How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay: List of Similarities and Differences

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Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

Academic writing tasks can be a real headache for most high school and college students. When initially receiving the assignment, compare and contrast will probably assume that the work will be a pushover. However, things are not as simple!

So, what is compare and contrast essay all about? Like many other academic assignments, compare and contrast essays must correspond to a certain structure and have a coordinated plan. Besides, this type of paper is a little different from other types of essays because it requires comparing facts, highlighting contrasting things, and showing students' skills in information analysis. Therefore, the structure of a compare and contrast essay must be well analyzed before starting the writing process.

Thus, in order to write an authentic and good essay, you must have certain skills. In this article, we want to teach you some of them. Still unclear? Just visit our essay writer service and our essay writer helper will make your any request.

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Understanding How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay

If you are trying to understand how to write a compare and contrast essay, and namely how to create interesting and outstanding work, you should start with identifying two or more subjects with enough differences and similarities that make them amenable for a meaningful comparison. Then, by creating a compare and contrast essay outline, you can write your paper easier.

You have full freedom of choice at this stage. For example, it can be two characters from one book, actors, or football teams. Then, you should find at least a few points that can be compared using the data found during the research, known facts, and examples that will help impress and captivate your readers.

Checking out examples of compare and contrast essay online can help you understand the writing concept clearly.

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Analyze The Question Attentively

As with any other academic paper, this requires thorough knowledge of the topic. You may have many great compare and contrast essay ideas for writing, but if they do not correspond to a given topic, the essay will not earn you an A! So you have to attentively read the contrast essay topics.

Review the guiding questions (or title, if any) and underline the key points. Keep a list of them in front of you throughout the whole writing process; it will help you stay focused on the given theme without deviating from it. Finally, understand the thesis statement clearly.

What exactly does the teacher want to see in your work? What do you want to show? There is just one answer to both questions: just like other essays, this one strives to reveal your personal opinion about the problem, person, situation, etc.

Remember, you cannot just say that the first character is good and the other one is bad. Two subjects must be compared depending on the facts. So if you want to prove that one of the characters is better than the other one, you have to prove your point using facts from the book (if the characters are taken from there) that would provide objective characteristics of them.

Create a List of Similarities and Differences

Yes, you still need to highlight the contrasts in addition to comparisons! Therefore, the most effective way to begin the work on the essay is to make a detailed list of similarities and differences; it will be a kind of contrast essay outline for your work that will later help you to write the paper faster.

If you want to use a template to finish the paper sooner, most likely, you will not succeed because it's assumed that the entire essay will not just involve stereotyped comparisons but will also reflect your individual point of view.

Analyze This List

There is a possibility that you have missed out on something important! Carefully read the list again and try to see some logical pattern in the points; this will help you to decide what will serve as a basis for comparison.

Review the list point-by-point method, and try to find if there are any overlapping circles. You can also use a Venn diagram to draw all the similarities and differences.

Set The Basis For Comparison

By defining the basis, you set the context of comparison: how will the two objects be compared further in the same paragraph? The basis for comparison should have a specific thesis or idea determining the goals a student tries to pursue by comparing the two objects.

The base for your paper can be a simple theory, question, or problem. But, most importantly, you have to be confident that comparing the chosen subjects can help you reach the writing goals you have set while answering the main question by proving your theory or offering solutions to the problem.

Before you start to write your actual paper, try to exercise with different compare and contrast essay examples, it will help you understand the structure and concept better.

Study The Compared Objects

To compare objects or characters properly, you have to study them. Being meticulous in characterizing traits is important. There might be more sides to the person, problem, or situation that have not been properly considered. For example, we have Robin Hood. He was a robber and a thief; however, he was always considered a positive, kind, and honest character. Then, we can take the automobile engine as another example. The fact that the engine does not have a big volume (cubic centimeters) does not mean that it is not powerful, and so on.

As you can see, half of your success depends on the chosen topic, so you will have to analyze, characterize and compare chosen subjects depending on the topic.

Writing The Work

The compare and contrast essay has a similar structure to other essays and consists of three parts and generally can fit into 5 paragraphs. To give you a better understanding of how to write this type of work, we will give a full description to each part.

Introductory Clause (Introduction)

The introduction paragraph introduces the reader to the essay topic and leads to the disclosure of key aspects of the work. You can explain the theme of the work, reveal its essence, and ask the question, which should be answered in the main body part and summarized in conclusion.

Let's say you are comparing two characters from the book. In this case, your intro can explain to the reader what the book is about and tell a bit about each character you plan to compare. Then, to finish the intro paragraph, create an informative thesis that will be proven in your body paragraphs. This statement should highlight the key aspects that come from comparing the two parties!

Main Clause (Body Paragraphs)

This is the foundation of the work and, therefore, is the most important part of the composition. The first body paragraph reveals the topic and explains the essence of the work. In the beginning, you should describe the characters in detail. Then, briefly describe events that occurred with them and the actions of these characters, giving them a preliminary assessment.

In this part of the work, you will compare your objects by providing examples, facts, and arguments that should persuade the reader to your point of view. However, you should not make any specific statements yet. You can also use the block approach which often consists of two paragraphs, one discussing details about one subject and the other discussing the second subject.

Final Clause

Just like the intro, your final clause should not be too long. The conclusion should present a concise summary of the whole work and draw logical conclusions based on everything stated in the paper earlier.

To get a high grade for this work, a student must ensure that the conclusion of his essay is logical, laconic, and straight to the point. Here you can give the final characterization of your subjects, for example, stating some of their key qualities in comparison with each other.

To complete your work, offer an overall significance statement describing the importance of the research you have done and the conclusions you have made!

If you want more clarification, you can find free compare and contrast essay examples online and check them out.

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