How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay?


There are all sorts of assignments that high school and college students have to writing throughout their education program. Teachers and instructors love assigning essays because that’s thought to provoke the skills to consider topics critically. Thus, by handing you a project, teachers give you a hand in learning to ponder on topics from all angles.

One particular kind that you may encounter is the compare and contrast essay. In this type of essay, you will have to compare and contrast two different theories, methods, etc. to differentiate or equate the subjects (find their similarities or differences).

What Does Compare and Contrast Mean?

The compare and contrast essay example looks similar to some other types but of it’s important aspects vary. To be more exact, it has different goals. Compare-and-contrast means you’d be comparing and contrasting how several elements relate according to their aspects. Here you touch upon those elements to aid readers in understanding each of them.

Its use comes in handy in cases where you wish to point out variabilities in some seemingly related subjects. It’s quite useful if the subjects can be confused.

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Most notable elements are: Thesis statement, then Structure. Right before you set them on, get yourself some topics for compare and contrast essays. Now off to…


You can aid yourself by listing compare and contrast essay topics to pick from. Such comparison essay topics are:

  • Solar energy and fossil fuel
  • USA in the 90s and USA today
  • The Egyptian civilization and The Mesopotamian civilization, etc.

Okay, topic ready. Off to brainstorming ideas. First, create an extensive list of what common things in which the matters at hand differ or look alike to see how to connect them. Now, when you have a topic for compare and contrast and a compare and contrast essay outline (aka. the list you’ve set up) you can bring the focus down onto narrowing on a thesis. Remember, short and concise. It needs to state an important one-line long idea or opinion. To properly formulate it, consider the thing you want to emphasize on. Here comes the next step.


Here we are also following the traditionally recommended structure. In short, you need to have three major points:

  • Introduction – thesis explanation and general description.
  • Body paragraph – serves to list your point.
  • Conclusion – summary.

The introduction combines several paragraphs. Here you put into writing the thesis. Introduction serves to show a brief of what is to come below. It’s written like an introduction for other kinds of essays. Same for the conclusion – just like you’d do for other instances.

Yet, there we are at the assignment’s main part. If you doubt yourself about writing a compare and contrast essay, the thing that’s the most trouble is actually the body paragraph of the assignment. We will show you how to deal with it.

Structure of a Compare and Contrast Essay

Three are the top structures:

  • Similarities and Differences
  • Alternating method
  • Block method

Similarities and Differences Method

In each paragraph you’d be touching upon all subjects. Still, don’t divide them by topic. Rather, by differences and commonalities. With this method people can touch more strongly upon a particular thing that differentiates or makes the subject alike. Or you make the revelation at the end.

Alternating Method

Both subjects are to be placed in each paragraph together, separated by a specific topic each. Start by telling a specific subject, discussing it regarding all subjects. Next paragraph – a second topic for all subjects, again, and so on. Shows off differentiation between the subjects.

Block Method

To begin, talk about the subject. Follow on to the next paragraph where you put some data on your second one. Then continue switching forwards and backwards. To use this structure properly, focus highly on all of the subjects at hand. But remember, here the connection between them is somewhat weakened.

Purpose of Compare and Contrast Essay

You narrowed the topic down? Okay, but in some cases, to provide a quality journey into the matter given, background details are required, beginning at another topic. You aim to have a single main point. Still, various paths can be taken in that direction.

Right here to the rescue come the compare and contrast essays for best results. Here you’d put emphasis on several subjects, rather than only one. Sure, that has a downside – you cannot describe them in great detail as if it was a single one. But you present a comprehension of all the mentioned subjects – something that’s appreciated.


What the steps are:

  • Brainstorm: Differences and similarities are to be noted. Check what moments captivate your attention and imagination.
  • Prepare: Take a hard look down at what you’ve listed and select a structure for top results.
  • Draft: First rough draft.
  • Revise: A quite important moment.
  • Proofread: Proofread, edit as much as needed, then you are ready to set off towards your next great grade.

Tips on How to Write a Comparison Essay

Go after commonalities. Strive to pick topics with common elements. If they aren’t similar at all, you get yourself stuck with topics that have only differences but nothing to compare. You’d do well if you go for topics with strong connections. If they aren’t well connected, you’d struggle with argumentation. So, before you begin writing, check for a strong common thread that is shared between the subjects.

Clarity – a top element that should be delivered with uttermost attention. Even with one subject, sometimes we can hardly comprehend a given writing. Even harder is to understand essays containing several subjects. Thus, clarity is a hard thing to achieve when you are writing a comparison essay. Clear communication is a must so that the reader understands clearly the particular point. Following that particular advice may prove to be absolutely difficult whilst you are busy jotting down all your ideas. Luckily, you can set it aside. After it sat in your drawer while you clear your mind, get back to it and see if any problems with the clarity are occurring.

Outlines can always help you. It is beneficial with pretty much all types of writing assignments but works wonders here, as well. By crafting a compare and contrast essay outline you are both brainstorming ideas, and putting down the main aspects you’d need as to clearly remember them. This allows you to quickly write what’s important instead of standing there watching the wall in wonder if you are leaving out something you wanted to touch on.

Finally, the proofreading step is of uttermost importance. Don’t shatter the good impression you are making because of some grammatical or lexical error that’s avoidable. After all, we are humans and we often, especially when in a hurry, make simple mistakes that we can catch if we look through the assignment once again. When you are proofreading, see whether the spelling is proper, the punctuation is correct, and the grammar is all good.


We haven’t found an easy essay yet and compare-and-contrast is even harder. So many aspects must be thought of. Carefully select your topic, then a proper thesis. Sure, already given topics are a better option. But if you are to pick, aim to do thorough research to ensure interesting and writeable subjects that you are familiar with. But even if they are completely familiar, you still should have references, citations, sources. Don’t forget to mention them and properly cite and quote, if necessary.

Then, remember that the thesis is presented in a single sentence and it’s of uttermost importance. Pick it carefully and ensure you can prove that clearly and coherently. Build on it through the body. Pick a proper structure, fitting all your needs. Check out some examples of compare and contrast essays, if such are available.

Plus, your conclusion leaves a huge impression on the reader, as well. There you must summarize how you’ve successfully proven the thesis. Finish strong and you are guaranteeing yourself a better grade.

Of course, we can talk for ages. We can go on and on about essay writing, but we have already given you the most important elements to consider. Now it’s all up to you to show off your best writing skills and top that class!

A brief summary:

Initially, you must discover a subject (actually, several) that you can build upon. Lay that out before you, consider which:

  • You know well
  • Ignite your imagination
  • You feel like talking on
  • Could be debatable

That set, go on further on your journey. The topic is all set. Now it’s thesis time! Pick it carefully because it’s indubitably a vital part. You require enough arguments in its support. Now, this being a comparison essay, you must have two subjects, at least. You are to… well, compare them. In the body, list all similar and all different parts of all subjects. Or, not all, this can vary according to the purpose of writing. But put down at least the main aspects. This ensures you can leave a quality impression that clears the doubt of the reader’s mind. To be more precise, try making the reader certain of (or, at least, willing to consider) your point.

Various ways of structuring exist. We describe them above so we won’t get down to them here, in the final section. We just want to touch on how you pick the structure – that is, on a case-to-case basis according to the desired outcome in regards to impression and final point. Outlines shall help you out here. Remember, they are always a major way towards top writing skills.

Having laid the basis of proving your point, finish by crafting a strong conclusion to tie the ends. Don’t think you’re already, though. Ensure a proper check and proofreading to walk the extra mile (preferably, in your own shoes). Our steps were given in a manner that allows you to gain the best grade possible.

Sure, as with all writing there is, we can improve and improve, and keep on improving. You’d eventually get amazing at doing such assignments. But right on your first try you can find it quite hard. Don’t get discouraged. We’ve been there and we’ve sat in awe about how we are to do that task. Yet, with perseverance, you’d succeed. Of course, we want to make the process easier, so we compiled this comprehensive guide for you.

We believe everything is easier as a team, so our team is here for you. The last element we would touch upon is that and exactly that – you can work as a team with someone. Get some help with your assignments. Make it easier for yourself. After all, studying comes hard at you and you need to push back with an even stronger force. What makes a better force than a fellow student or a professional who’s already been where you sit!