• Post on May 5, 2018
  • By Sam Martin
compare and contrast essay

Compare and contrast essay is a popular academic writing that is used for:

  • Analysis of two or more ideas or things by finding similarities and differences among them.
  • Forming a much deeper relationship among them through critical thinking and comparison.
  • Through this, we try to make readers understand why it is useful and interesting to compare things even though at times they seem the opposite of each other.

    Brainstorm the Topic of Compare and Contrast Essay

    Instead of randomly picking a topic to compare and contrast, it is better to do a quick analysis. Identify and list down all those markers that can be used in the assessment process. You may either use a "Venn diagram" for brainstorming or a chart against all the traits that you find significant. Whatever method you choose, always consider not only your thesis agenda but also the context in which you are required to conduct the assessment. The intellectual level of your readers should also be considered while deciding the topic.

    Identify the Key Factors

    Through brainstorming, one can generate piles of data discussing differences and similarities. But the process of choosing the right factors may become painful if we fail to identify relevant information that is both interesting and meaningful. One should be cautious in deciding the key factors. You may either collect unnecessary and irrelevant information though it seems interesting or may find notably relevant information that fails to catch readers' attention

    Thesis Development

    Develop your thesis with extra care as it's going to serve as a road map. Make it specific and detailed to avoid confusion in readers' minds. Make an argument suggesting to them why the chosen subjects should be put together like "How the two subjects are similar and different?" or "Why the first subject is desirable than the second one?"

    Organise Your Compare And Contrast Essay

    Plan how your essay should be organized. You may change it later in case if it doesn't work for you. Generally, it is done in two ways.

  • Subject-by-Subject
  • In this organization, one writes everything about the first subject and then moves on to discuss the second one. It may be covered either in a single paragraph or several paragraphs per item depending on the depth of the subject. The shortcoming of this organization is that your paper will only list your points, making it difficult for the readers to draw a comparison. To overcome it, try making a logical connection by writing at least one paragraph linking both the subjects.

  • Point-by-Point
  • Unlike the subject-by-subject organization, each point is picked and discussed for both the subjects to contrast or compare. It allows defining precisely what you are comparing and contrasting. The downside is that the reader has to switch back and forth between topics, so you need to create a flow by adding transitions and signposts in the essay.

    Outline Your Essay

    No matter how you decide to arrange your essay, there is a basic structure that one should follow.


    Provide primary information on the selected topic to compare and contrast. Explain your thesis agenda and in which direction it's going to lead.

    Body Paragraphs

    Compose your paragraphs depending on your preferred organization style. With the progression of the essay body, critically analyze your subjects, discuss similarities and differences, state your personal views, and support your ideas by giving credible evidence. Generally, three body paragraphs are used, but you may add more on need basis


    As the conclusion summarizes the overall idea, it should have a more significant description of your thesis than the introduction. Write it precisely; giving readers a clear and straight understanding of your point of view

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