How to Write a Compare-and-Contrast Essay

What is a compare-and-contrast essay? It is an essay that analyzes similarities and differences between two subjects. The key is to make sure that the two subjects are in the same category. This essay is perfect for highlighting the qualities that separate the two subjects or make them similar. That is why teachers often ask students to write a compare-and-contrast essay to evaluate their skills and knowledge.

This guide will provide a list of possible topics for your compare-and-contrast essay, explain how to structure it properly, and include helpful examples and tips. First of all, let’s look at the list of possible topics.

The List of Topics

  1. IOS and Android
  2. Medicine vs. natural remedies
  3. Public and private colleges
  4. Extroverts and introverts
  5. Generation Y and Generation Z
  6. Vegetarians and meat-eaters
  7. Socialism vs. communism
  8. Living in a big city or living in the country
  9. Italian vs. Spanish cuisines

The number of topics for a compare-and-control essay is enormous; you can write about subjects from any area. The choice depends on your interests and the requirements of your teacher.

Purpose of a Compare-and-Contrast Essay

A compare-and-contrast essay allows you to analyze in detail not one but two subjects and, as a result, have a better understanding of their essence. For instance, if you want to better understand Kant’s views on morality, you can compare and contrast his philosophy with Mill’s views. This way, you will also learn a lot about Mill and will be able to see how different or similar the two philosophers’ views were.

Many things can be understood better in contrast, especially when the two subjects are often confused with each other. When you compare them in your essay and emphasize why and how they differ, you will no longer confuse them. Compare-and-contrast essays are also assigned frequently to help students cover two subjects and remember the material better.

The Structure of a Compare-and-Contrast Essay

Generally, a compare-and-contrast essay has the following structure:

  • Introduction with a thesis;
  • Body, where you discuss your main points; it is the most extensive section;
  • Conclusion, where you summarize your points.

When you write your compare-and-contrast essay, you need to follow a specific structure and make sure that you have come up with a working thesis. The thesis should include essential information about the similarities or differences of the two subjects and include the points that will be further covered in the main body. For instance, let’s take a look at this thesis statements:

Life in the countryside may be calmer and more beneficial for your health due to the lack of noise, pollution, and a lot of greenery, but living in a big city is more comfortable due to more career opportunities, entertainment options, and proximity of various institutions.

The most confusing part of writing a compare-and-contrast essay is choosing a method of comparing the two subjects. There are three options to choose from:

  1. Similarities and differences: first, you discuss all the similarities between the subjects and discuss the differences between them.
  2. Point by point: first, you discuss one subject according to a specific issue, and then, you discuss another subject according to the same topic and so on.
  3. Subject by subject: you discuss the first subject in full first, and then you move to the next subject.

The choice of the strategy depends on the topic, the audience, and the purpose of your essay. No matter what you choose, pay particular attention to the topic sentences of your paragraphs so that the reader clearly understands what the paragraph will be about.

Similarities and Differences

This option is perhaps the easiest to follow because you focus on discussing similarities first and then focus on the differences or vice versa. In this case, the paragraphs of your essay should be divided by what the subjects have in common and how they differ.

Point by Point

If the previous method is not for you or you want to experiment with the essay structure, you can group paragraphs by a specific point or issue. This way, you will discuss both subjects simultaneously, but one section will cover only one topic, issue, or quality. This method is an excellent choice if your goal is to focus on the connection between the subjects or lack of it.

Subject by Subject

Unlike the previous two methods, paragraphs here are divided by a subject you are discussing. For instance, you are talking about introverts in one paragraph and then extroverts in the next one. It does not mean that you can only write two paragraphs! You can move back and forth and write as many paragraphs as you need; just make sure that you discuss one subject within a paragraph.

The Writing Process

  • Brainstorming: think about the key similarities and differences you want to discuss in the paper; a great option is to create a Venn diagram like this one:

  • Preparation: once you have a list of qualities, decide what structure method you will use.
  • Drafting: write a rough draft;
  • Revising: now, revise what you have written and, if needed, rewrite some parts from scratch;
  • Proofreading: make sure that there are no grammatical and spelling mistakes in your essay; you can ask someone else to help you proofread the essay, too;

Key Words and Other Tips

Your paragraph structure should help the reader understand what you are going to talk about and what structure method you have chosen. Thus, you need to use different transition words and clear topic sentences. Here is a list of words that can help you achieve your goal:

  • likewise, on the contrary, however, like, similar to, nevertheless, regardless, compared to, in the same way, on the other hand, at the same time, still, in like manner.

24/7 Compare-and-Contrast Essay Assistance

Now that we talked about the structure for your compare-and-contrast essay, discussed possible topics and helpful tips, you can practice writing your paper!

However, if you don’t have time or need an excellently written essay and need some help, you can always delegate this task to our team of professional writers. We will be happy to work with you and ensure that your compare-and-contrast essay analyzes the topic thoroughly and demonstrates your knowledge.

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