How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

What Does Contrast Mean? Does Compare Mean the Same?

Before explaining the steps on how to write a compare and contrast essay, let us define these terms. The definition of both contrast and compare will enlighten a student on what is required in a compare and contrast essay assignment. As a result, you will encounter few people online asking, ‘who can write my essay?’ Or ‘who can do my assignment for me?’ Comparing means identifying similarities between two or more subjects. On the other hand, contrasting means seeking out the differences that are present in two or more subjects.

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What is a Compare and Contrast Essay?

A compare and contrast essay refers to a piece of writing that compares and contrasts two different subjects, theories, or ideas. When comparing, one looks at what is similar between the two theories, ideas, or subjects. However, when contrasting, one seeks out the differences that exist between the two. With this knowledge, it now becomes easy to tackle how to write a compare and contrast essay.

The Compare and Contrast Essay Structure

There is a standard structure for an average compare and contrast essay. It looks as follows:

  1. The Introduction

In this segment, one should introduce the two theories, subjects, or ideas that you are going to compare. Also, ensure that you provide a brief background on your two subjects. Do not just assume that people know what your ideas mean, their context, or why they are significant.

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  1. The Thesis Statement

The thesis statement refers to the main argument of your essay. In this case, it should be the impression of your two ideas or theories. It is important to state if they are similar or if they differ more than the average person knows.

  1. The Main Body

The body is the most central section of a compare and contrast essay or any other essay. Therefore it must be comprehensive, detailed, and accurate. Each of your paragraphs should explain only one point. So, do not discuss different aspects in one section. You can choose to begin by either comparing your subjects or contrasting them. Whatever preference you want, stick with it. Additionally, ensure you support every point with relevant and accurate evidence.

  1. The Conclusion

The content for the conclusion should be drawn from the entire essay. It should contain the thesis statement and the main points of the piece.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Steps on How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Most students struggle with these assignments merely because they do not know the steps to follow. Here are is a step by step guide to use in your next compare and contrast assignment:

Step 1: Select Your Topic

The first step how to write a compare and contrast essay is to pick the subject to discuss. When choosing the theme, remember to pick one that can help compile a meaningful compare and contrast essay. So, research on the best compare and contrast essay ideas. There are multiple compare and contrast ideas one can have. However, not all may be effective or researchable. The ideas range from different historical figures, famous events, controversial theories, or so on. After you select a subject, you have to analyze it to ensure it contains both similarities and differences. For instance:

Two Theories

If you have theories you think are fit as your subject, then ask yourself questions such as:

  • What are these theories about? Are they famous or recently approved?
  • When did these theories originate?
  • Who created them? Who uses these theories, and who defends them?
  • What is the primary focus, argument, or aim of each of your theory? Do they offer any inferences?
  • How do individuals apply them to specific things or situations?
  • What kind of evidence is usually offered for these theories?

Two Historical Events or Periods

If you have formulated a topic based on these, then ask yourself questions such as:

  • When did these events occur? You can state the exact dates if you know them.
  • During the occurrence of these two events, what happened or what changed? Were the changes or happenings significant?
  • In the events, what people were involved, and what were their roles? Were there any kinds of governments there? What relationships did these individuals have? Were they of any value?
  • What caused these events? Were there any later consequences?

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Two Pieces of Art

If you are thinking of selecting two pieces of art or writing, then ask yourself questions such as:

  • What kinds of art r writings are these? Their title. What does each piece reflect or describe?
  • What is the tone or mood portrayed in each piece of art or writing?
  • Who created the masterpieces? When did these individuals create them? Why do you think they were created as they were? Are there any themes that these pieces specifically address?
  • Is there any piece of art or writing that you believe has higher merit or quality? If so, why?
  • What is the characterization, theme, plot, narration type, tone, and setting used in your piece of writing?

Step 2: Brainstorm the Similarities and Differences of Your Subjects

After you have identified your subjects, then go ahead and analyze their similarities and differences. Do not do this without jotting them down. So, go ahead and make two lists. One should contain similarities and the other the differences. If you tend to use the visual approach, then you can always draw a Venn diagram. The Venn diagram is one tool that has helped in the comparison and contrast of various subjects. However, do not use it if you are not familiar with it. Brainstorm the traits that differ and those that are present in your two items. Sometimes, students tend to rely only on their brainstorming capability. As a result, they end using inaccurate claims to justify their points. Do not do this. Go ahead and research to ensure you come up with good arguments.

Step 3: Support Your Main Arguments

A good compare and contrast essay does not just contain a list of the primary similarities and differences. Instead, it should contain meaningful statements that do not leave the reader having any question marks. Additionally, the arguments ought to make more sense to the broader topic. So, discuss in detail the significant elements of your cases.

Step 4: Develop Your Compare and Contrast Essay Structure

Although there is a standard structure for an average compare and contrast essay, sometimes, the structure may differ. This is because of varying essay instructions or theories, or subjects. Therefore, do not be surprised to encounter compare and contrast essays that have a different structure from the one you are used to. The typical compare and contrast essay structure has four significant elements. These include the introduction, the thesis statement, the main body, and the conclusion.

Step 5: Write Your Essay Outline

It is so essential for any essay writer to work with an overview. So, go ahead and craft the framework that bests the structure you have chosen for your essay. However, most students do not know what overview to use in a compare and contrast essay. So, you will encounter searches like, ‘How do you write a compare and contrast essay outline?’ The average compare and contrast essay outline has four significant parts. These include the introductory paragraph, four body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, the body paragraphs may shift depending on the arguments one has in their work.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Step 6: Write Your Compare and Contrast Essay

After developing the outline, one can now begin with the essay writing process. Since most people do not work with frameworks, you will hear them asking, ‘How do you start a compare and contrast essay?’ However, you will not hear this from a person who took the time to develop their essay overview. This is because they know what to write, where, and how to style their work. As you write your essay, ensure that you back up all the assertions that you make. However, do not support those assertions using claims or further opinions. Instead, gather your evidence from research and further reading. However, if you are comparing simple things like cats and dogs, you can use personal experience as back up evidence. Additionally, remember to cite your work.

Step 7: Use Strong Compare and Contrast Transition Words

When writing your compare and contrast essay, ensure that you use transitional words. They tend to give your essay a nice flow. Transitional words include terms such as likewise, moreover, whereas, on the other hand, nonetheless, both, similarly, and so on. However, not all transitional words fit the case of contrasting and comparing. Transitional words like both, similarly, and likewise are used when comparing. When contrasting, transitional words such as nonetheless, whereas, on the other hand, and moreover can be used.

Step 8: Proofread Your Compare and Contrast Essay Carefully

After you have finished with the writing process, go back, and read your essay several times. As you read the piece, ensure you check for grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. You can begin by using spell check and grammar check tools that can be found in your word processing program. After that, read through your work manually, looking for any left error. If you do not have a keen eye for mistakes, you can ask a friend or colleague to go through your work for you. A fresh pair of eyes can be what your essay needs in terms of identifying and mistakes you might have missed. When comfortable with your work, then go ahead and submit it.

How to Write a Brilliant Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction

The introductory paragraph is fundamental in any essay. This is because it is the section that will tell the reader whether or not they will read your work. As a result, writing the compare and contrast paragraphs has become quite daunting and stressful for most. Consequently, they go online searching for ‘an online homework helper to write my assignment.’ The few that do not want someone to tackle their assignment are always asking, ‘How do you write a compare and contrast sentence?’ or ‘How do you write a compare and contrast essay template?’ Well, there are a few elements that you need to include in this opening to engage and encourage readers to continue reading. It leaves us asking, ‘How do I start my introduction?’ and ‘what are these elements?’ These aspects to include are:

  1. A Hook Sentence

The hook sentence is also referred to as an attention grabber. It is the first sentence in the introductory paragraph of any essay. As the name suggests, this statement aims at capturing the attention of the reader. However, the problem is that most hook sentences used by students in their essays do not do this. It leaves us asking, ‘How do you write a good attention grabber?’ or ‘What is a good hook sentence?’ Before we look at that, it is essential to list the various types of hooks. Most people tend to ask, ‘What are the 5 types of hooks?’ Well, they are the startling statement, the musing, rhetorical question, anecdote memoir, inspirational quote, and the shocking statistics. There are a couple of ways you can write the right hook. These include:

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

a. Studying Your Audience

Not all readers are worn over by the same hooks. So, no matter how good your hook sentence ma sound, sometimes, it just does not do the trick. Therefore, study your audience to know what they relate to the most. 

b. Identifying the Hook That Best Relates To Your Work

Although using the musing may sound perfect, sometimes, it just might not do you justice based on your theme. So, do not settle for what does not relate to your item. Statistics may do it if at all the subjects one is comparing and contrasting are more quantitative.

c. Thinking outside the Box

Hooks cannot be intriguing if students do not go out of their way to make them creative and engaging. So as much as they may know how to write them, one ought to also be imaginative.

  1. A Thesis Statement

The compare and contrast thesis statement should tell the reader the primary argument of your work. It should be precise and accurate. Avoid being vague or wordy because it will not tell the reader the specific case in your work. Instead, use clear language. So, focus on the critical fact about your subjects that you are going to discuss in your entire essay.

For Instance:

Avoid using verbiage such as ‘the topic of my essay will be the differences and similarities between World War I and World War II.’ Instead, you can phrase your thesis statement more convincingly and engagingly. For example, ‘What makes World War I the perfect complement to any historical event? Dos World War II have the same appeal? Both may have happened for different reasons. However, the two more similarities than you may have originally thought.’

  1. The Main Arguments

In this section, one also needs to highlight the main points that will be discussed in their proceeding essay. However, it should be listing and not discussing. The discussion should be written in the body part of the compare and contrast essay. Points that are well listed will adequately convey to the reader what your essay is all about. Be specific and accurate when writing the arguments.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Body Paragraph 

Like any other essay, the body paragraph of the compare and contrast essay requires planning. You have to plan on how each argument will be discussed, where, and when. So, review all the information that you have collected from your research. Let each case be discussed in one paragraph.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Additionally, have a system of when you will discuss the similarities and differences. You can choose to present the similarities first and later on the differences. This is the most commonly used approach by students. However, you can still discuss the differences first, followed by the similarities. Whatever method you use, ensure that you stick to it till the end. Another point to note when writing the body of the compare and contrast essay is to find information that may not be widely known. It will give your work an authenticity aspect that builds on your essay quality.

Tips on How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay 

Various guidelines can make your compare and contrast essay writing much smoother. They may be directly or indirectly taught when one is learning how to write a compare and contrast essay. These guidelines guarantee you high grades in your compare and contrast essay assignments. These include:

  • Pick a topic that you can effectively argue. This is only the case if you have not been assigned the issue. A student must select the item that they are comfortable with and are confident in arguing for and against. As a result, they can effectively offer more information besides the known or surface similarities and differences.
  • Do not introduce any new argument in the conclusion. The conclusion must only contain information that is depicted in the body of your essay and introduction. It should reiterate the thesis statement. Additionally, it should also bear the main points and noteworthy findings of your work.
  • Explain each idea, theory, or the point in the same amount of talk time. In a nutshell, do not explain idea 1 using three points and then explain idea 2 with one point. All your opinions or points must have the same number of evidence points. Therefore, if idea 1 has three points, then let idea two also have three points.
  • Research adequately to identify the relation and difference between your subjects. Most students fail in this assignment because they do not take adequate time to research their subjects properly. As a result, they forget to compare or contrast their items. If not, they fail to give each of their point valid proof to support their comparing and contrasting points.
  • Cite your essay accordingly. If you do not know how to cite any source, then research or seek online homework help. This is because inaccurate citing can reduce the quality of your compare and contrast essay.

The Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

The best compare and contrast essay topics refer to themes or theories that can be compared and contrasted. There are a lot of ideas that one can discuss after they learn how to write a compare and contrast essay. For instance:

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on History

  • Are Fascism and Nazism the same, or are they different?
  • Between learning history and computers, what makes more sense today?
  • What are the similarities and differences depicted in World War I and World War II?
  • Between the eras of Henry VIII and King Louis XIV, which one was better off?
  • What are the primary differences and similarities in the customs and traditions of African society and the Europeans?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Literature

  • What is the primary difference between essay writing and research paper writing?
  • What is more comfortable between in-class work and homework assignments?
  • Compare and contrast traditional school and remote learning
  • What is more challenging between college examinations and high school exams?
  • What is more practical between fiction and non-fiction literature?

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics on Natural Science

  • Which type of natural disaster causes more harm: between tsunamis and earthquakes?
  • Between Thomas Jefferson innovations and those by DaVinci, which ones matter the most in today’s society?
  • What are the differences and similarities between the first mission to the moon and second visit?
  • Can individuals apply theories in physics to interpret every life aspect?
  • What is the correlation between technology and science?

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