How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

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In the middle and high school the size requirements for compare and contrast type of essay usually range from 5-6 paragraphs including introduction, conclusion and 3 or 4 main body parts. If your tutor has nothing against this structure, stick to it. At colleges and universities expectations are higher and you should not get too locked into the classical school essay model.  The following steps are designed to guide you towards a perfect and well composed compare and contrast essay.

1.Choose two subjects that can be compared in the meaningful way

Start with selecting two subjects from the same or close categories. You can choose several subjects that belong to the same category but appear to have some evident differences. Or on the contrary you can pick two subjects that are from different categories but have some significant traits in common.

2.Brainstorm about the main similarities and differences between two subjects

Define a few the most prominent and significant similar and different traits and mainly focus on them. Do not enumerate all the possible ways in which two subjects coincide or vary. It will only extra load the text without adding too much sense and meaning.

3.Build up your text structure using thesis

The main and the most widely spread type of thesis is so called “more and less thesis”. It demonstrates to the readers that one subject is more desirable than another one or vice versa. For example, comparing two cities like New York and Los Angeles, one can say that New York is more favorable for business, but it is less appealing in terms of climate conditions and entertainment than Los Angeles. Another popular “while both” comparison thesis often applied in the essays is “while both” thesis. Have a look at the following sentence: “While both Tina and Maya used to study perfectly at school, Maya had more agile mind and better memory”.

4.Decide on your essay structure

There are three main structures which can be applied in essay writing:

  1. Compare then contrast structure

It is a common and widely used logical structure. First, you find similar things between objects and after you concentrate on the existing differences. This structure is convenient for the writer when he wishes to actualize attention on the differences between the subjects but can be a little bit challenging for the reader, as it does not enable him/her to see immediately why these subjects are contrasted.

  1. Point by Point

This type of essay structure carries out comparison by separate points. For example, while comparing two air companies you first compare them according to prices (less expensive/cheaper, etc.), then service qualities, etc.

  1. Subject by Subject

Subject by Subject structure deals with two subjects in turns and separately. First it focuses on subject A and then passes to subject B.

You can choose whatever structure you like and find the most appealing and organize your essay according to it.

5.Come up with good introduction and conclusion

Do not forget to pay special attention to the introductory part and conclusion for your essay. In the introduction specify the points you are going to describe, explain the reason why you chose them and cover an overall idea of the whole essay. In the conclusion restate the main point and share your personal view.

How to Write Compare and Contrast Essay

In the middle and high school the size requirements for compare and contrast type of essay usually range from 5-6 paragraphs including introduction, conclusion and 3 or 4 main body parts. If your tutor has nothing against this structure, stick to it. At colleges and universities expectations are higher and you should not get too locked into the classical school essay model.  The following steps are designed to guide you towards a perfect and well composed compare and contrast essay.

1.Choose two subjects that can be compared in the meaningful way

Start with selecting two subjects from the same or close categories. You can choose several subjects that belong to the same category but appear to have some evident differences. Or on the contrary you can pick two subjects that are from different categories but have some significant traits in common.

2.Brainstorm about the main similarities and differences between two subjects

Define a few the most prominent and significant similar and different traits and mainly focus on them. Do not enumerate all the possible ways in which two subjects coincide or vary. It will only extra load the text without adding too much sense and meaning. This doesn't require any creative writing, but still you should find the balance.

3.Build up your text structure using thesis

The main and the most widely spread type of thesis is so called “more and less thesis”. It demonstrates to the readers that one subject is more desirable than another one or vice versa. For example, comparing two cities like New York and Los Angeles, one can say that New York is more favorable for business, but it is less appealing in terms of climate conditions and entertainment than Los Angeles. Another popular “while both” comparison thesis often applied in the essays is “while both” thesis. Have a look at the following sentence: “While both Tina and Maya used to study perfectly at school, Maya had more agile mind and better memory”.

4.Decide on your essay structure

There are three main structures which can be applied in essay writing:

  1. Compare then contrast structure

It is a common and widely used logical structure. First, you find similar things between objects and after you concentrate on the existing differences. This structure is convenient for the writer when he wishes to actualize attention on the differences between the subjects but can be a little bit challenging for the reader, as it does not enable him/her to see immediately why these subjects are contrasted.

  1. Point by Point

This type of essay structure carries out comparison by separate points. For example, while comparing two air companies you first compare them according to prices (less expensive/cheaper, etc.), then service qualities, etc.

  1. Subject by Subject

Subject by Subject structure deals with two subjects in turns and separately. First it focuses on subject A and then passes to subject B.

You can choose whatever structure you like and find the most appealing and organize your essay according to it.

5.Come up with good introduction and conclusion

Do not forget to pay special attention to the introductory part and conclusion for your essay. In the introduction specify the points you are going to describe, explain the reason why you chose them and cover an overall idea of the whole essay. In the conclusion restate the main point and share your personal view.