts!

Grab the reader’s attention

There are a lot of tips and techniques to help you in capturing a reader’s interest. You can find some pretty good information in the following articles:

How to Grab the Reader's Attention

A Proper Introduction

Essay Introductions

The most common five methods to grab your reader's attention, commonly used by professionals, are the following:

  • Give a brief historical review of your topic for help reader to better understand it
  • Start from a little story or an anecdote, which leads the reader into your topic
  • Try to use a surprising statement – something disgusting, joyful or even shocking
  • "Dropping" the name of a well-known person (celebrity) usually gets the reader's attention
  • State straight out what your essay is going to be about, simply and clearly

Start from a short background

High school students often find it difficult to view their teachers as anything but "the enemy." However, after the first few months of a school year, students learn to appreciate their teachers as individuals with different approaches. Some teachers are "cool," while others are "tough."

State the thesis

Although Sally Strict & Larry Lax are both respected teachers at our school, their teaching styles and expectations for students differ significantly. While Ms. Strict maintains a highly structured classroom atmosphere to keep her pupils disciplined and motivated, Mr. Lax downplays structure in order to allow his students to push themselves.

Point paragraph

State the point

Finally, Ms. Strict enforces high standards for her students' written work.

Provide supporting details

She collects homework every day at the beginning of class; to turn it in five minutes late is to turn it in a whole day late. Every piece of writing, whether it is a journal entry or a formal essay, must be typed and stapled. Last but not least, all homework must display a sophisticated level of thinking and writing.

Use appropriate transitions

Transitions are important in comparison / contrast writing to avoid confusion. Without transitions, the points you are comparing / contrasting may blur into one another. Also, a variety of transitions prevent monotony.

For comparison:

Like, compared to, similar to, similarly, by analogy, likewise, in the same way, as well, both, too

For contrast:

Unlike, conversely, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, still, although, while, but, even though, although, despite, yet, regardless, on the one hand … one the other hand

Conclusion

The conclusion of a comparison essay is just as important as the introduction. The conclusion seals the comparison essay and tries to close the issue. Conclusion is the last part of the essay that your reader will experience.

Summarize the similarities and / or difference of the subjects

Thus, Ms. Strict and Mr. Lax both accomplish their goals of motivating their students to do excellent work, though they do so in very different ways: while Ms. Strict emphasizes the high standards she expects everyone can meet, Mr. Lax uses a more personal approach.

Emphasize the thesis and say why this topic is important

Their success demonstrates the importance of diversity in a school community: different students respond to different teaching styles. So rather than viewing their instructors as a monolithic "enemy" intent on making them suffer, students should recognize how they benefit from the variety of ways their teachers inspire them.

Finalizing your Work

Pay attention that even though your essay is fully written, it still isn’t ready to submission.

There are some common and annoying mistakes which may significantly harm your grade. However, you can avoid those grade lowering mistakes by completing the following checklist:

  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Ensure that your essay is fully compliant with the required formatting standard
  • Properly organize all the citations and the References / Works Cited page
  • Ensure that your title page is done as required
  • Take a final look at your paper to be certain that everything is indeed fine

“Samsung is a better mobile phone than iPhone because I prefer Samsung.”

That does not sound persuasive or informative, do it?

“Samsung is a better solution than iPhone because iOS devices have limited access to various apps, games, and other entertaining content, and they are more expensive for no good reason.”

This statement sounds better. It is just one out of many possible compare and contrast essay topics. If you wish to learn how to write a compare and contrast essay to improve your GPA or handle another homework assignment, the text below would be helpful.

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Those students who are looking for more than information on how to write a 5 paragraph compare and contrast paper – feel free to find a helping hand in the face of online writing service.

How to Write Compare and Contrast Essay: Defining This Type of Paper

This type of assignment is an academic paper, which depicts 2 or more similar yet different things by focusing on what they have in common and what makes them different. The purpose is to make a reader see the way chosen objects are interconnected.

It makes sense a person should start by picking a couple of good subjects to differentiate and draw parallels.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: 2 Different Approaches

A compare and contrast essay outline is far more complicated than the rest of the academic paper outline templates. It depends on which strategy the author chooses to present the chosen objects. In case the best option to introduce both topics is through point-by-point comparison, obey this structure:

  • Introductory paragraph
  • Presentation of overall idea
  • Particular issue to discuss

Fields the author is going to explore

Issue 1 - Aspect 1

Issue 2 - Aspect 1

Issue 1 - Aspect 2

Issue 2 - Aspect 2

Issue 1 - Aspect 3

Issue 2 - Aspect 3

  • Conclusion
  • Review of the basic ideas
  • Assessment and/or potential developments (forecasts)

In case of subject-by-subject comparison, simply focus on the topic 1 at the beginning (list issues & aspects) and then move to the second topic. Conclude on their differences and similarities in the closing paragraph.

GET IT DONE NOW

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

An introduction reveals the main point and shares the primary data about the selected elements with the reader. Add a thesis statement. The opening paragraph must contain a brief explanation of the selected ideas to be analyzed (stress why the offered text might be valuable for the reader). Inspire the person to read the paper from cover to cover by initiating a powerful hook sentence.

Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion

Once a student is done with the body paragraphs, he/she should start working on the closing part of the paper, which often leaves the last impression. It means a writer should try hard to leave positive impressions. In a conclusion, provide a summary of the introduced evidence, restate the thesis statement by rewording it (do not copy-paste a thesis sentence from the introduction).

How to Write a 5 Paragraph Compare and Contrast Essay: Rundown

Based on everything said before, keep in mind these outtakes when working on the discussed type of academic paper:

  1. Apply some organizational instruments like a Venn diagram or Mind Map to arrange the idea obtained via intensive brainstorming & research.
  2. Keep away from the vague thesis statement.
  3. Narrow a broad idea to a couple of main points, leaving some space for the in-depth evaluation.
  4. Edit the final draft before submitting it to the instructor; a professional team of online editors will proofread and fix the mistakes for cheap!
Keep in mind that this sort of writing assignment constitutes a large-scale expository paper – brush up to challenge both!

20 Interesting & Creative Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

To make it easier, our experts have divided some of the best topics into 4 different categories. Have a look at the offered ideas. Those are the possible examples, so try to come up with a unique, exciting idea to impress the teacher!

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students

  • Economic Theory of Karl Marx with Contemporary Capitalistic Movement
  • Constitution of the United States verus the Constitution of the United Kingdom
  • Political Regimes in the United States Today & a Century Ago
  • Working as a Marketing Specialist and Being a Human Resources Manager: Duties They Have in Common and Things That Make People of These Professions Different
  • Renaissance & Baroque Art: Specific Features That Make These Genres Similar Yet Different at the same Time (include professional terminology to stress your in-depth knowledge of the problem)

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School

  • Private Schools & Public Schools: Differences Plus Similarities
  • Should People Live in Official Marriage or Civil Union?
  • The Government of the US versus the Government of Student’s School
  • Early specimen & Christopher Columbus: Differences & Similarities
  • Football Clubs from Europe or Football Clubs from the United States

Compare and Contrast Topics for Middle School

  • Celebrating Christmas in the United States is Better Than in Europe
  • Role Models for Teens & Role Models for Grown-Ups
  • Cars versus Trains: A More Comfortable Transport to Ride Long Distances
  • Fiction and Non-Fiction Literature: Which Is a More Fun to Read?
  • What Are the Benefits of Remote Education over Traditional Learning?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for 6th Grade

  • Marvel’s Spiderman or Iron Man
  • Super Mario Land versus Sonic for PlayStation 2
  • Nintendo or Xbox: Why One Replaced Another over Time
  • Playing Games Outside or Staying at Home with TV
  • Winter Sports against Summer Sports: Pros & Cons of Each Type

Compare and Contrast Essay Example

That is how to deal with it! Another thing that may help a school/college student to develop a good homework assignment comparing several objects is a good example. Discover a plenty of free paper examples, helpful writing tools, ideas, and cheap custom writing services without leaving your home!

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