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5 Compare and Contrast Essay Examples (Full Text)

A compare and contrast essay selects two or more items that are critically analyzed to demonstrate their differences and similarities. Here is a template for you that provides the general structure:

compare and contrast essay format

A range of example essays is presented below.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

#1 jean piaget vs lev vygotsky essay.

1480 Words | 5 Pages | 10 References

(Level: University Undergraduate)

paget vs vygotsky essay

Thesis Statement: “This essay will critically examine and compare the developmental theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, focusing on their differing views on cognitive development in children and their influence on educational psychology, through an exploration of key concepts such as the role of culture and environment, scaffolding, equilibration, and their overall implications for educational practices..”

#2 Democracy vs Authoritarianism Essay

democracy vs authoritarianism essay

Thesis Statement: “The thesis of this analysis is that, despite the efficiency and control offered by authoritarian regimes, democratic systems, with their emphasis on individual freedoms, participatory governance, and social welfare, present a more balanced and ethically sound approach to governance, better aligned with the ideals of a just and progressive society.”

#3 Apples vs Oranges Essay

1190 Words | 5 Pages | 0 References

(Level: 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade)

apples vs oranges essay

Thesis Statement: “While apples and oranges are both popular and nutritious fruits, they differ significantly in their taste profiles, nutritional benefits, cultural symbolism, and culinary applications.”

#4 Nature vs Nurture Essay

1525 Words | 5 Pages | 11 References

(Level: High School and College)

nature vs nurture essay

Thesis Statement: “The purpose of this essay is to examine and elucidate the complex and interconnected roles of genetic inheritance (nature) and environmental influences (nurture) in shaping human development across various domains such as physical traits, personality, behavior, intelligence, and abilities.”

#5 Dogs vs Cats Essay

1095 Words | 5 Pages | 7 Bibliographic Sources

(Level: 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade)

Thesis Statement: “This essay explores the distinctive characteristics, emotional connections, and lifestyle considerations associated with owning dogs and cats, aiming to illuminate the unique joys and benefits each pet brings to their human companions.”

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

I’ve recorded a full video for you on how to write a compare and contrast essay:

Get the Compare and Contrast Templates with AI Prompts Here

In the video, I outline the steps to writing your essay. Here they are explained below:

1. Essay Planning

First, I recommend using my compare and contrast worksheet, which acts like a Venn Diagram, walking you through the steps of comparing the similarities and differences of the concepts or items you’re comparing.

I recommend selecting 3-5 features that can be compared, as shown in the worksheet:

compare and contrast worksheet

Grab the Worksheet as Part of the Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Pack

2. Writing the Essay

Once you’ve completed the worksheet, you’re ready to start writing. Go systematically through each feature you are comparing and discuss the similarities and differences, then make an evaluative statement after showing your depth of knowledge:

compare and contrast essay template

Get the Rest of the Premium Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Pack (With AI Prompts) Here

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement

Compare and contrast thesis statements can either:

  • Remain neutral in an expository tone.
  • Prosecute an argument about which of the items you’re comparing is overall best.

To write an argumentative thesis statement for a compare and contrast essay, try this AI Prompts:

💡 AI Prompt to Generate Ideas I am writing a compare and contrast essay that compares [Concept 1] and [Concept2]. Give me 5 potential single-sentence thesis statements that pass a reasonable judgement.

Ready to Write your Essay?

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Take action! Choose one of the following options to start writing your compare and contrast essay now:

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compare and contrast examples and definition

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34 Compelling Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Topics cover education, technology, pop culture, sports, animals, and more.

example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

Do your writers need some inspiration? If you’re teaching students to write a compare and contrast essay, a strong example is an invaluable tool. This round-up of our favorite compare and contrast essays covers a range of topics and grade levels, so no matter your students’ interests or ages, you’ll always have a helpful example to share. You’ll find links to full essays about education, technology, pop culture, sports, animals, and more. (Need compare-and-contrast essay topic ideas? Check out our big list of compare and contrast essay topics! )

What is a compare and contrast essay?

  • Education and parenting essays
  • Technology essays
  • Pop culture essays
  • Historical and political essays
  • Sports essays
  • Lifestyle essays
  • Healthcare essays
  • Animal essays

When choosing a compare and contrast essay example to include on this list, we considered the structure. A strong compare and contrast essay begins with an introductory paragraph that includes background context and a strong thesis. Next, the body includes paragraphs that explore the similarities and differences. Finally, a concluding paragraph restates the thesis, draws any necessary inferences, and asks any remaining questions.

A compare and contrast essay example can be an opinion piece comparing two things and making a conclusion about which is better. For example, “Is Tom Brady really the GOAT?” It can also help consumers decide which product is better suited to them. Should you keep your subscription to Hulu or Netflix? Should you stick with Apple or explore Android? Here’s our list of compare and contrast essay samples categorized by subject.

Education and Parenting Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Private school vs. public school.

Sample lines: “Deciding whether to send a child to public or private school can be a tough choice for parents. … Data on whether public or private education is better can be challenging to find and difficult to understand, and the cost of private school can be daunting. … According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, public schools still attract far more students than private schools, with 50.7 million students attending public school as of 2018. Private school enrollment in the fall of 2017 was 5.7 million students, a number that is down from 6 million in 1999.”

Read the full essay: Private School vs. Public School at U.S. News and World Report

Homeschool vs. Public School: How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education

Homeschool vs. Public School: How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education

Sample lines: “Home schooling, not a present threat to public education, is nonetheless one of the forces that will change it. If the high estimates of the number of children in home schools (1.2 million) is correct, then the home-schooling universe is larger than the New York City public school system and roughly the size of the Los Angeles and Chicago public school systems combined. … Critics charge that three things are wrong with home schooling: harm to students academically; harm to society by producing students who are ill-prepared to function as democratic citizens and participants in a modern economy; and harm to public education, making it more difficult for other parents to educate their children. … It is time to ask whether home schooling, charters, and vouchers should be considered parts of a broad repertoire of methods that we as a society use to educate our children.”

Read the full essay: Homeschool vs. Public School: How Home Schooling Will Change Public Education at Brookings

Which parenting style is right for you?

Sample lines: “The three main types of parenting are on a type of ‘sliding scale’ of parenting, with permissive parenting as the least strict type of parenting. Permissive parenting typically has very few rules, while authoritarian parenting is thought of as a very strict, rule-driven type of parenting.”

Read the full essay: What Is Authoritative Parenting? at Healthline

Masked Education? The Benefits and Burdens of Wearing Face Masks in Schools During the Pandemic

Sample lines: “Face masks can prevent the spread of the virus SARS-CoV-2. … However, covering the lower half of the face reduces the ability to communicate. Positive emotions become less recognizable, and negative emotions are amplified. Emotional mimicry, contagion, and emotionality in general are reduced and (thereby) bonding between teachers and learners, group cohesion, and learning—of which emotions are a major driver. The benefits and burdens of face masks in schools should be seriously considered and made obvious and clear to teachers and students.”

Read the full essay: Masked Education? The Benefits and Burdens of Wearing Face Masks in Schools During the Pandemic at National Library of Medicine

To Ban or Not: What Should We Really Make of Book Bans?

To Ban or Not: What Should We Really Make of Book Bans?

Sample lines: “In recent years, book bans have soared in schools, reaching an all-time high in fall 2022. … The challenge of balancing parent concerns about ‘age appropriateness’ against the imperative of preparing students to be informed citizens is still on the minds of many educators today. … Such curricular decision-making  should  be left to the professionals, argues English/language arts instructional specialist Miriam Plotinsky. ‘Examining texts for their appropriateness is not a job that noneducators are trained to do,’ she wrote last year, as the national debate over censorship resurged with the news that a Tennessee district banned the graphic novel  Maus  just days before Holocaust Remembrance Day.”

Read the full essay: To Ban or Not: What Should We Really Make of Book Bans? at Education Week

Technology Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Netflix vs. hulu 2023: which is the best streaming service.

Sample lines: “Netflix fans will point to its high-quality originals, including  The Witcher ,  Stranger Things ,  Emily in Paris ,  Ozark , and more, as well as a wide variety of documentaries like  Cheer ,  The Last Dance ,  My Octopus Teacher , and many others. It also boasts a much larger subscription base, with more than 222 million subscribers compared to Hulu’s 44 million. Hulu, on the other hand, offers a variety of extras such as HBO and Showtime—content that’s unavailable on Netflix. Its price tag is also cheaper than the competition, with its $7/mo. starting price, which is a bit more palatable than Netflix’s $10/mo. starting price.”

Read the full essay: Netflix vs. Hulu 2023: Which is the best streaming service? at TV Guide

Kindle vs. Hardcover: Which is easier on the eyes?

Kindle vs. Hardcover: Which is easier on the eyes?

Sample lines: “In the past, we would have to drag around heavy books if we were really into reading. Now, we can have all of those books, and many more, stored in one handy little device that can easily be stuffed into a backpack, purse, etc. … Many of us still prefer to hold an actual book in our hands. … But, whether you use a Kindle or prefer hardcover books or paperbacks, the main thing is that you enjoy reading. A story in a book or on a Kindle device can open up new worlds, take you to fantasy worlds, educate you, entertain you, and so much more.”

Read the full essay: Kindle vs. Hardcover: Which is easier on the eyes? at Books in a Flash

iPhone vs. Android: Which is better for you?

Sample lines: “The iPhone vs. Android comparison is a never-ending debate on which one is best. It will likely never have a real winner, but we’re going to try and help you to find your personal pick all the same. iOS 17 and Android 14—the latest versions of the two operating systems—both offer smooth and user-friendly experiences, and several similar or identical features. But there are still important differences to be aware of. … Owning an iPhone is a simpler, more convenient experience. There’s less to think about. … Android-device ownership is a bit harder. … Yet it’s simultaneously more freeing, because it offers more choice.”

Read the full essay: iPhone vs. Android: Which is better for you? at Tom’s Guide

Cutting the cord: Is streaming or cable better for you?

Sample lines: “Cord-cutting has become a popular trend in recent years, thanks to the rise of streaming services. For those unfamiliar, cord cutting is the process of canceling your cable subscription and instead, relying on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu to watch your favorite shows and movies. The primary difference is that you can select your streaming services à la carte while cable locks you in on a set number of channels through bundles. So, the big question is: should you cut the cord?”

Read the full essay: Cutting the cord: Is streaming or cable better for you? at BroadbandNow

PS5 vs. Nintendo Switch

PS5 vs. Nintendo Switch

Sample lines: “The crux of the comparison comes down to portability versus power. Being able to migrate fully fledged Nintendo games from a big screen to a portable device is a huge asset—and one that consumers have taken to, especially given the Nintendo Switch’s meteoric sales figures. … It is worth noting that many of the biggest franchises like Call of Duty, Madden, modern Resident Evil titles, newer Final Fantasy games, Grand Theft Auto, and open-world Ubisoft adventures like Assassin’s Creed will usually skip Nintendo Switch due to its lack of power. The inability to play these popular games practically guarantees that a consumer will pick up a modern system, while using the Switch as a secondary device.”

Read the full essay: PS5 vs. Nintendo Switch at Digital Trends

What is the difference between Facebook and Instagram?

Sample lines: “Have you ever wondered what is the difference between Facebook and Instagram? Instagram and Facebook are by far the most popular social media channels used by digital marketers. Not to mention that they’re also the biggest platforms used by internet users worldwide. So, today we’ll look into the differences and similarities between these two platforms to help you figure out which one is the best fit for your business.”

Read the full essay: What is the difference between Facebook and Instagram? at SocialBee

Digital vs. Analog Watches—What’s the Difference?

Sample lines: “In short, digital watches use an LCD or LED screen to display the time. Whereas, an analog watch features three hands to denote the hour, minutes, and seconds. With the advancement in watch technology and research, both analog and digital watches have received significant improvements over the years. Especially in terms of design, endurance, and accompanying features. … At the end of the day, whether you go analog or digital, it’s a personal preference to make based on your style, needs, functions, and budget.”

Read the full essay: Digital vs. Analog Watches—What’s the Difference? at Watch Ranker

AI Art vs. Human Art: A Side-by-Side Analysis

Sample lines: “Art has always been a reflection of human creativity, emotion, and cultural expression. However, with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), a new form of artistic creation has emerged, blurring the lines between what is created by human hands and what is generated by algorithms. … Despite the excitement surrounding AI Art, it also raises complex ethical, legal, and artistic questions that have sparked debates about the definition of art, the role of the artist, and the future of art production. … Regardless of whether AI Art is considered ‘true’ art, it is crucial to embrace and explore the vast possibilities and potential it brings to the table. The transformative influence of AI art on the art world is still unfolding, and only time will reveal its true extent.”

Read the full essay: AI Art vs. Human Art: A Side-by-Side Analysis at Raul Lara

Pop Culture Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Christina aguilera vs. britney spears.

Christina Aguilera vs. Britney Spears- compare and contrast essay example

Sample lines: “Britney Spears vs. Christina Aguilera was the Coke vs. Pepsi of 1999 — no, really, Christina repped Coke and Britney shilled for Pepsi. The two teen idols released debut albums seven months apart before the turn of the century, with Britney’s becoming a standard-bearer for bubblegum pop and Aguilera’s taking an R&B bent to show off her range. … It’s clear that Spears and Aguilera took extremely divergent paths following their simultaneous breakout successes.”

Read the full essay: Christina Aguilera vs. Britney Spears at The Ringer

Harry Styles vs. Ed Sheeran

Sample lines: “The world heard our fantasies and delivered us two titans simultaneously—we have been blessed with Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles. Our cup runneth over; our bounty is immeasurable. More remarkable still is the fact that both have released albums almost at the same time: Ed’s third, Divide , was released in March and broke the record for one-day Spotify streams, while Harry’s frenziedly anticipated debut solo, called Harry Styles , was released yesterday.”

Read the full essay: Harry Styles versus Ed Sheeran at Belfast Telegraph

The Grinch: Three Versions Compared

Sample lines: “Based on the original story of the same name, this movie takes a completely different direction by choosing to break away from the cartoony form that Seuss had established by filming the movie in a live-action form. Whoville is preparing for Christmas while the Grinch looks down upon their celebrations in disgust. Like the previous film, The Grinch hatches a plan to ruin Christmas for the Who’s. … Like in the original Grinch, he disguises himself as Santa Claus, and makes his dog, Max, into a reindeer. He then takes all of the presents from the children and households. … Cole’s favorite is the 2000 edition, while Alex has only seen the original. Tell us which one is your favorite.”

Read the full essay: The Grinch: Three Versions Compared at Wooster School

Historical and Political Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Malcolm x vs. martin luther king jr.: comparison between two great leaders’ ideologies .

Sample lines: “Although they were fighting for civil rights at the same time, their ideology and way of fighting were completely distinctive. This can be for a plethora of reasons: background, upbringing, the system of thought, and vision. But keep in mind, they devoted their whole life to the same prospect. … Through boycotts and marches, [King] hoped to end racial segregation. He felt that the abolition of segregation would improve the likelihood of integration. Malcolm X, on the other hand, spearheaded a movement for black empowerment.”

Read the full essay: Malcolm X vs. Martin Luther King Jr.: Comparison Between Two Great Leaders’ Ideologies  at Melaninful

Contrast Between Obama and Trump Has Become Clear

Contrast Between Obama and Trump Has Become Clear

Sample lines: “The contrast is even clearer when we look to the future. Trump promises more tax cuts, more military spending, more deficits and deeper cuts in programs for the vulnerable. He plans to nominate a coal lobbyist to head the Environmental Protection Agency. … Obama says America must move forward, and he praises progressive Democrats for advocating Medicare for all. … With Obama and then Trump, Americans have elected two diametrically opposed leaders leading into two very different directions.”

Read the full essay: Contrast Between Obama and Trump Has Become Clear at Chicago Sun-Times

Sports Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Lebron james vs. kobe bryant: a complete comparison.

Sample lines: “LeBron James has achieved so much in his career that he is seen by many as the greatest of all time, or at least the only player worthy of being mentioned in the GOAT conversation next to Michael Jordan. Bridging the gap between Jordan and LeBron though was Kobe Bryant, who often gets left out of comparisons and GOAT conversations. … Should his name be mentioned more though? Can he compare to LeBron or is The King too far past The Black Mamba in historical rankings already?”

Read the full essay: LeBron James vs. Kobe Bryant: A Complete Comparison at Sportskeeda

NFL: Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Rivalry Comparison

NFL: Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Rivalry Comparison

Sample lines: “Tom Brady and Peyton Manning were largely considered the best quarterbacks in the NFL for the majority of the time they spent in the league together, with the icons having many head-to-head clashes in the regular season and on the AFC side of the NFL Playoffs. Manning was the leader of the Indianapolis Colts of the AFC South. … Brady spent his career as the QB of the AFC East’s New England Patriots, before taking his talents to Tampa Bay. … The reality is that winning is the most important aspect of any career, and Brady won more head-to-head matchups than Manning did.”

Read the full essay: NFL: Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning Rivalry Comparison at Sportskeeda

The Greatest NBA Franchise Ever: Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers?

Sample lines: “The Celtics are universally considered as the greatest franchise in NBA history. But if you take a close look at the numbers, there isn’t really too much separation between them and their arch-rival Los Angeles Lakers. In fact, you can even make a good argument for the Lakers. … In 72 seasons played, the Boston Celtics have won a total of 3,314 games and lost 2,305 or a .590 winning mark. On the other hand, the Los Angeles Lakers have won 3,284 of 5,507 total games played or a slightly better winning record of .596. … But while the Lakers have the better winning percentage, the Celtics have the advantage over them in head-to-head competition.”

Read the full essay: The Greatest NBA Franchise Ever: Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers? at Sport One

Is Soccer Better Than Football?

Sample lines: “Is soccer better than football? Soccer and football lovers have numerous reasons to support their sport of choice. Both keep the players physically fit and help to bring people together for an exciting cause. However, soccer has drawn more numbers globally due to its popularity in more countries.”

Read the full essay: Is Soccer Better Than Football? at Sports Brief

Lifestyle Choices Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Mobile home vs. tiny house: similarities, differences, pros & cons.

Mobile Home vs. Tiny House: Similarities, Differences, Pros & Cons

Sample lines: “Choosing the tiny home lifestyle enables you to spend more time with those you love. The small living space ensures quality bonding time rather than hiding away in a room or behind a computer screen. … You’ll be able to connect closer to nature and find yourself able to travel the country at any given moment. On the other hand, we have the mobile home. … They are built on a chassis with transportation in mind. … They are not built to be moved on a constant basis. … While moving the home again *is* possible, it may cost you several thousand dollars.”

Read the full essay: Mobile Home vs. Tiny House: Similarities, Differences, Pros & Cons at US Mobile Home Pros

Whole Foods vs. Walmart: The Story of Two Grocery Stores

Sample lines: “It is clear that both stores have very different stories and aims when it comes to their customers. Whole Foods looks to provide organic, healthy, exotic, and niche products for an audience with a very particular taste. … Walmart, on the other hand, looks to provide the best deals, every possible product, and every big brand for a broader audience. … Moreover, they look to make buying affordable and accessible, and focus on the capitalist nature of buying.”

Read the full essay: Whole Foods vs. Walmart: The Story of Two Grocery Stores at The Archaeology of Us

Artificial Grass vs. Turf: The Real Differences Revealed

Sample lines: “The key difference between artificial grass and turf is their intended use. Artificial turf is largely intended to be used for sports, so it is shorter and tougher. On the other hand, artificial grass is generally longer, softer and more suited to landscaping purposes. Most homeowners would opt for artificial grass as a replacement for a lawn, for example. Some people actually prefer playing sports on artificial grass, too … artificial grass is often softer and more bouncy, giving it a feel similar to playing on a grassy lawn. … At the end of the day, which one you will choose will depend on your specific household and needs.”

Read the full essay: Artificial Grass vs. Turf: The Real Differences Revealed at Almost Grass

Minimalism vs. Maximalism: Differences, Similarities, and Use Cases

Minimalism vs. Maximalism: Differences, Similarities, and Use Cases- compare and contrast essay example

Sample lines: “Maximalists love shopping, especially finding unique pieces. They see it as a hobby—even a skill—and a way to express their personality. Minimalists don’t like shopping and see it as a waste of time and money. They’d instead use those resources to create memorable experiences. Maximalists desire one-of-a-kind possessions. Minimalists are happy with duplicates—for example, personal uniforms. … Minimalism and maximalism are about being intentional with your life and belongings. It’s about making choices based on what’s important to you.”

Read the full essay: Minimalism vs. Maximalism: Differences, Similarities, and Use Cases at Minimalist Vegan

Vegetarian vs. Meat Eating: Is It Better To Be a Vegetarian?

Sample lines: “You’ve heard buzz over the years that following a vegetarian diet is better for your health, and you’ve probably read a few magazine articles featuring a celeb or two who swore off meat and animal products and ‘magically’ lost weight. So does ditching meat automatically equal weight loss? Will it really help you live longer and be healthier overall? … Vegetarians appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure  and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than meat eaters. Vegetarians also tend to have a lower body mass index, lower overall cancer rates and lower risk of chronic disease. But if your vegetarian co-worker is noshing greasy veggie burgers and fries every day for lunch, is he likely to be healthier than you, who always orders the grilled salmon? Definitely not!”

Read the full essay: Vegetarian vs. Meat Eating: Is It Better To Be a Vegetarian? at WebMD

Healthcare Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Similarities and differences between the health systems in australia & usa.

Sample lines: “Australia and the United States are two very different countries. They are far away from each other, have contrasting fauna and flora, differ immensely by population, and have vastly different healthcare systems. The United States has a population of 331 million people, compared to Australia’s population of 25.5 million people.”

Read the full essay: Similarities and Differences Between the Health Systems in Australia & USA at Georgia State University

Universal Healthcare in the United States of America: A Healthy Debate

Universal Healthcare in the United States of America: A Healthy Debate

Sample lines: “Disadvantages of universal healthcare include significant upfront costs and logistical challenges. On the other hand, universal healthcare may lead to a healthier populace, and thus, in the long-term, help to mitigate the economic costs of an unhealthy nation. In particular, substantial health disparities exist in the United States, with low socio-economic status segments of the population subject to decreased access to quality healthcare and increased risk of non-communicable chronic conditions such as obesity and type II diabetes, among other determinants of poor health.”

Read the full essay: Universal Healthcare in the United States of America: A Healthy Debate at National Library of Medicine

Pros and Cons of Physician Aid in Dying

Sample lines: “Physician aid in dying is a controversial subject raising issues central to the role of physicians. … The two most common arguments in favor of legalizing AID are respect for patient autonomy and relief of suffering. A third, related, argument is that AID is a safe medical practice, requiring a health care professional. … Although opponents of AID offer many arguments ranging from pragmatic to philosophical, we focus here on concerns that the expansion of AID might cause additional, unintended harm through suicide contagion, slippery slope, and the deaths of patients suffering from depression.”

Read the full essay: Pros and Cons of Physician Aid in Dying at National Library of Medicine

Animals Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Compare and contrast paragraph—dogs and cats.

Compare and Contrast Paragraph—Dogs and Cats- compare and contrast essay example

Sample lines: “Researchers have found that dogs have about twice the number of neurons in their cerebral cortexes than what cats have. Specifically, dogs had around 530 million neurons, whereas the domestic cat only had 250 million neurons. Moreover, dogs can be trained to learn and respond to our commands, but although your cat understands your name, and anticipates your every move, he/she may choose to ignore you.”

Read the full essay: Compare and Contrast Paragraph—Dogs and Cats at Proofwriting Guru via YouTube

Giddyup! The Differences Between Horses and Dogs

Sample lines: “Horses are prey animals with a deep herding instinct. They are highly sensitive to their environment, hyper aware, and ready to take flight if needed. Just like dogs, some horses are more confident than others, but just like dogs, all need a confident handler to teach them what to do. Some horses are highly reactive and can be spooked by the smallest things, as are dogs. … Another distinction between horses and dogs … was that while dogs have been domesticated , horses have been  tamed. … Both species have influenced our culture more than any other species on the planet.”

Read the full essay: Giddyup! The Differences Between Horses and Dogs at Positively Victoria Stilwell

Exotic, Domesticated, and Wild Pets

Sample lines: “Although the words ‘exotic’ and ‘wild’ are frequently used interchangeably, many people do not fully understand how these categories differ when it comes to pets. ‘A wild animal is an indigenous, non-domesticated animal, meaning that it is native to the country where you are located,’ Blue-McLendon explained. ‘For Texans, white-tailed deer, pronghorn sheep, raccoons, skunks, and bighorn sheep are wild animals … an exotic animal is one that is wild but is from a different continent than where you live.’ For example, a hedgehog in Texas would be considered an exotic animal, but in the hedgehog’s native country, it would be considered wildlife.”

Read the full essay: Exotic, Domesticated, and Wild Pets at Texas A&M University

Should Zoos Be Banned? Pros & Cons of Zoos

Should Zoos Be Banned? Pros & Cons of Zoos

Sample lines: “The pros and cons of zoos often come from two very different points of view. From a legal standard, animals are often treated as property. That means they have less rights than humans, so a zoo seems like a positive place to maintain a high quality of life. For others, the forced enclosure of any animal feels like an unethical decision. … Zoos provide a protected environment for endangered animals, and also help in raising awareness and funding for wildlife initiatives and research projects. … Zoos are key for research. Being able to observe and study animals is crucial if we want to contribute to help them and repair the ecosystems. … Zoos are a typical form of family entertainment, but associating leisure and fun with the contemplation of animals in captivity can send the wrong signals to our children.”

Read the full essay: Should Zoos Be Banned? Pros & Cons of Zoos at EcoCation

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Plus, if you liked these compare and contrast essay examples check out intriguing compare and contrast essay topics for kids and teens ..

A good compare and contrast essay example, like the ones here, explores the similarities and differences between two or more subjects.

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4.1: Introduction to Comparison and Contrast Essay

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The key to a good compare-and-contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. Comparison and contrast is simply telling how two things are alike or different. The compare-and-contrast essay starts with a thesis that clearly states the two subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both. The thesis should focus on comparing, contrasting, or both.

Key Elements of the Compare and Contrast:

  • A compare-and-contrast essay analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both.
  • The purpose of writing a comparison or contrast essay is not to state the obvious but rather to illuminate subtle differences or unexpected similarities between two subjects.
  • The thesis should clearly state the subjects that are to be compared, contrasted, or both, and it should state what is to be learned from doing so.
  • Organize by the subjects themselves, one then the other.
  • Organize by individual points, in which you discuss each subject in relation to each point.
  • Use phrases of comparison or phrases of contrast to signal to readers how exactly the two subjects are being analyzed.

Objectives: By the end of this unit, you will be able to

  • Identify compare & contrast relationships in model essays
  • Construct clearly formulated thesis statements that show compare & contrast relationships
  • Use pre-writing techniques to brainstorm and organize ideas showing a comparison and/or contrast
  • Construct an outline for a five-paragraph compare & contrast essay
  • Write a five-paragraph compare & contrast essay
  • Use a variety of vocabulary and language structures that express compare & contrast essay relationships

Example Thesis: Organic vegetables may cost more than those that are conventionally grown, but when put to the test, they are definitely worth every extra penny.

Graphic Showing Organization for Comparison Contrast Essay

Sample Paragraph:

Organic grown tomatoes purchased at the farmers’ market are very different from tomatoes that are grown conventionally. To begin with, although tomatoes from both sources will mostly be red, the tomatoes at the farmers’ market are a brighter red than those at a grocery store. That doesn’t mean they are shinier—in fact, grocery store tomatoes are often shinier since they have been waxed. You are likely to see great size variation in tomatoes at the farmers’ market, with tomatoes ranging from only a couple of inches across to eight inches across. By contrast, the tomatoes in a grocery store will be fairly uniform in size. All the visual differences are interesting, but the most important difference is the taste. The farmers’ market tomatoes will be bursting with flavor from ripening on the vine in their own time. However, the grocery store tomatoes are often close to being flavorless. In conclusion, the differences in organic and conventionally grown tomatoes are obvious in color, size and taste.

Creative Commons Attribution

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Comparing and Contrasting

What this handout is about.

This handout will help you first to determine whether a particular assignment is asking for comparison/contrast and then to generate a list of similarities and differences, decide which similarities and differences to focus on, and organize your paper so that it will be clear and effective. It will also explain how you can (and why you should) develop a thesis that goes beyond “Thing A and Thing B are similar in many ways but different in others.”

Introduction

In your career as a student, you’ll encounter many different kinds of writing assignments, each with its own requirements. One of the most common is the comparison/contrast essay, in which you focus on the ways in which certain things or ideas—usually two of them—are similar to (this is the comparison) and/or different from (this is the contrast) one another. By assigning such essays, your instructors are encouraging you to make connections between texts or ideas, engage in critical thinking, and go beyond mere description or summary to generate interesting analysis: when you reflect on similarities and differences, you gain a deeper understanding of the items you are comparing, their relationship to each other, and what is most important about them.

Recognizing comparison/contrast in assignments

Some assignments use words—like compare, contrast, similarities, and differences—that make it easy for you to see that they are asking you to compare and/or contrast. Here are a few hypothetical examples:

  • Compare and contrast Frye’s and Bartky’s accounts of oppression.
  • Compare WWI to WWII, identifying similarities in the causes, development, and outcomes of the wars.
  • Contrast Wordsworth and Coleridge; what are the major differences in their poetry?

Notice that some topics ask only for comparison, others only for contrast, and others for both.

But it’s not always so easy to tell whether an assignment is asking you to include comparison/contrast. And in some cases, comparison/contrast is only part of the essay—you begin by comparing and/or contrasting two or more things and then use what you’ve learned to construct an argument or evaluation. Consider these examples, noticing the language that is used to ask for the comparison/contrast and whether the comparison/contrast is only one part of a larger assignment:

  • Choose a particular idea or theme, such as romantic love, death, or nature, and consider how it is treated in two Romantic poems.
  • How do the different authors we have studied so far define and describe oppression?
  • Compare Frye’s and Bartky’s accounts of oppression. What does each imply about women’s collusion in their own oppression? Which is more accurate?
  • In the texts we’ve studied, soldiers who served in different wars offer differing accounts of their experiences and feelings both during and after the fighting. What commonalities are there in these accounts? What factors do you think are responsible for their differences?

You may want to check out our handout on understanding assignments for additional tips.

Using comparison/contrast for all kinds of writing projects

Sometimes you may want to use comparison/contrast techniques in your own pre-writing work to get ideas that you can later use for an argument, even if comparison/contrast isn’t an official requirement for the paper you’re writing. For example, if you wanted to argue that Frye’s account of oppression is better than both de Beauvoir’s and Bartky’s, comparing and contrasting the main arguments of those three authors might help you construct your evaluation—even though the topic may not have asked for comparison/contrast and the lists of similarities and differences you generate may not appear anywhere in the final draft of your paper.

Discovering similarities and differences

Making a Venn diagram or a chart can help you quickly and efficiently compare and contrast two or more things or ideas. To make a Venn diagram, simply draw some overlapping circles, one circle for each item you’re considering. In the central area where they overlap, list the traits the two items have in common. Assign each one of the areas that doesn’t overlap; in those areas, you can list the traits that make the things different. Here’s a very simple example, using two pizza places:

Venn diagram indicating that both Pepper's and Amante serve pizza with unusual ingredients at moderate prices, despite differences in location, wait times, and delivery options

To make a chart, figure out what criteria you want to focus on in comparing the items. Along the left side of the page, list each of the criteria. Across the top, list the names of the items. You should then have a box per item for each criterion; you can fill the boxes in and then survey what you’ve discovered.

Here’s an example, this time using three pizza places:

As you generate points of comparison, consider the purpose and content of the assignment and the focus of the class. What do you think the professor wants you to learn by doing this comparison/contrast? How does it fit with what you have been studying so far and with the other assignments in the course? Are there any clues about what to focus on in the assignment itself?

Here are some general questions about different types of things you might have to compare. These are by no means complete or definitive lists; they’re just here to give you some ideas—you can generate your own questions for these and other types of comparison. You may want to begin by using the questions reporters traditionally ask: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? If you’re talking about objects, you might also consider general properties like size, shape, color, sound, weight, taste, texture, smell, number, duration, and location.

Two historical periods or events

  • When did they occur—do you know the date(s) and duration? What happened or changed during each? Why are they significant?
  • What kinds of work did people do? What kinds of relationships did they have? What did they value?
  • What kinds of governments were there? Who were important people involved?
  • What caused events in these periods, and what consequences did they have later on?

Two ideas or theories

  • What are they about?
  • Did they originate at some particular time?
  • Who created them? Who uses or defends them?
  • What is the central focus, claim, or goal of each? What conclusions do they offer?
  • How are they applied to situations/people/things/etc.?
  • Which seems more plausible to you, and why? How broad is their scope?
  • What kind of evidence is usually offered for them?

Two pieces of writing or art

  • What are their titles? What do they describe or depict?
  • What is their tone or mood? What is their form?
  • Who created them? When were they created? Why do you think they were created as they were? What themes do they address?
  • Do you think one is of higher quality or greater merit than the other(s)—and if so, why?
  • For writing: what plot, characterization, setting, theme, tone, and type of narration are used?
  • Where are they from? How old are they? What is the gender, race, class, etc. of each?
  • What, if anything, are they known for? Do they have any relationship to each other?
  • What are they like? What did/do they do? What do they believe? Why are they interesting?
  • What stands out most about each of them?

Deciding what to focus on

By now you have probably generated a huge list of similarities and differences—congratulations! Next you must decide which of them are interesting, important, and relevant enough to be included in your paper. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s relevant to the assignment?
  • What’s relevant to the course?
  • What’s interesting and informative?
  • What matters to the argument you are going to make?
  • What’s basic or central (and needs to be mentioned even if obvious)?
  • Overall, what’s more important—the similarities or the differences?

Suppose that you are writing a paper comparing two novels. For most literature classes, the fact that they both use Caslon type (a kind of typeface, like the fonts you may use in your writing) is not going to be relevant, nor is the fact that one of them has a few illustrations and the other has none; literature classes are more likely to focus on subjects like characterization, plot, setting, the writer’s style and intentions, language, central themes, and so forth. However, if you were writing a paper for a class on typesetting or on how illustrations are used to enhance novels, the typeface and presence or absence of illustrations might be absolutely critical to include in your final paper.

Sometimes a particular point of comparison or contrast might be relevant but not terribly revealing or interesting. For example, if you are writing a paper about Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey” and Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight,” pointing out that they both have nature as a central theme is relevant (comparisons of poetry often talk about themes) but not terribly interesting; your class has probably already had many discussions about the Romantic poets’ fondness for nature. Talking about the different ways nature is depicted or the different aspects of nature that are emphasized might be more interesting and show a more sophisticated understanding of the poems.

Your thesis

The thesis of your comparison/contrast paper is very important: it can help you create a focused argument and give your reader a road map so they don’t get lost in the sea of points you are about to make. As in any paper, you will want to replace vague reports of your general topic (for example, “This paper will compare and contrast two pizza places,” or “Pepper’s and Amante are similar in some ways and different in others,” or “Pepper’s and Amante are similar in many ways, but they have one major difference”) with something more detailed and specific. For example, you might say, “Pepper’s and Amante have similar prices and ingredients, but their atmospheres and willingness to deliver set them apart.”

Be careful, though—although this thesis is fairly specific and does propose a simple argument (that atmosphere and delivery make the two pizza places different), your instructor will often be looking for a bit more analysis. In this case, the obvious question is “So what? Why should anyone care that Pepper’s and Amante are different in this way?” One might also wonder why the writer chose those two particular pizza places to compare—why not Papa John’s, Dominos, or Pizza Hut? Again, thinking about the context the class provides may help you answer such questions and make a stronger argument. Here’s a revision of the thesis mentioned earlier:

Pepper’s and Amante both offer a greater variety of ingredients than other Chapel Hill/Carrboro pizza places (and than any of the national chains), but the funky, lively atmosphere at Pepper’s makes it a better place to give visiting friends and family a taste of local culture.

You may find our handout on constructing thesis statements useful at this stage.

Organizing your paper

There are many different ways to organize a comparison/contrast essay. Here are two:

Subject-by-subject

Begin by saying everything you have to say about the first subject you are discussing, then move on and make all the points you want to make about the second subject (and after that, the third, and so on, if you’re comparing/contrasting more than two things). If the paper is short, you might be able to fit all of your points about each item into a single paragraph, but it’s more likely that you’d have several paragraphs per item. Using our pizza place comparison/contrast as an example, after the introduction, you might have a paragraph about the ingredients available at Pepper’s, a paragraph about its location, and a paragraph about its ambience. Then you’d have three similar paragraphs about Amante, followed by your conclusion.

The danger of this subject-by-subject organization is that your paper will simply be a list of points: a certain number of points (in my example, three) about one subject, then a certain number of points about another. This is usually not what college instructors are looking for in a paper—generally they want you to compare or contrast two or more things very directly, rather than just listing the traits the things have and leaving it up to the reader to reflect on how those traits are similar or different and why those similarities or differences matter. Thus, if you use the subject-by-subject form, you will probably want to have a very strong, analytical thesis and at least one body paragraph that ties all of your different points together.

A subject-by-subject structure can be a logical choice if you are writing what is sometimes called a “lens” comparison, in which you use one subject or item (which isn’t really your main topic) to better understand another item (which is). For example, you might be asked to compare a poem you’ve already covered thoroughly in class with one you are reading on your own. It might make sense to give a brief summary of your main ideas about the first poem (this would be your first subject, the “lens”), and then spend most of your paper discussing how those points are similar to or different from your ideas about the second.

Point-by-point

Rather than addressing things one subject at a time, you may wish to talk about one point of comparison at a time. There are two main ways this might play out, depending on how much you have to say about each of the things you are comparing. If you have just a little, you might, in a single paragraph, discuss how a certain point of comparison/contrast relates to all the items you are discussing. For example, I might describe, in one paragraph, what the prices are like at both Pepper’s and Amante; in the next paragraph, I might compare the ingredients available; in a third, I might contrast the atmospheres of the two restaurants.

If I had a bit more to say about the items I was comparing/contrasting, I might devote a whole paragraph to how each point relates to each item. For example, I might have a whole paragraph about the clientele at Pepper’s, followed by a whole paragraph about the clientele at Amante; then I would move on and do two more paragraphs discussing my next point of comparison/contrast—like the ingredients available at each restaurant.

There are no hard and fast rules about organizing a comparison/contrast paper, of course. Just be sure that your reader can easily tell what’s going on! Be aware, too, of the placement of your different points. If you are writing a comparison/contrast in service of an argument, keep in mind that the last point you make is the one you are leaving your reader with. For example, if I am trying to argue that Amante is better than Pepper’s, I should end with a contrast that leaves Amante sounding good, rather than with a point of comparison that I have to admit makes Pepper’s look better. If you’ve decided that the differences between the items you’re comparing/contrasting are most important, you’ll want to end with the differences—and vice versa, if the similarities seem most important to you.

Our handout on organization can help you write good topic sentences and transitions and make sure that you have a good overall structure in place for your paper.

Cue words and other tips

To help your reader keep track of where you are in the comparison/contrast, you’ll want to be sure that your transitions and topic sentences are especially strong. Your thesis should already have given the reader an idea of the points you’ll be making and the organization you’ll be using, but you can help them out with some extra cues. The following words may be helpful to you in signaling your intentions:

  • like, similar to, also, unlike, similarly, in the same way, likewise, again, compared to, in contrast, in like manner, contrasted with, on the contrary, however, although, yet, even though, still, but, nevertheless, conversely, at the same time, regardless, despite, while, on the one hand … on the other hand.

For example, you might have a topic sentence like one of these:

  • Compared to Pepper’s, Amante is quiet.
  • Like Amante, Pepper’s offers fresh garlic as a topping.
  • Despite their different locations (downtown Chapel Hill and downtown Carrboro), Pepper’s and Amante are both fairly easy to get to.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Comparing and Contrasting: A Guide to Improve Your Essays

Walter Akolo

Walter Akolo

Comparing and contrasting in essays

Essays that require you to compare and contrast two or more subjects, ideas, places, or items are common.

They call for you to highlight the key similarities (compare) and differences (contrast) between them.

This guide contains all the information you need to become better at writing comparing and contrasting essays.

This includes: how to structure your essay, how to decide on the content, and some examples of essay questions.

Let’s dive in.

Compare and contrast definition

What Is Comparing and Contrasting?

Is compare and contrast the same as similarities and differences, what is the purpose of comparing and contrasting, can you compare and contrast any two items, how do you compare and contrast in writing, what are some comparing and contrasting techniques, how do you compare and contrast in college level writing, the four essentials of compare and contrast essays, what can you learn from a compare and contrast essay.

At their most basic, both comparing and contrasting base their evaluation on two or more subjects that share a connection.

The subjects could have similar characteristics, features, or foundations.

But while a comparison discusses the similarities of the two subjects, e.g. a banana and a watermelon are both fruit, contrasting highlights how the subjects or items differ from each other, e.g. a watermelon is around 10 times larger than a banana.

Any question that you are asked in education will have a variety of interesting comparisons and deductions that you can make.

Compare is the same as similarities.

Contrast is the same as differences.

This is because comparing identifies the likeness between two subjects, items, or categories, while contrasting recognizes disparities between them.

When you compare things, you represent them regarding their similarity, but when you contrast things, you define them in reference to their differences.

As a result, if you are asked to discuss the similarities and differences between two subjects, you can take an identical approach to if you are writing a compare and contrast essay.

In writing, the purpose of comparing and contrasting is to highlight subtle but important differences or similarities that might not be immediately obvious.

The purpose of comparing and contrasting

By illustrating the differences between elements in a similar category, you help heighten readers’ understanding of the subject or topic of discussion.

For instance, you might choose to compare and contrast red wine and white wine by pointing out the subtle differences. One of these differences is that red wine is best served at room temperature while white is best served chilled.

Also, comparing and contrasting helps to make abstract ideas more definite and minimizes the confusion that might exist between two related concepts.

Can Comparing and Contrasting Be Useful Outside of Academia?

Comparing enables you to see the pros and cons, allowing you to have a better understanding of the things under discussion. In an essay, this helps you demonstrate that you understand the nuances of your topic enough to draw meaningful conclusions from them.

Let's use a real-word example to see the benefits. Imagine you're contrasting two dresses you could buy. You might think:

  • Dress A is purple, my favorite color, but it has a difficult zip and is practically impossible to match a jacket to.
  • Dress B is more expensive but I already have a suitable pair of shoes and jacket and it is easier to move in.

You're linking the qualities of each dress to the context of the decision you're making. This is the same for your essay. Your comparison and contrast points will be in relation to the question you need to answer.

Comparing and contrasting is only a useful technique when applied to two related concepts.

To effectively compare two or more things, they must feature characteristics similar enough to warrant comparison.

In addition to this they must also feature a similarity that generates an interesting discussion. But what do I mean by “interesting” here?

Let’s look at two concepts, the Magna Carta and my third grade poetry competition entry.

They are both text, written on paper by a person so they fulfil the first requirement, they have a similarity. But this comparison clearly would not fulfil the second requirement, you would not be able to draw any interesting conclusions.

However, if we compare the Magna Carta to the Bill of Rights, you would be able to come to some very interesting conclusions concerning the history of world politics.

To write a good compare and contrast essay, it’s best to pick two or more topics that share a meaningful connection .

The aim of the essay would be to show the subtle differences or unforeseen similarities.

By highlighting the distinctions between elements in a similar category you can increase your readers’ understanding.

Alternatively, you could choose to focus on a comparison between two subjects that initially appear unrelated.

The more dissimilar they seem, the more interesting the comparison essay will turn out.

For instance, you could compare and contrast professional rugby players with marathon runners.

Can You Compare and Contrast in an Essay That Does Not Specifically Require It?

As a writer, you can employ comparing and contrasting techniques in your writing, particularly when looking for ideas you can later apply in your argument.

You can do this even when the comparison or contrast is not a requirement for the topic or argument you are presenting. Doing so could enable you to build your evaluation and develop a stronger argument.

Note that the similarities and differences you come up with might not even show up in the final draft.

While the use of compare and contrast can be neutral, you can also use it to highlight one option under discussion. When used this way, you can influence the perceived advantages of your preferred option.

As a writing style, comparing and contrasting can encompass an entire essay. However, it could also appear in some select paragraphs within the essay, where making some comparisons serves to better illustrate a point.

What Should You Do First?

Before you compare two things, always start by deciding on the reason for your comparison, then outline the criteria you will use to compare them.

Words and phrases commonly used for comparison include:

Comparison words and phrases

In writing, these words and phrases are called transitions . They help readers to understand or make the connection between sentences, paragraphs, and ideas.

Without transition words writing can feel clumsy and disjointed making it difficult to read. ProWritingAid’s transition report highlights all of a documents transitions and suggests that 25% of any sentences in a piece include a transition.

ProWritingAid's Transition Report

Sign up for a free ProWritingAid account to use the Transitions Report.

So, how do you form all of this into a coherent essay? It's a good idea to plan first, then decide what your paragraph layout will look like.

Venn diagrams are useful tool to start generating ideas. The, for your essay, you need to choose between going idea by idea and going point by point.

Using a Venn Diagram

A Venn diagram helps you to clearly see the similarities and differences between multiple objects, things, or subjects.

The writing tool comprises two, or more, simple, overlapping circles in which you list down the things that are alike (within the overlapping area) and those that differ (outside the overlapping area).

It’s great for brainstorming ideas and for creating your essay’s outline. You could even use it in an exam setting because it is quick and simple.

Going Subject by Subject

Going subject by subject is a structural choice for your essay.

Start by saying all you have to say on the first subject, then proceed to do the same about the second subject.

Depending on the length of your essay, you can fit the points about each subject into one paragraph or have several sections per each subject, ending with a conclusion.

This method is best for short essays on simple topics. Most university-level essays will go point by point instead.

Going Point by Point

Going point by point, or alternating, is the opposite essay structure from going subject by subject. This is ideal when you want to do more direct comparing and contrasting. It entails discussing one comparison point at a time. It allows you to use a paragraph to talk about how a certain comparing/contrasting point relates to the subjects or items you are discussing.

Alternatively, if you have lots of details about the subject, you might decide to use a paragraph for each point.

Different ways to compare and contrast

An academic compare and contrast essay looks at two or more subjects, ideas, people, or objects, compares their likeness, and contrasts their differences.

It’s an informative essay that provides insights on what is similar and different between the two items.

Depending on the essay’s instructions, you can focus solely on comparing or contrasting, or a combination of the two.

Examples of College Level Compare and Contrast Essay Questions

Here are eleven examples of compare and contrast essay questions that you might encounter at university:

Compare and contrast examples

  • Archaeology: Compare and contrast the skulls of homo habilis, homo erectus, and homo sapiens.
  • Art: Compare and contrast the working styles of any two Neoclassic artists.
  • Astrophysics: Compare and contrast the chemical composition of Venus and Neptune.
  • Biology: Compare and contrast the theories of Lamarck and Darwin.
  • Business: Compare and contrast 2 or more business models within the agricultural industry.
  • Creative writing: Compare and contrast free indirect discourse with epistolary styles.
  • English Literature: Compare and contrast William Wordsworth with Robert Browning.
  • Geography: Compare and contrast the benefit of solar panels with the benefit of wind turbines.
  • History: Compare and contrast WWI to WWII with specific reference to the causes and outcomes.
  • Medicine: Compare and contrast England’s health service with America’s health service.
  • Psychology: Compare and contrast the behaviorist theory with the psychodynamic theory.

So, the key takeaways to keep in mind are:

Have a basis for comparison. The two things need to have enough in common to justify a discussion about their similarities and disparities.

Don’t go back and forth when using the block method. The best way to write your essay is to begin with a paragraph discussing all the facets of the first topic. Then, move on to another paragraph and talk through all the aspects of the second subject.

You can use both alternating and blocking techniques. Combining the two approaches is also an option. You can apply the alternating method in some paragraphs, then switch and use the block method. This method will help you offer a much deeper analysis of the subjects.

Have a reason for comparing the two things. Only select the points of comparison that resonate with your purpose.

Compare and contrast, key takeaways

Comparing and contrasting are essential analytical skills in academic writing. When your professor issues you with such an essay, their primary goal is to teach you how to:

  • Engage in critical thinking
  • See and make connections between words or ideas
  • Move beyond mere descriptions or summaries to developing interesting analysis
  • Get a deeper understanding of the subjects or items under comparison, their key features, and their interrelationships with each other.

The benefits of comparing and contrasting

Ultimately, your essay should enlighten readers by providing useful information.

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example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

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Walter Akolo is a freelance writer, internet marketer, trainer, and blogger for hire. He loves helping businesses increase their reach and conversion through excellent and engaging content. He has gotten millions of pageviews on his blog, FreelancerKenya, where he mentors writers. Check out his website walterakolo.com.

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Literacy Ideas

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

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WHAT IS A COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY?

Essentially, compare and contrast essays ask students to evaluate the similarities and differences between two things.

Usually, there will be some meaningful connection between the two things to be compared and contrasted.

These essays are not merely about stating the obvious; instead, they challenge the students to explore two or more topics and then express subtle similarities and understated differences that may not be immediately obvious to the casual reader.

For example, there is little point in asking students to  compare and contrast  a computer and a bicycle.

Both are material objects, but the extreme differences are obvious apart from that. More useful would be to ask students to compare and contrast two different models of computers or two different brands of bicycles to help them decide which to buy.

Compare and contrast essays encourage students to make distinctions and evaluate things that largely belong in the same category. This is an instrumental and practical skill to develop.

In this article, we will explore how to approach the writing of compare-and-contrast essays in a step-by-step manner. Following this method, students can soon write a well-structured compare-and-contrast essay on practically any topic.

Let’s get started.

Visual Writing

A COMPLETE UNIT ON COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY WRITING

compare and contrast essay | compare and contrast unit 1 | How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay | literacyideas.com

Teach your students how to write amazing compare and contrast essays with this  COMPLETE UNIT  of work which guides students through the process of research, analysis and articulating their thoughts into a well-structured essay.

IT INCLUDES

HOW TO WRITE A COMPARE & CONTRAST ESSAY

1. understand your task and purpose.

Compare, and contrast type questions ask students to do one of three things:

  • To compare two or more things.
  • To contrast two or more things.
  • To compare and contrast two or more things.

compare and contrast essay | analyse the question 1 | How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay | literacyideas.com

For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume the compare and contrast essay is focused on comparing and contrasting two things.

Now, let’s break down the two keywords to examine what they ask the students to do:

Compare asks the students to look at two things in relation to their similarities.

Let’s compare apples and oranges as a quick example.

Apples and oranges have many commonalities. Firstly, they are both fruits that are grown on trees. They are also both a popular and tasty food choice for many people.

Additionally, apples and oranges are nutritious and provide essential vitamins and minerals for our bodies.

Finally, apples and oranges can be used in various recipes, from baked goods to juices, and they are both easily accessible and affordable. So, even though apples and oranges are different in many ways, they both have some similarities that make them essential parts of a healthy and balanced diet.

Contrast asks the students to examine how the two things differ. Let’s now explore the differences in a quick written example.

Apples and oranges differ in many ways. Firstly, they have a different appearance – apples are round and come in different colors like red, green and yellow, while oranges are oval and have a bright orange appearance.

Secondly, they have a different texture – apples are crunchy, while oranges are juicy. They have different tastes – apples are sweet and tangy, while oranges are sweet and slightly sour.

They also contain different vitamins and minerals – apples are a good source of vitamin C, while oranges are a great source of vitamin C and fibre. So, even though they are both fruits, apples and oranges are different in terms of their appearance, taste, and nutritional value.

It is important that students do both when they are asked a compare-and-contrast question. It may seem obvious, but very often students do one and neglect to do the other.

These ‘things’ could be anything from historical figures to poems, philosophies to fictional characters, but the essential criteria will remain pretty much the same regardless.

2. Identify Similarities and Differences

compare and contrast essay | similarities and differences 1 | How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay | literacyideas.com

The starting point for planning this type of essay is to list the similarities and differences between the two things. This can be done simply in table form or, for the more visually orientated, in the form of a Venn diagram.

Venn diagrams are an especially useful form of graphic organizer that allows the student to see the information at a glance. This is extremely helpful while students are writing.

Brainstorming the similarities and differences can be done by focusing on one subject at a time or by dealing with common traits or features one by one. This will depend not just on the student’s preferences but on the nature of the subjects being examined.

Whether listing the similarities and differences in columns or on a Venn diagram, it’s helpful for students to keep their list of characteristics parallel. That is, the related features between each of the subjects should be displayed clearly together.

3. Choose a Suitable Organizational Structure

Once your students have listed their main points, they need to choose a suitable organizational structure to help present their ideas in essay form.

In most instances, one of two structures will best meet the needs of any compare-and-contrast type essay. These two possible organizational structures are:

  • The block structure
  • The point-by-point structure

In the block structure, each subject is dealt with in turn. That is, the characteristics of Subject 1 are written about first and, in the second half of the essay, the characteristics of Subject 2 are written about.

The block structure is generally easier to write as the student need only focus on one subject at a time.

However, the point-by-point structure more often provides a clearer vehicle for comparing and contrasting the various aspects of both subjects.

Using the point-by-point structure generally requires more skill from the student to weave the similarities and differences of each subject into the fabric of each paragraph. However, it is also the default setting for most compare and contrast essays, and students should be practised in it accordingly.

4. Gather Supporting Evidence

compare and contrast essay | supporting evidence 1 | How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay | literacyideas.com

Once students have analyzed the question and identified the similarities and differences between the two subjects, they’ll need to gather supporting evidence to back up any assertions they make in their essays.

Students can use many different types of evidence to support the statements in their essays.

Some of the most common types of evidence in compare and contrast essays include statistical, textual, testimonial, and anecdotal evidence.

Let’s take a closer look:

Statistical Evidence is perhaps the strongest type of evidence that can be used to support an argument. People like numbers! However, the most important aspect of using statistical evidence is that they come from a reliable source – those cynical of statistics echo the old adage, “ There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics ”.

Textual Evidence is often needed to support an argument, especially when writing about a book, a play, a speech, etc. When using textual evidence in an essay, it is important that students state clearly the source of the evidence they use. Textual evidence can come in many different forms, including:

●     Direct quotations from a text

●     Summaries of the content of a text

●     Paraphrasing of what an author has said on a topic.

Testimonial Evidence refers to the use of expert opinion to bolster an assertion. As with the use of statistical evidence, it is important to select the sources in question carefully. Selecting an unreliable or compromised ‘expert’ can call into question the merit of any argument made. When an expert has been chosen to provide testimonial type evidence, students should establish their credibility by stating who they are and why they are considered an expert before quoting them.

Anecdotal Evidence is often considered to be the weakest form of evidence due to its highly personal nature. Basically, anecdotal evidence takes the form of the retelling of a personal experience. Though it is often criticized as a weak form of evidence, it can be useful when used correctly in an essay. Anecdotes often work well as a ‘hook’ to grab the reader’s attention at the beginning of an essay. Not only do they grab the reader’s attention effectively, but anecdotes also work well in building a personal connection with readers from the outset.

5. Compare and Contrast Essay Transitional Language

Nothing makes a text staler for a reader than the overuse of favorite words and the endless repetition of pet phrases.

Variety is the spice of not only life but of essay writing too. As students weave comparisons and contrast into their essays, they’ll be required to employ transition signals to introduce their points.

Transition signals are words and phrases that are used to signal the relationship between ideas in a text to the reader. It is helpful to students to have a variety of these to hand and to know which can be used to introduce comparisons and which can be used to introduce contrasts.

Let’s take a look at some examples for each:

Comparison Transition Signals

  • Both…and…
  • Neither…nor…
  • Just as / Just like
  • In a similar manner
  • Analogous to

Contrasting Transition Signals

  • In contrast to / Contrastingly / In comparison / By comparison
  • On the contrary
  • On the other hand
  • Nevertheless

Tips for Writing a Great Compare and Contrast Essay

  • Start by choosing two logical subjects that you would like to compare and contrast.
  • Research both subjects thoroughly to gain a deeper understanding of their similarities and differences.
  • Create a clear and compelling thesis statement that defines the purpose of your essay.
  • Organize your essay into paragraphs that compare and contrast specific aspects of each subject.
  • Use relevant and appropriate examples to support your comparisons and contrasts.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to help guide the reader through your essay.
  • Avoid simply listing the similarities and differences of each subject. Instead, focus on making meaningful comparisons and contrasts.
  • Use a variety of sentence structures and vocabulary to make your writing engaging and interesting.
  • Revise and edit your essay for clarity, coherence, and grammatical correctness.
  • Proofread your essay one final time to catch any remaining errors and make sure that your essay is ready for submission.

Remember, writing a compare and contrast essay is an opportunity to show your creativity, critical thinking skills, and writing abilities. So, have fun with it and let your unique voice shine through!

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Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST TEACHING STRATEGIES AND ACTIVITIES

Compare and Contrast Activity #1

Students should get into the habit of closely examining the question they are writing the essay in response to, especially in high-pressure situations like exams.

Too often, students under pressure misread essay prompts and either miss out on a crucial aspect of the set question or, worst of all, answer an entirely different question to the one that was set.

To help students focus on the specifics of the question, encourage them to underline keywords and phrases with a highlighter or a colored pen.

Another great way to encourage students to focus attention on the specifics is to have students practice rewriting the question in their own words.

While this may not be practical in an exam situation, it is a great way for students to get accustomed to paying close attention to essay questions in less pressured scenarios such as homework and classwork.

Compare and Contrast Activity # 2

Set a compare and contrast question and then instruct your students to use a Venn diagram as a brainstorming tool to help organize their ideas.

Students should draw two circles slightly overlapping and write down things the subjects share in common in the intersection of the two circles. This will enable students to see areas of commonality and divergence between the two subjects at a glance.

Compare and Contrast Activity # 3

Students can use the information they produced in the previous two activities for this activity.

In this activity, students will draft three paragraphs for a compare-and-contrast essay using the point-by-point structure.

To do this, they will use the traditional five-paragraph essay structure as follows:

  • Paragraph 1: Introduction
  • Paragraphs 2, 3, & 4: Body Paragraphs
  • Paragraph 5: Conclusion

The focus of your students’ outlines will be on the body paragraphs. From the points listed in the previous exercises, students select 3 main points to focus on; one for each of the body paragraphs they’ll write.

Instruct students to make their point by focusing on Subject 1 first, and then on Subject 2. This will complete the first paragraph. They’ll then repeat this process for points 2 and 3 to produce paragraphs 2 and 3.

At the end of this, they will have the three body paragraphs of their compare and contrast essay. From there, they can then reverse engineer their introduction and then complete their conclusions.

This exercise is a useful way to provide students some practice in structuring body paragraphs. Not only that, but it’s also a legitimate way to write an essay itself. This method can often reveal to the writer the best way forward when it comes to writing the introduction and conclusion.

Compare and Contrast Activity #4

Using the points outlined in previous activities, challenge students to produce as many types of evidence in support of each assertion as possible. In groups, students can then present their evidence to each other and discuss which is the most convincing and why given the specific context.

Compare and Contrast Activity # 5

Whether making comparisons or contrasts, students must consider carefully which criteria they are using in regards to the two subjects they are dealing with.

For example, if students are contrasting two subjects, say, two people, they may write something like,

Alfred is intelligent and handsome, whereas Brian is short and strong.

While the use of the transition signal whereas in the above sentence effectively sets up a contrast between Alfred and Brian, what isn’t clear is which criteria are being contrasted.

When discussing Alfred’s attributes in the first part of the sentence, the criteria employed are intelligence and looks. In the second part of the sentence, two new criteria are introduced, namely height and physical strength.

This is one of the most common errors made by students in these types of essays. To help students gain practice in this area, write a few example sentences on the whiteboard using the model sentence above to help. Then, have students identify the four different criteria and write two separate contrast sentences that avoid the error illustrated.

For example, in response to the model sentence, students might write the following two corrections:

i. Alfred is intelligent and handsome, whereas Brian is stupid and ugly.

ii. Brian is short and strong, while Alfred is tall and weak.

You can encourage students to vary the contrast transition signals they use to gain practice in this area too.

Compare and Contrast Essay ExampleS (student Writing Samples)

Below are a collection of student writing samples of compare and contrast essay.  Click on the image to enlarge and explore them in greater detail.  Please take a moment to read both the compare and contrast essays in detail and the teacher and student guides highlighting some key elements to consider before writing.

Please understand these student writing samples are not intended to be perfect examples for each age or grade level but a piece of writing for students and teachers to explore together to critically analyze to improve student writing skills and deepen their understanding of compare and contrast writing.

We would recommend reading the example either a year above and below, as well as the grade you are currently working with, to gain a broader appreciation of this text type.

compare and contrast essay | compare and contrast essay year 6 1 1536x1536 1 | How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay | literacyideas.com

In Conclusion 

While there are many technical aspects for students to master on the road to producing well-written compare and contrast essays, the above provides a clear signpost to set them off in the right direction.

Most of the specific skills focused on in the practice activities above will not only improve your student’s abilities to write compare-and-contrast-type essays but will improve their writing in other areas too. Just be sure to offer ample opportunities to practice!

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COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY TUTORIAL VIDEOS

compare and contrast essay | COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY TUTORIAL 1 | How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay | literacyideas.com

example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

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Writing a Paper: Comparing & Contrasting

A compare and contrast paper discusses the similarities and differences between two or more topics. The paper should contain an introduction with a thesis statement, a body where the comparisons and contrasts are discussed, and a conclusion.

Address Both Similarities and Differences

Because this is a compare and contrast paper, both the similarities and differences should be discussed. This will require analysis on your part, as some topics will appear to be quite similar, and you will have to work to find the differing elements.

Make Sure You Have a Clear Thesis Statement

Just like any other essay, a compare and contrast essay needs a thesis statement. The thesis statement should not only tell your reader what you will do, but it should also address the purpose and importance of comparing and contrasting the material.

Use Clear Transitions

Transitions are important in compare and contrast essays, where you will be moving frequently between different topics or perspectives.

  • Examples of transitions and phrases for comparisons: as well, similar to, consistent with, likewise, too
  • Examples of transitions and phrases for contrasts: on the other hand, however, although, differs, conversely, rather than.

For more information, check out our transitions page.

Structure Your Paper

Consider how you will present the information. You could present all of the similarities first and then present all of the differences. Or you could go point by point and show the similarity and difference of one point, then the similarity and difference for another point, and so on.

Include Analysis

It is tempting to just provide summary for this type of paper, but analysis will show the importance of the comparisons and contrasts. For instance, if you are comparing two articles on the topic of the nursing shortage, help us understand what this will achieve. Did you find consensus between the articles that will support a certain action step for people in the field? Did you find discrepancies between the two that point to the need for further investigation?

Make Analogous Comparisons

When drawing comparisons or making contrasts, be sure you are dealing with similar aspects of each item. To use an old cliché, are you comparing apples to apples?

  • Example of poor comparisons: Kubista studied the effects of a later start time on high school students, but Cook used a mixed methods approach. (This example does not compare similar items. It is not a clear contrast because the sentence does not discuss the same element of the articles. It is like comparing apples to oranges.)
  • Example of analogous comparisons: Cook used a mixed methods approach, whereas Kubista used only quantitative methods. (Here, methods are clearly being compared, allowing the reader to understand the distinction.

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Last Updated: May 12, 2023 Approved

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 29 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 3,101,785 times.

The purpose of a compare and contrast essay is to analyze the differences and/or the similarities of two distinct subjects. A good compare/contrast essay doesn’t only point out how the subjects are similar or different (or even both!). It uses those points to make a meaningful argument about the subjects. While it can be a little intimidating to approach this type of essay at first, with a little work and practice, you can write a great compare-and-contrast essay!

Formulating Your Argument

Step 1 Pick two subjects that can be compared and contrasted.

  • You could pick two subjects that are in the same “category” but have differences that are significant in some way. For example, you could choose “homemade pizza vs. frozen grocery store pizza.”
  • You could pick two subjects that don’t appear to have anything in common but that have a surprising similarity. For example, you could choose to compare bats and whales. (One is tiny and flies, and the other is huge and swims, but they both use sonar to hunt.)
  • You could pick two subjects that might appear to be the same but are actually different. For example, you could choose "The Hunger Games movie vs. the book."

Step 2 Make sure that your subjects can be discussed in a meaningful way.

  • For example, ask yourself: What can we learn by thinking about “The Hunger Games” and “Battle Royale” together that we would miss out on if we thought about them separately?
  • It can be helpful to consider the “So what?” question when deciding whether your subjects have meaningful comparisons and contrasts to be made. If you say “The Hunger Games and Battle Royale are both similar and different,” and your friend asked you “So what?” what would your answer be? In other words, why bother putting these two things together?

Step 3 Brainstorm your topic.

  • A “Venn diagram” can often be helpful when brainstorming. This set of overlapping circles can help you visualize where your subjects are similar and where they differ. In the outer edges of the circle, you write what is different; in the overlapping middle area, you write what’s similar. [2] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
  • You can also just draw out a list of all of the qualities or characteristics of each subject. Once you’ve done that, start looking through the list for traits that both subjects share. Major points of difference are also good to note.

Step 4 Consider your main points.

  • For example, if you are comparing and contrasting cats and dogs, you might notice that both are common household pets, fairly easy to adopt, and don’t usually have many special care needs. These are points of comparison (ways they are similar).
  • You might also note that cats are usually more independent than dogs, that dogs may not provoke allergies as much as cats do, and that cats don’t get as big as many dogs do. These are points of contrast (ways they are different).
  • These points of contrast can often be good places to start thinking about your thesis, or argument. Do these differences make one animal a superior type of pet? Or a better pet choice for a specific living situation (e.g., an apartment, a farm, etc.)?

Step 5 Develop your thesis.

  • Show readers why one subject is more desirable than the other. Example: "Cats are better pets than dogs because they require less maintenance, are more independent, and are more adaptable."
  • Help readers make a meaningful comparison between two subjects. Example: "New York City and San Francisco are both great cities for young professionals, but they differ in terms of their job opportunities, social environment, and living conditions."
  • Show readers how two subjects are similar and different. Example: "While both The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird explore the themes of loss of innocence and the deep bond between siblings, To Kill a Mockingbird is more concerned with racism while The Catcher in the Rye focuses on the prejudices of class."
  • In middle school and high school, the standard format for essays is often the “5-paragraph form,” with an introduction, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. If your teacher recommends this form, go for it. However, you should be aware that especially in college, teachers and professors tend to want students to break out of this limited mode. Don’t get so locked into having “three main points” that you forget to fully explore your topic.

Organizing Your Essay

Step 1 Decide on a structure.

  • Subject by subject. This organization deals with all of the points about Topic A, then all of the points of Topic B. For example, you could discuss all your points about frozen pizza (in as many paragraphs as necessary), then all your points about homemade pizza. The strength of this form is that you don’t jump back and forth as much between topics, which can help your essay read more smoothly. It can also be helpful if you are using one subject as a “lens” through which to examine the other. The major disadvantage is that the comparisons and contrasts don’t really become evident until much further into the essay, and it can end up reading like a list of “points” rather than a cohesive essay. [4] X Trustworthy Source University of North Carolina Writing Center UNC's on-campus and online instructional service that provides assistance to students, faculty, and others during the writing process Go to source
  • Point by point. This type of organization switches back and forth between points. For example, you could first discuss the prices of frozen pizza vs. homemade pizza, then the quality of ingredients, then the convenience factor. The advantage of this form is that it’s very clear what you’re comparing and contrasting. The disadvantage is that you do switch back and forth between topics, so you need to make sure that you use transitions and signposts to lead your reader through your argument.
  • Compare then contrast. This organization presents all the comparisons first, then all the contrasts. It’s a pretty common way of organizing an essay, and it can be helpful if you really want to emphasize how your subjects are different. Putting the contrasts last places the emphasis on them. However, it can be more difficult for your readers to immediately see why these two subjects are being contrasted if all the similarities are first.

Step 2 Outline your essay.

  • Introduction. This paragraph comes first and presents the basic information about the subjects to be compared and contrasted. It should present your thesis and the direction of your essay (i.e., what you will discuss and why your readers should care).
  • Body Paragraphs. These are the meat of your essay, where you provide the details and evidence that support your claims. Each different section or body paragraph should tackle a different division of proof. It should provide and analyze evidence in order to connect those proofs to your thesis and support your thesis. Many middle-school and high-school essays may only require three body paragraphs, but use as many as is necessary to fully convey your argument.
  • Acknowledgement of Competitive Arguments/Concession. This paragraph acknowledges that other counter-arguments exist, but discusses how those arguments are flawed or do not apply.
  • Conclusion. This paragraph summarizes the evidence presented. It will restate the thesis, but usually in a way that offers more information or sophistication than the introduction could. Remember: your audience now has all the information you gave them about why your argument is solid. They don’t need you to just reword your original thesis. Take it to the next level!

Step 3 Outline your body paragraphs based on subject-to-subject comparison.

  • Introduction: state your intent to discuss the differences between camping in the woods or on the beach.
  • Body Paragraph 1 (Woods): Climate/Weather
  • Body Paragraph 2 (Woods): Types of Activities and Facilities
  • Body Paragraph 3 (Beach): Climate/Weather
  • Body Paragraph 4 (Beach): Types of Activities and Facilities

Step 4 Outline your body paragraphs based on point-by-point comparison.

  • Introduction

Step 5 Outline your body paragraphs based on compare then contrast.

  • Body Paragraph 1: Similarity between woods and beaches (both are places with a wide variety of things to do)
  • Body Paragraph 2: First difference between woods and beaches (they have different climates)
  • Body Paragraph 3: Second difference between woods and beaches (there are more easily accessible woods than beaches in most parts of the country)
  • Body Paragraph 4: Emphasis on the superiority of the woods to the beach

Step 6 Organize your individual body paragraphs.

  • Topic sentence: This sentence introduces the main idea and subject of the paragraph. It can also provide a transition from the ideas in the previous paragraph.
  • Body: These sentences provide concrete evidence that support the topic sentence and main idea.
  • Conclusion: this sentence wraps up the ideas in the paragraph. It may also provide a link to the next paragraph’s ideas.

Putting It All Together

Step 1 Use your brainstorming ideas to fill in your outline.

  • If you are having trouble finding evidence to support your argument, go back to your original texts and try the brainstorming process again. It could be that your argument is evolving past where it started, which is good! You just need to go back and look for further evidence.

Step 2 Remember to explain the “why.”

  • For example, in a body paragraph about the quality of ingredients in frozen vs. homemade pizza, you could close with an assertion like this: “Because you actively control the quality of the ingredients in pizza you make at home, it can be healthier for you than frozen pizza. It can also let you express your imagination. Pineapple and peanut butter pizza? Go for it! Pickles and parmesan? Do it! Using your own ingredients lets you have fun with your food.” This type of comment helps your reader understand why the ability to choose your own ingredients makes homemade pizza better.

Step 3 Come up with a title.

  • Reading your essay aloud can also help you find problem spots. Often, when you’re writing you get so used to what you meant to say that you don’t read what you actually said.

Step 5 Review your essay.

  • Avoid bias. Don't use overly negative or defamatory language to show why a subject is unfavorable; use solid evidence to prove your points instead.
  • Avoid first-person pronouns unless told otherwise. In some cases, your teacher may encourage you to use “I” and “you” in your essay. However, if the assignment or your teacher doesn’t mention it, stick with third-person instead, like “one may see” or “people may enjoy.” This is common practice for formal academic essays.
  • Proofread! Spelling and punctuation errors happen to everyone, but not catching them can make you seem lazy. Go over your essay carefully, and ask a friend to help if you’re not confident in your own proofreading skills.

Sample Body Paragraphs

Step 1 Write a body paragraph for a point-by-point compare and contrast essay.

  • "When one is deciding whether to go to the beach or the woods, the type of activities that each location offers are an important point to consider. At the beach, one can enjoy the water by swimming, surfing, or even building a sandcastle with a moat that will fill with water. When one is in the woods, one may be able to go fishing or swimming in a nearby lake, or one may not be near water at all. At the beach, one can keep one's kids entertained by burying them in sand or kicking around a soccer ball; if one is in the woods, one can entertain one's kids by showing them different plans or animals. Both the beach and the woods offer a variety of activities for adults and kids alike."

Step 2 Write a body paragraph for a subject-by-subject compare and contrast essay.

  • "The beach has a wonderful climate, many activities, and great facilities for any visitor's everyday use. If a person goes to the beach during the right day or time of year, he or she can enjoy warm, yet refreshing water, a cool breeze, and a relatively hot climate. At the beach, one can go swimming, sunbathe, or build sandcastles. There are also great facilities at the beach, such as a changing room, umbrellas, and conveniently-located restaurants and changing facilities. The climate, activities, and facilities are important points to consider when deciding between the beach and the woods."

Sample Essay Outline

example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

Community Q&A

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  • Collect your sources. Mark page numbers in books, authors, titles, dates, or other applicable information. This will help you cite your sources later on in the writing process. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 2
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  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/comparing-and-contrasting/
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About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

To write a compare and contrast essay, try organizing your essay so you're comparing and contrasting one aspect of your subjects in each paragraph. Or, if you don't want to jump back and forth between subjects, structure your essay so the first half is about one subject and the second half is about the other. You could also write your essay so the first few paragraphs introduce all of the comparisons and the last few paragraphs introduce all of the contrasts, which can help emphasize your subjects' differences and similarities. To learn how to choose subjects to compare and come up with a thesis statement, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay: Everything You Need to Know

compare and contrast

Compare and contrast essays represent a unique style of writing that highlights both the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. This approach is ideal for elucidating what distinguishes and connects related concepts or things, especially when subjects are prone to confusion or unjust amalgamation.

While compare and contrast essays share commonalities with other essay types, they also possess distinctive features – that's where the essence of comparison lies! By discerning the differences and similarities, readers gain a deeper understanding of each subject, using the contrasted subject as a valuable frame of reference.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the art of writing a compare and contrast essay, offering advanced tips regarding the compare and contrast essay thesis and illustrative examples. We’ll explore essay structure and thesis framing and, before delving into specifics, illuminate the broader significance of why comparison essays are such powerful tools. In case you’re in a hurry, use our college essay writing service to achieve the desired result faster. 

Explanation of What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay

A compare and contrast essay is a distinctive form of academic writing that delves into the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. This genre offers a platform to explore the relationships and distinctions among various concepts, ideas, or objects. By presenting a balanced examination, it aims to highlight nuanced insights that might not be immediately apparent. Unlike other essay types, the essence of compare and contrast essays lies in juxtaposing elements to reveal a deeper understanding and to encourage critical thinking.

The primary objective of a compare and contrast essay is to dissect the chosen subjects, showcasing their unique characteristics and shared traits. This approach allows you as an author to present a comprehensive analysis, offering readers a more profound comprehension of each subject by virtue of their relation to one another. Whether comparing historical events, literary works, scientific theories, or any other topics, this essay form prompts a thoughtful examination that goes beyond mere surface observations.

When contemplating a compare and contrast essay format, the author not only explores the content but also navigates the terrain of structural nuances. This involves carefully framing a thesis statement that encapsulates the central theme and purpose of the essay. The subsequent paragraphs are dedicated to meticulously examining each point of comparison or contrast, often leading to insightful conclusions that contribute to a more holistic understanding of the subjects at hand. Through this process, the essay serves as a tool for fostering critical thinking skills and encouraging a deeper engagement with the subject matter.

example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay

As we’ve just learned what is compare and contrast essay, it’s time to learn how to engage your readers and set the stage for the exploration of similarities and differences between the chosen subjects. Begin with a compelling introduction that provides context and captures the audience's attention. Consider employing a thought-provoking quote, a relevant anecdote, or a striking statistic to pique interest. This initial section should introduce the subjects to be compared and contrasted, offering a glimpse of why the comparison is significant or intriguing.

Following the introduction, create a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines the main points of comparison or contrast. This statement serves as the essay's roadmap, guiding both you and the reader through the ensuing analysis. Experts from essay writers service know that a well-crafted thesis not only succinctly conveys the essence of the essay but also hints at the broader significance of the chosen subjects' similarities or differences. This can involve identifying patterns, revealing insights, or highlighting implications that will be explored in the subsequent paragraphs. Below, we will share an example of compare and contrast essay for your inspiration and practical guidance. 

As you transition to the body of the essay, set the stage for the comparison by providing necessary background information about the subjects. This ensures that your readers have a foundational understanding of the topics before delving into the detailed analysis. Establish the relevant context, highlight key characteristics, and address any critical aspects that will contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the subjects. As a compare and contrast essay writer, apply this smooth transition from introduction to body paragraphs to prepare your audience for the in-depth exploration of comparisons and contrasts that will follow. If at any moment you find the material too time-consuming or challenging, simply order an essay from seasoned academic penmen for quicker and more consistent outcomes. 

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

To learn how to write a compare and contrast essay, you can choose between two outline methods at your disposal – namely, the block method and the point-by-point method. In the block structure, all information pertaining to the first subject is presented, elucidating its characteristics and specific details in one block. The second block then adopts the same approach for the second subject. 

compare contrast essay structure

On the other hand, the point-by-point structure of a compare and contrast essay entails listing each similarity and difference concurrently, providing notes on both subjects. For instance, you can highlight a characteristic specific to one subject, followed by its similarity or difference to the other subject.

Each format, whether block or point-by-point, comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. The block method is notably simpler for the essay writer, as it involves presenting all information about the two subjects and leaving the comparison to the reader. On the other hand, the point-by-point format necessitates a more in-depth analysis by the writer, making similarities and differences explicit for easier comprehension by the reader. How do you structure this compare and contrast paper? A detailed structure for each type is provided below.

The point-by-point method is a popular approach used in writing compare and contrast essays. In this method, the writer systematically addresses points of comparison and contrast between two or more subjects. Unlike the block method, where information about one subject is presented in a block followed by information about the second subject in another block, the point-by-point method integrates the discussion of similarities and differences throughout the essay.

Point-by-Point Structure

Here's how the point-by-point structure of a compare and contrast essay typically works:

Introduction

  • Introduce the subjects you will be comparing and contrasting.
  • Provide a brief overview of the main points of comparison.

Body Paragraphs

  • Each body paragraph focuses on a specific point of comparison or contrast.
  • Discuss one aspect of the first subject and immediately follow it with the corresponding aspect of the second subject.
  • For example, if you're comparing two cities, a body paragraph might address the climate of City A and then immediately discuss the climate of City B.

Transition Sentences

  • Use clear transition sentences to guide the reader from one point to the next.
  • These sentences help maintain the flow and coherence of the essay.

Repeat for Each Point

  • Continue addressing points of comparison and contrast, dedicating a separate paragraph to each aspect.
  • Ensure a balanced discussion of both subjects, presenting an equitable number of points for each.
  • Summarize the main points of comparison and contrast.
  • Reiterate the significance of the similarities or differences discussed.
  • Conclude with a statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

The point-by-point method allows for a more detailed and intertwined analysis of the subjects, making it easier for the reader to follow the comparison throughout the essay.

Block Structure

The block structure is one of the common methods used in writing compare and contrast essays. In this approach, the writer organizes the information about one subject in a block or chunk and then presents the information about the second subject in another block. Each block addresses all the aspects, characteristics, or details related to the respective subject. Here's a breakdown of the block structure:

  • Introduce the subjects to be compared and contrasted.
  • Each body paragraph focuses on a specific aspect or characteristic of one subject.
  • Present all the information related to the first subject in the first block.
  • Address various aspects, supporting details, or examples within this block.

Transition to Second Subject

  • Use a clear transition sentence or paragraph to move from the discussion of the first subject to the second subject.

Body Paragraphs (Second Block)

  • Similar to the first block, each body paragraph in this section concentrates on a specific aspect or characteristic of the second subject.
  • Provide comprehensive details, examples, or evidence for the second subject within this block.
  • Reinforce the significance of the similarities or differences discussed.
  • Conclude with a final statement that leaves an impression on the reader.

The block structure is straightforward and easy to follow. It allows for a thorough examination of each subject independently, making it clear for the reader to understand the characteristics of both subjects. However, it may lack the interconnected analysis provided by other methods, such as the point-by-point method.

Present Your Supporting Evidence

In compare and contrast essays, it's crucial to substantiate your arguments with ample evidence. Draw upon various sources such as personal experiences, books, scholarly articles, magazine and newspaper features, movies, or any relevant material that lends credibility to your argument. For instance, if your essay compares attending college on campus versus distance-based learning, incorporate personal experiences as a student, discussing the daily attendance patterns on campus. Additionally, share insights from your online learning experiences, bolstering the credibility of your argument concerning online classes.

Valuable Compare and Contrast Essay Tips

One of the key pieces of advice from dissertation writing services is to approach writing a compare and contrast essay with the right attitude, actively involving the reader in the discussion. If you find the topic intriguing, chances are your reader will too! Here are additional tips to refine your compare and contrast essay:

  • Learn about crafting effective transition sentences using the words provided in the 'Compare and Contrast Essay Outline' section.
  • Always provide clear explanations for the concepts introduced in your essay. Assume your reader may not be familiar with lesser-known information.
  • Small errors, when numerous, can impact your grade. Pay meticulous attention to grammar and punctuation during the proofreading process.
  • Have a friend or family member review your essay; they may identify elements you might have overlooked. Their fresh perspective can contribute to enhancing the overall quality of your work.

How to Brainstorm Compelling Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

As you learned about the compare and contrast essay structure, we should move on to brainstorming compare and contrast essay topics that engage readers. It is a creative process that involves exploring connections between different ideas or subjects. To begin, consider your areas of interest or the themes covered in your course. Think about topics that not only capture your attention but also present rich material for meaningful comparisons. For instance, you might explore the contrast between traditional education and online learning, the similarities and differences in cultural practices, or the evolution of technology in different decades. By tapping into your personal interests, you can identify subjects that will engage both you and your readers.

compare contrast topics

Another effective strategy for generating compare and contrast essay topics is to consider current events, societal issues, or trends. Reflect on contemporary debates or contrasting perspectives on relevant topics. This could involve comparing different approaches to environmental conservation, contrasting political ideologies, or examining the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships. Choosing topics rooted in current affairs not only ensures relevance but also provides an opportunity to contribute to ongoing discussions and showcase the significance of your analysis.

Furthermore, exploring literature, history, or scientific domains can inspire unique and thought-provoking topics for your essay. Delve into literary works, historical events, or scientific theories and identify aspects that lend themselves to comparison. For example, you might compare the portrayal of gender roles in two novels, analyze the impact of two historical movements, or contrast the methodologies of two scientific experiments. Drawing from diverse fields allows you to explore a wide range of topics and demonstrate the versatility of the compare and contrast essay format.

How to Choose Compare and Contrast Topics That Resonate with Readers

Selecting a topic for your compare and contrast essay writing process is a critical step in ensuring the success of your essay. Begin by considering your interests and expertise. Choose a topic that genuinely intrigues you and aligns with your knowledge base. When you are passionate about the subject matter, your enthusiasm will naturally reflect in your writing, making the essay more engaging for both you and your readers. Another approach is to think about the relevance of the topic to your audience. 

  • Consider your audience's interests, educational background, and the context in which they'll be reading your essay. 
  • Opt for a topic that not only captivates you but also has the potential to captivate and resonate with your readers. 
  • Whether your audience is academic peers, instructors, or a general readership, relevance is key to maintaining interest.
  • Look for topics that offer room for meaningful comparison and contrast. 

A great topic should have distinct elements or characteristics that can be thoroughly analyzed. Avoid overly broad or simplistic topics and, instead, focus on those that allow for a nuanced exploration of similarities and differences. For example, comparing two different genres of literature, contrasting historical events with similar repercussions, or examining the cultural impact of two art movements can provide rich material for a comprehensive analysis.

110 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Selecting a suitable topic can pose a challenge, but fear not, as there's a plethora of options available. In the subsequent sections, we've curated a list of 110 compare and contrast essay ideas to assist you in initiating your exploration. Encompassing diverse subjects, from education and technology to history and politics, these topics cater to a broad spectrum of interests. Regardless of whether you're a high school or college student, you're bound to encounter a topic that piques your curiosity. Dive into the following sections to uncover a myriad of awesome ideas.

Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for College Students

While enrolled in college, your professor may assign you the responsibility of crafting this type of essay at any given moment. Explore the following topics curated by our team, designed specifically for college students, to ensure you attain the grades you rightfully deserve.

  • Traditional learning and online education.
  • Classic literature and modern literature.
  • Environmental conservation and industrial development.
  • Democratic and authoritarian governance.
  • Traditional art and digital art.
  • Urban living and rural living.
  • World War I and World War II.
  • Nature and nurture in human development.
  • Traditional medicine and alternative medicine.
  • Individualism and collectivism.

Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

From thought-provoking societal debates to fascinating examinations of cultural nuances, this collection offers a rich array of subjects to spark engaging discussions. 

  • The influence of science fiction literature on film: A comparative analysis.
  • The evolution of traditional photography vs. digital photography in the modern era.
  • The impact of traditional classroom learning and virtual reality learning environments on student engagement.
  • A comparative exploration of Eastern and Western philosophy on the concept of happiness.
  • The portrayal of heroes in ancient mythology vs. contemporary superhero movies.
  • The influence of Shakespearean tragedies on contemporary television drama.
  • A comparative study of traditional family structures and non-traditional family arrangements.
  • The impact of traditional and e-learning approaches in language education.
  • The representation of gender roles in classic literature vs. modern graphic novels.
  • A comparative analysis of sustainable agriculture practices and conventional farming methods.

Movie Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Explore the nuances of various films, from timeless classics to contemporary masterpieces, as we delve into the unique themes, characters, and cinematic techniques that define each cinematic journey. 

  • The cinematic styles of Alfred Hitchcock and Quentin Tarantino: A comparative analysis.
  • Classic novels vs. their film adaptations: Examining narrative choices.
  • The impact of special effects in vintage sci-fi films vs. modern blockbusters.
  • Animated Disney classics vs. Pixar animated films: A journey through animation styles.
  • The evolution of superhero movies: Marvel Cinematic Universe vs. DC Extended Universe.
  • The portrayal of historical events in Hollywood vs. independent films.
  • The representation of gender roles in Golden Age Hollywood films vs. contemporary cinema.
  • Original films vs. remakes: A critical analysis of storytelling and artistic choices.
  • Classic black and white films vs. contemporary color cinema: examining visual aesthetics.
  • The influence of literature on film: A comparative study of book-to-movie adaptations.

Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

From quirky everyday situations to amusing cultural phenomena, these topics offer a delightful twist to the traditional essay format. Make your readers smile!

  • The daily struggles of owning a cat vs. a dog: A humorous examination.
  • Living with roommates vs. living with ghosts: Unexpected challenges.
  • Dating in high school vs. dating in senior citizenship: A humorous perspective.
  • The humor in failed cooking experiments vs. successful culinary ventures.
  • The quirks of traditional superheroes vs. unconventional, everyday heroes.
  • The hilarity of family holiday gatherings vs. solo Netflix marathons.
  • The comedy of traditional love letters vs. modern emoji-infused texts.
  • The absurdity of morning people vs. night owls: A sleep-deprived comedy.
  • The humorous adventures of traveling solo vs. traveling with a stuffed animal companion.
  • The comedy in embracing procrastination vs. attempting productivity: A satirical exploration.

Informative Essay Topics for 6th Graders

Ignite the curiosity of young minds with our thoughtfully curated collection of topics for 6th graders. Designed to inspire learning and exploration, these topics cover a wide spectrum of subjects, allowing students to delve into new realms of knowledge.

  • The life cycle of butterflies: A comprehensive exploration.
  • Renewable energy sources: Understanding solar and wind power.
  • The ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and their contributions.
  • The water cycle: Unraveling the mysteries of Earth's hydrological system.
  • Volcanoes and earthquakes: Forces of nature and their impact.
  • The importance of healthy eating habits and nutrition for kids.
  • Exploring the solar system: Planets, moons, and beyond.
  • The history and significance of ancient Egyptian pyramids.
  • Endangered species: Understanding the threats and conservation efforts.
  • The scientific method: A step-by-step guide to conducting experiments.

Compare and Contrast History Essay Topics

This list of topics invites you to explore pivotal moments, historical figures, and societal transformations, providing a nuanced lens to analyze the intricate tapestry of human history. 

  • The French Revolution vs. the American Revolution: A comparative analysis of revolutionary ideals and outcomes.
  • The Roman Empire vs. the British Empire: Exploring imperial expansions and legacies.
  • The Renaissance vs. the Enlightenment: Contrasting movements in European intellectual history.
  • Feudalism vs. Manorialism: Examining medieval social and economic structures.
  • World War I vs. World War II: A comparative study of causes, impact, and global changes.
  • The Byzantine Empire vs. the Ottoman Empire: Examining Eastern Mediterranean powers.
  • The Industrial Revolution in Britain vs. the industrialization of the United States: Economic transformations.
  • The Civil Rights Movement vs. the Women's Suffrage Movement: Struggles for equality.
  • The Chinese dynasties vs. the Japanese shogunates: Comparing East Asian historical developments.
  • The Cold War vs. the Space Race: Analyzing political tensions and scientific advancements.

Best Topics for Compare and Contrast Essays

Whether you're a student delving into academic pursuits or an avid writer seeking creative inspiration, this topic list offers a wealth of engaging topics to elevate your essay-writing experience.

  • The impact of traditional learning vs. online education on student success.
  • The representation of gender roles in classic literature vs. modern media.
  • The evolution of communication: From letters to emails and instant messaging.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of living in a city vs. living in the countryside.
  • The portrayal of superheroes in Marvel vs. DC Comics: A comparative analysis.
  • The influence of nature vs. nurture on human personality and behavior.
  • The effects of traditional medicine vs. alternative medicine on health.
  • The rise of social media vs. traditional forms of communication in society.
  • The impact of traditional art vs. digital art on visual expression.
  • The consequences of environmental conservation vs. industrial development.

Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Designed to simplify the essay writing process, these topics offer a user-friendly penmanship start for students and aspiring writers alike. 

  • Dogs and cats: Comparing two popular pets.
  • Summer versus winter: Exploring seasonal differences.
  • City life or rural life: Contrasting lifestyles.
  • Books or movies: Analyzing different storytelling formats.
  • High school versus college: Comparing educational environments.
  • Pizza or burgers: Contrasting fast food preferences.
  • Biking or walking: Comparing exercise options.
  • Facebook or Instagram: A look at social media platforms.
  • Sunrise or sunset: Comparing daily phenomena.
  • Apple or Android: Exploring smartphone preferences.

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

Each topic is meticulously chosen to inspire insightful discussions and analytical explorations. Join us as we present a diverse array of subjects that invite you to explore the intricacies of thought-provoking juxtapositions.

  • Traditional classroom learning and online education reveal a spectrum of similarities and differences in educational approaches.
  • The impact of city living versus suburban lifestyles prompts reflections on individual preferences and lifestyle implications.
  • Owning a small business versus working for a large corporation involves contrasting advantages and disadvantages in the professional realm.
  • Parenting styles across different cultures exhibit intriguing similarities and differences, influencing child development.
  • The effects of a healthy diet versus regular exercise on overall well-being raise questions about lifestyle priorities and choices.
  • Experiences of traveling by plane versus train vary, presenting contrasting perspectives on efficiency and comfort.
  • Classical music and modern pop music offer a rich canvas for exploring the evolving landscape of musical expression.
  • Freelancing versus a traditional 9-to-5 job entails comparing the diverse challenges and rewards within the professional sphere.
  • Environmental impacts of electric cars versus traditional gas-powered vehicles underscore the trade-offs in sustainable transportation.
  • The portrayal of female and male characters in literature and film unveils nuanced similarities and differences, reflecting societal norms and evolving perspectives.

Psychology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

This compilation offers a captivating exploration of psychological theories, perspectives, and phenomena, providing an enriching platform for analytical discussions. 

  • Behavioral and cognitive approaches in psychology present distinct perspectives, influencing our understanding of human behavior.
  • The nature versus nurture debate in personality development contrasts inherent factors with environmental influences.
  • Freudian and Jungian psychoanalytic theories offer unique insights, yet their similarities and differences provoke ongoing discussions.
  • Classical and operant conditioning's impact on learning and behavior varies, shedding light on effective teaching methods.
  • The theories of emotional intelligence versus traditional intelligence prompt reflections on diverse measures of human cognitive abilities.
  • Cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy differ in their approaches but also share commonalities in addressing psychological issues.
  • Nature and nurture's effects on mental disorder development prompt inquiries into the interplay of genetics and environment.
  • Positive psychology and traditional clinical psychology represent contrasting approaches to mental health, emphasizing strengths versus pathology.
  • Similarities and differences between social cognitive theory and social identity theory unveil complex insights into human social cognition.
  • The neurological foundations of psychological disorders vary, emphasizing the diverse factors contributing to mental health challenges.

Controversial Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

From ethical dilemmas to societal taboos, each topic offers a platform to delve into the heart of contentious discussions, allowing for a nuanced examination of contrasting viewpoints. 

  • The ethical implications of animal testing versus the benefits of scientific research prompt debates on morality and progress.
  • Capital punishment sparks controversy as legal systems worldwide grapple with its pros and cons.
  • The impact of censorship on freedom of speech raises questions about the balance between protection and restriction.
  • Recreational drug legalization discussions reveal diverse perspectives on public health and personal freedom.
  • Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture stir debates over their benefits and potential risks.
  • Abstinence-only education and comprehensive sex education present varied approaches to promoting sexual health.
  • Ethical considerations surrounding physician-assisted suicide and palliative care highlight complex end-of-life decisions.
  • Affirmative action in college admissions elicits arguments on fairness, diversity, and meritocracy.
  • The regulation of social media sparks debates over its societal benefits and potential drawbacks.
  • Perspectives on gun control and the right to bear arms vary, reflecting societal attitudes towards safety and individual freedoms.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Having gained comprehensive insights into compare and contrast essays, let's delve into practical examples to kickstart your writing journey or seek assistance from our dedicated essay helper. With a solid understanding of the principles, examining real-life examples can provide valuable inspiration and guidance for creating your own compelling paper.

example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

What Is the Example of Compare and Contrast Essay?

How do you compare and contrast in an essay, how do you compare and contrast essay topic sentences, how to write a compare and contrast essay introduction.

example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

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How to write a compare and contrast essay, by luisa brenton.

As a student, you’ve got to write a lot of different essays and writing assignments, which all have different requirements and expectations. To get the best grade possible, it is important that you understand these differences and make use of them as best you can. In this way, you don’t spend time barking up the wrong tree.

Now, it would be great if we could deal with each and every essay expectations. That would make for a rather unwieldy blog post. So, instead, here we’re going to look at one of the most popular forms, which is the compare and contrast essay.

Recognizing the compare and contrast essay

Often they’re not actually that hard to spot. Some will even have the word ‘compare’ and ‘contrast’ in the title. For example, you might have ‘compare two romantic poets and explore the differences between them’ or ‘contrast the first and the Second World War and the political reasons for them’. Other words that you might see are such words as ‘differences’, ‘similarities’ or other words like that.

But it doesn’t always work out that easily. Sometimes you’re going to find questions that are far more subtle. For example, ‘take a major literary theme and explore how Virginia Wolfe and F Scott Fitzgerald dealt with them’ or ‘How does liberty evolve from the 15 th  to the 16 th  century?’

Yet, the idea though they might not use the words ‘compare’ and ‘contrast’ you can still find it between the lines.

Representing differences and similarities visually

When you’ve been asked to discuss the similarities or differences between two things (or three) then the best thing you can do is draw a Venn diagram. You know the one I’m talking about – where you draw as many circles as there are concepts (e.g. first world war and second world war) where they each overlap all the other circles?

Then you write the differences in the areas where the circles don’t overlap and the similarities in the areas where they do. In this way, you’ll have an easy time of knowing what the differences and similarities are.

Of course, don’t get carried away. Remember that you’re writing for a specific class, which means that you’re supposed to write about areas that fit within the structure thereof.

One trick that might work if you’re struggling to know what’s relevant is to include another circle in your diagram so that you can write those things that fall within the scope of the class inside of that circle and those that don’t outside of it.

Note that this strategy works a lot better if you’re only asked to compare two things, as when you’re asked to compare more it can get very confusing very quickly as there are just too many circles.

Decide what to write about

The next thing that you’ll need to decide on is what you’re going to include in your essay. The first things to focus on is what is absolutely essential to the argument you’re going to make. These points will need to be included no matter what.

If that alone does not fill up your essay, however, then it’s time to pull out a point system. Give things a score from one to five (or ten, if you’ve got a lot of topics and need the extra differentiation).

Things to base your score on:

  • Is it relevant to the class?
  • Is it interesting and informative?
  • Does it fit into the argument that you’re going to make or is it a tangent?
  • Is it a topic that the teacher or professor seems particularly interested in?
  • How obvious is it? (The more obvious, the less the need to include it)

Time to formulate your structure

The first thing that you want to do at this point is formulated your thesis. You probably already had a central argument outline above (otherwise you would have struggled to complete the last section) but now it’s time to put it down in words.

Don’t skip this part! Often you can realize where you’re making errors in your reasoning simply by writing down what you’re trying to argue. Also, always answer the most important question of all about your thesis and that is ‘why should I care about this particular question? Why is it relevant?’ That question will need to be answered somewhere in your essay.

That done, it’s time to create a structure. Return to your Venn diagram and take the pieces that you’ve ranked highest (as well as those that you decided are central to the question and your argument) and put them in order.

Make sure you start out with a whopper of an argument – something that’s engaging and interesting so that you draw in the reader. Take your second strongest argument and put it right at the end (this is important due to the peak and end effect, which states that we remember the end of things better than what comes in the middle).

Start writing

Now you’ve got everything worked out, all you’ve got to do is fill in the gaps. Now remember to use clear paragraphs and well-defined sentences. Also, remember to focus on good transitions, so that people can spot when you’re moving on from one area to another.

Now, if this is a struggle, don’t stress out too much. There are plenty of tools available to help you online – from other websites that deal with this kind of thing in more detail, to services that can help you with the process (check out the best sites for writing help).

And remember, if you’re struggling at this point, that doesn’t mean you always will. Essay writing (actually all writing) is something that you get better at over time, particularly if you pay attention to what your professors and teachers are saying and not just the grades they give you.

So with those thoughts, you should be much better prepared to deal with the contrast and comparison essay.  Let me know how it goes.

Luisa Brenton is an ex-marketer, present writer, and a future professor at the Chicago University. She has been working as an educational blogger for top websites.You can contact her on Twitter.

One comment on “How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay”

Hi Luisa, I was searching for the tips to write an perfect essay for my college and found this. Thanks for the wonderful tips, will apply it and let you know the results.

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Compare & Contrast Essays How things are similar or different

Compare and contrast is a common form of academic writing, either as an essay type on its own, or as part of a larger essay which includes one or more paragraphs which compare or contrast. This page gives information on what a compare and contrast essay is , how to structure this type of essay, how to use compare and contrast structure words , and how to make sure you use appropriate criteria for comparison/contrast . There is also an example compare and contrast essay on the topic of communication technology, as well as some exercises to help you practice this area.

What are compare & contrast essays?

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For another look at the same content, check out YouTube » or Youku » , or this infographic » .

example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

To compare is to examine how things are similar, while to contrast is to see how they differ. A compare and contrast essay therefore looks at the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences. This essay type is common at university, where lecturers frequently test your understanding by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical periods, two characters in a novel, etc. Sometimes the whole essay will compare and contrast, though sometimes the comparison or contrast may be only part of the essay. It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the similarities or the differences, not both, will be discussed. See the examples below.

  • Compare and contrast Newton's ideas of gravity with those proposed by Einstein ['compare and contrast' essay]
  • Examine how the economies of Spain and China are similar ['compare' only essay]
  • Explain the differences between Achaemenid Empire and Parthian Empire ['contrast' only essay]

There are two main ways to structure a compare and contrast essay, namely using a block or a point-by-point structure. For the block structure, all of the information about one of the objects being compared/contrasted is given first, and all of the information about the other object is listed afterwards. This type of structure is similar to the block structure used for cause and effect and problem-solution essays. For the point-by-point structure, each similarity (or difference) for one object is followed immediately by the similarity (or difference) for the other. Both types of structure have their merits. The former is easier to write, while the latter is generally clearer as it ensures that the similarities/differences are more explicit.

The two types of structure, block and point-by-point , are shown in the diagram below.

Compare and Contrast Structure Words

Compare and contrast structure words are transition signals which show the similarities or differences. Below are some common examples.

  • both... and...
  • not only... but also...
  • neither... nor...
  • just like (+ noun)
  • similar to (+ noun)
  • to be similar (to)
  • to be the same as
  • to be alike
  • to compare (to/with)
  • Computers can be used to communicate easily, for example via email. Similarly/Likewise , the mobile phone is a convenient tool for communication.
  • Both computers and mobile phones can be used to communicate easily with other people.
  • Just like the computer, the mobile phone can be used to communicate easily with other people.
  • The computer is similar to the mobile phone in the way it can be used for easy communication.
  • In contrast
  • In comparison
  • By comparison
  • On the other hand
  • to differ from
  • to be different (from)
  • to be dissimilar to
  • to be unlike
  • Computers, although increasingly small, are not always easy to carry from one place to another. However , the mobile phone can be carried with ease.
  • Computers are generally not very portable, whereas the mobile phone is.
  • Computers differ from mobile phones in their lack of portability.
  • Computers are unlike mobile phones in their lack of portability.

Criteria for comparison/contrast

When making comparisons or contrasts, it is important to be clear what criteria you are using. Study the following example, which contrasts two people. Here the criteria are unclear.

  • Aaron is tall and strong. In contrast , Bruce is handsome and very intelligent.

Although this sentence has a contrast transition , the criteria for contrasting are not the same. The criteria used for Aaron are height (tall) and strength (strong). We would expect similar criteria to be used for Bruce (maybe he is short and weak), but instead we have new criteria, namely appearance (handsome) and intelligence (intelligent). This is a common mistake for students when writing this type of paragraph or essay. Compare the following, which has much clearer criteria (contrast structure words shown in bold).

  • Aaron and Bruce differ in four ways. The first difference is height. Aaron is tall, while Bruce is short. A second difference is strength. Aaron is strong. In contrast , Bruce is weak. A third difference is appearance. Aaron, who is average looking, differs from Bruce, who is handsome. The final difference is intelligence. Aaron is of average intelligence. Bruce, on the other hand , is very intelligent.

Example essay

Below is a compare and contrast essay. This essay uses the point-by-point structure . Click on the different areas (in the shaded boxes to the right) to highlight the different structural aspects in this essay, i.e. similarities, differences, and structure words. This will highlight not simply the paragraphs, but also the thesis statement and summary , as these repeat the comparisons and contrasts contained in the main body.

Title: There have been many advances in technology over the past fifty years. These have revolutionised the way we communicate with people who are far away. Compare and contrast methods of communication used today with those which were used in the past.

Before the advent of computers and modern technology, people communicating over long distances used traditional means such as letters and the telephone. Nowadays we have a vast array of communication tools which can complete this task, ranging from email to instant messaging and video calls. While the present and previous means of communication are similar in their general form , they differ in regard to their speed and the range of tools available . One similarity between current and previous methods of communication relates to the form of communication. In the past, both written forms such as letters were frequently used, in addition to oral forms such as telephone calls. Similarly , people nowadays use both of these forms. Just as in the past, written forms of communication are prevalent, for example via email and text messaging. In addition, oral forms are still used, including the telephone, mobile phone, and voice messages via instant messaging services. However , there are clearly many differences in the way we communicate over long distances, the most notable of which is speed. This is most evident in relation to written forms of communication. In the past, letters would take days to arrive at their destination. In contrast , an email arrives almost instantaneously and can be read seconds after it was sent. In the past, if it was necessary to send a short message, for example at work, a memo could be passed around the office, which would take some time to circulate. This is different from the current situation, in which a text message can be sent immediately. Another significant difference is the range of communication methods. Fifty years ago, the tools available for communicating over long distances were primarily the telephone and the letter. By comparison , there are a vast array of communication methods available today. These include not only the telephone, letter, email and text messages already mentioned, but also video conferences via software such as Skype or mobile phone apps such as WeChat, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In conclusion, methods of communication have greatly advanced over the past fifty years. While there are some similarities, such as the forms of communication , there are significant differences, chiefly in relation to the speed of communication and the range of communication tools available . There is no doubt that technology will continue to progress in future, and the advanced tools which we use today may one day also become outdated.

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Below is a checklist for compare and contrast essays. Use it to check your own writing, or get a peer (another student) to help you.

There is a downloadable graphic organiser for brainstorming ideas for compare and contrast essays in the writing resources section.

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Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 08 January 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn .

Compare & contrast essays examine the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences.

Cause & effect essays consider the reasons (or causes) for something, then discuss the results (or effects).

Discussion essays require you to examine both sides of a situation and to conclude by saying which side you favour.

Problem-solution essays are a sub-type of SPSE essays (Situation, Problem, Solution, Evaluation).

Transition signals are useful in achieving good cohesion and coherence in your writing.

Reporting verbs are used to link your in-text citations to the information cited.

Essay Papers Writing Online

A comprehensive guide to crafting a successful comparison essay.

How to write comparison essay

Comparison essays are a common assignment in academic settings, requiring students to analyze and contrast two or more subjects, concepts, or ideas. Writing a comparison essay can be challenging, but with the right approach and guidance, you can craft a compelling and informative piece of writing.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with valuable tips and examples to help you master the art of comparison essay writing. Whether you’re comparing two literary works, historical events, scientific theories, or any other topics, this guide will equip you with the tools and strategies needed to create a well-structured and persuasive essay.

From choosing a suitable topic and developing a strong thesis statement to organizing your arguments and incorporating effective evidence, this guide will walk you through each step of the writing process. By following the advice and examples provided here, you’ll be able to produce a top-notch comparison essay that showcases your analytical skills and critical thinking abilities.

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into writing a comparison essay, it’s essential to understand the basics of comparison writing. A comparison essay, also known as a comparative essay, requires you to analyze two or more subjects by highlighting their similarities and differences. This type of essay aims to show how these subjects are similar or different in various aspects.

When writing a comparison essay, you should have a clear thesis statement that identifies the subjects you are comparing and the main points of comparison. It’s essential to structure your essay effectively by organizing your ideas logically. You can use different methods of organization, such as the block method or point-by-point method, to present your comparisons.

Additionally, make sure to include evidence and examples to support your comparisons. Use specific details and examples to strengthen your arguments and clarify the similarities and differences between the subjects. Lastly, remember to provide a strong conclusion that summarizes your main points and reinforces the significance of your comparison.

Choosing a Topic for Comparison Essay

When selecting a topic for your comparison essay, it’s essential to choose two subjects that have some similarities and differences to explore. You can compare two books, two movies, two historical figures, two theories, or any other pair of related subjects.

Consider selecting topics that interest you or that you are familiar with to make the writing process more engaging and manageable. Additionally, ensure that the subjects you choose are suitable for comparison and have enough material for analysis.

It’s also helpful to brainstorm ideas and create a list of potential topics before making a final decision. Once you have a few options in mind, evaluate them based on the relevance of the comparison, the availability of credible sources, and your own interest in the subjects.

Remember that a well-chosen topic is one of the keys to writing a successful comparison essay, so take your time to select subjects that will allow you to explore meaningful connections and differences in a compelling way.

Finding the Right Pairing

When writing a comparison essay, it’s crucial to find the right pairing of subjects to compare. Choose subjects that have enough similarities and differences to make a meaningful comparison. Consider the audience and purpose of your essay to determine what pairing will be most effective.

Look for subjects that you are passionate about or have a deep understanding of. This will make the writing process easier and more engaging. Additionally, consider choosing subjects that are relevant and timely, as this will make your essay more interesting to readers.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when finding the right pairing. Sometimes unexpected combinations can lead to the most compelling comparisons. Conduct thorough research on both subjects to ensure you have enough material to work with and present a balanced comparison.

Structuring Your Comparison Essay

When writing a comparison essay, it is essential to organize your ideas in a clear and logical manner. One effective way to structure your essay is to use a point-by-point comparison or a block comparison format.

Whichever format you choose, make sure to introduce your subjects, present your points of comparison, provide evidence or examples to support your comparisons, and conclude by summarizing the main points and highlighting the significance of your comparison.

Creating a Clear Outline

Before you start writing your comparison essay, it’s essential to create a clear outline. An outline serves as a roadmap that helps you stay organized and focused throughout the writing process. Here are some steps to create an effective outline:

1. Identify the subjects of comparison: Start by determining the two subjects you will be comparing in your essay. Make sure they have enough similarities and differences to make a meaningful comparison.

2. Brainstorm key points: Once you have chosen the subjects, brainstorm the key points you want to compare and contrast. These could include characteristics, features, themes, or arguments related to each subject.

3. Organize your points: Arrange your key points in a logical order. You can choose to compare similar points side by side or alternate between the two subjects to highlight differences.

4. Develop a thesis statement: Based on your key points, develop a clear thesis statement that states the main purpose of your comparison essay. This statement should guide the rest of your writing and provide a clear direction for your argument.

5. Create a structure: Divide your essay into introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each section should serve a specific purpose and contribute to the overall coherence of your essay.

By creating a clear outline, you can ensure that your comparison essay flows smoothly and effectively communicates your ideas to the reader.

Engaging the Reader

When writing a comparison essay, it is crucial to engage the reader right from the beginning. You want to hook their attention and make them want to keep reading. Here are some tips to engage your reader:

  • Start with a strong opening statement or question that entices the reader to continue reading.
  • Use vivid language and descriptive imagery to paint a clear picture in the reader’s mind.
  • Provide interesting facts or statistics that pique the reader’s curiosity.
  • Create a compelling thesis statement that outlines the purpose of your comparison essay.

By engaging the reader from the start, you set the stage for a successful and impactful comparison essay that keeps the reader engaged until the very end.

Point-by-Point vs Block Method

Point-by-Point vs Block Method

When writing a comparison essay, you have two main options for structuring your content: the point-by-point method and the block method. Each method has its own advantages and may be more suitable depending on the type of comparison you are making.

  • Point-by-Point Method: This method involves discussing one point of comparison at a time between the two subjects. You will go back and forth between the subjects, highlighting similarities and differences for each point. This method allows for a more detailed and nuanced analysis of the subjects.
  • Block Method: In contrast, the block method involves discussing all the points related to one subject first, followed by all the points related to the second subject. This method provides a more straightforward and organized comparison but may not delve as deeply into the individual points of comparison.

Ultimately, the choice between the point-by-point and block methods depends on the complexity of your comparison and the level of detail you want to explore. Experiment with both methods to see which one best suits your writing style and the specific requirements of your comparison essay.

Selecting the Best Approach

When it comes to writing a comparison essay, selecting the best approach is crucial to ensure a successful and effective comparison. There are several approaches you can take when comparing two subjects, including the block method and the point-by-point method.

The block method: This approach involves discussing all the similarities and differences of one subject first, followed by a thorough discussion of the second subject. This method is useful when the two subjects being compared are quite different or when the reader may not be familiar with one of the subjects.

The point-by-point method: This approach involves alternating between discussing the similarities and differences of the two subjects in each paragraph. This method allows for a more in-depth comparison of specific points and is often preferred when the two subjects have many similarities and differences.

Before selecting an approach, consider the nature of the subjects being compared and the purpose of your comparison essay. Choose the approach that will best serve your purpose and allow for a clear, organized, and engaging comparison.

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How to Write a Comparison Essay: From Similarities to Differences

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Table of contents

  • 1.1 What Сan I Compare and Contrast?
  • 1.2 Choosing a Great Topic for a Comparison Essay
  • 1.3 Education Compare and Contrast Essays Topics
  • 1.4 Sports Compare and Contrast Essays Topics
  • 1.5 Politics Compare and Contrast Essays Topics
  • 1.6 Economy Compare and Contrast Essays Topics
  • 1.7 Social Studies Compare and Contrast Essays Topics
  • 1.8 History Compare and Contrast Essays Topics
  • 1.9 Literature Compare and Contrast Essays Topics
  • 1.10 Controversial Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
  • 2.1 Thesis Statement
  • 3.0.1 Understand Your Subjects:
  • 3.0.2 Purpose of the Essay:
  • 3.0.3 Audience Consideration:
  • 3.0.4 Two Predominant Structures:
  • 4.1 Comparison Essay Outline Example
  • 5.1 Comparison Essay Format
  • 6 Bringing It All Together

As we navigate our lives, we can’t help but notice the elements in our environment, whether it’s the latest car, a fashion trend, or even some experiences. Think about your favorite Mexican restaurant, then visit another; automatically, you’re likely to size them up to each other. So when your professors assign you homework to compare two samples in a case study, it may seem natural.

But at the college level, something happens, our natural ability to compare vacates us. You may be stuck wondering how to write a comparison essay. This is a common dilemma many students face. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to walk you through the perfect paper’s construction steps. Below, you’ll find:

  • A comprehensive guide on how to write a comparison essay, outlining its purpose, how to choose relevant topics for comparison, and the structure for presenting the content effectively.
  • That the comparison essay requires the writer to analyze two objects, events, or theories and identify their similarities and differences, supporting findings with empirical data.
  • For a successful comparison essay, it’s essential to choose relevant subjects, have a clear and precise thesis statement, and employ an effective structure, depending on the subjects and purpose of the essay.

So read on to learn how the pros from  Papersowl  suggest writing a compare and contrast essay.

What Is a Comparison Essay?

As it sounds, your comparative essay should analyze two objects, events, or theories and determine the similarities and differences . The overall goal of the paper is for the reader to clearly identify how the studied criteria are the same and where they diverge. In a marketing class, you may evaluate two similar products and develop a plan to demonstrate their features and benefits. Or, in a psychology class, you may have an in-depth look at two therapy techniques and then evaluate the results of a particular case study.

Your paper’s critical component is that you must ensure your findings are backed up with empirical data. While you may feel one subject is “better” than another, giving examples to prove your position is important. Information that can be weighed or measured, such as a device’s performance or the results of a process, is strong evidence to support a claim.

What Сan I Compare and Contrast?

As long as the main points make sense and the essay is comprehensive to the reader, anything can be used as a topic for a compare-and-contrast essay. It is important to remember that two principal subjects related in one way should be compared and contrasted. To help you better understand this concept, below is a table serving as a visual aid and showcasing examples of compare and contrast essay topics.

The “Good Examples” column presents two semantic subjects. They are not entirely different and, as such, leave more room for analysis. The column “Examples to improve” also contains subjects relevant to each other. However, a correlation between them is nearly impossible because they are different types of things from the same field. And the final column, “Examples to avoid,” as the name suggests, showcases some examples of topics that would not make a good compare and contrast essay.

Choosing a Great Topic for a Comparison Essay

What you write about could make or break your paper. As in any academic work, a good compare and contrast essay will have a purpose that adds value. For this, consider topics that are helpful in your discipline. Effective compare and contrast topics should expand the universe of knowledge or valid claims that have not yet been proven. A few examples of topics include:

Education Compare and Contrast Essays Topics

  • Home Education vs. Daycare: What will Suit your Child?
  • Spice-Cake vs. Cane: What Works Better with Kids?
  • E-learning vs. Conventional Learning.
  • Learning System in Asia vs. the West.
  • College Dream vs. Skills Acquisition.
  • Textbooks vs. E-books.
  • Private vs. Public College: Which will Suit You?.
  • Parents’ Involvement in Children’s Career Choice vs. Self Discovery.

Sports Compare and Contrast Essays Topics

  • Football or basketball: three-pointer in the soccer goal.
  • Marathons and walkathons – similar in terms of endurance, will, and fitness. However, they are also different.
  • Indoor vs. In Open Air Sports.
  • Sport-Study Balance vs. High Focus studying .
  • Early morning Exercise vs. Late night Exercise.
  • Running vs. gymming: Which one is for you?.
  • Home Exercise VS Gym Workout.
  • Tennis or Badminton: Which is Harder?.

Politics Compare and Contrast Essays Topics

  • Democracy, Monarchy, or Autocracy
  • Socialism and Communism: Is It the Same?
  • Merits of free trade vs. the demerits of Free Trade
  • Centralized Government Vs. Decentralized Government
  • Legislature and executive – Branches of Power to analyze
  • Fundamental rights Vs. State Policy’s directive principles
  • Equal opportunities versus affirmative action

Economy Compare and Contrast Essays Topics

  • Economics as Mandatory Discipline or as an Optional Pick
  • Peace vs. political unrest.
  • Economics vs. business studies: What’s More Efficient?
  • Regulated Prices vs. Free Market
  • America Tax System vs. China Tax System
  • New Laws vs Old Laws: Which is More Important
  • Macro-Economics vs. Micro-Economics.

Social Studies Compare and Contrast Essays Topics

  • Childhood in the 90s vs. Modern Day Childhood
  • Coronavirus vs. The Great Depression
  • COVID-19 vs. The Plague
  • Common-Law Vs. Civil Law
  • Rural Life to Urban Life
  • America in the 60s Vs. America Now

History Compare and Contrast Essays Topics

  • Lincoln’s Ideas vs. Washington’s ideas
  • Baroque epoch vs. Renaissance
  • Religious studies vs. Anthropology: Are They So Different?
  • Napoleon Fall vs. Hitler Fall
  • Democracy and monarchy
  • The US and the UK Election System
  • Nazism vs. Fascism: Is It the Same?

Literature Compare and Contrast Essays Topics

  • Reality vs. Fiction Literature
  • Depiction of Women in Literature in the 80s and Now
  • Memoir vs. Autobiography
  • Prose versus Poetry
  • Shakespeare Piece: Othello vs. Hamlet
  • English novels vs. French novels.
  • Roman and Greek mythology.

Controversial Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

We believe that controversial compare-and-contrast essays are the most interesting ones. They include two opposite beliefs on the same question or situation and analyze their similarity or different points. It’s the most exciting essay type to write and overwhelming to read, so look at the list of top-rated topics for such articles:

  • Intervention or Invasion: What is the Difference?
  • Religion versus Atheism.
  • LGBT++ Rights vs. Sexual Orientation Restriction.
  • Death Penalty vs. Life Sentence: What is Worse?
  • Climate Change vs. War: There Is Connection?
  • Violent video games and Shooting games.

In addition to these academic subjects, you may be tasked to write a good application comparison essay when entering college. These topics could be more light-hearted and include comparing your youth with your adolescent years or comparing two close friends.

Pre-Writing Stage

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The pre-writing stage is an indispensable phase in the essay-writing process, laying the foundation for a well-organized and insightful piece. Before diving into the actual writing, this preparatory stage allows you to explore, organize, and refine their thoughts. For compare and contrast essays, this often involves researching the chosen subjects to uncover detailed information, nuances, and perspectives. Techniques such as brainstorming can help identify key points of similarity and difference, while tools like Venn diagrams visually map out where subjects overlap and where they diverge. This visual representation can be particularly invaluable in determining the essay’s structure and focus. Additionally, the pre-writing stage is an opportune time to formulate a tentative thesis statement, which will provide direction and purpose as the essay evolves. By dedicating time to this initial phase, writers can ensure a clearer, more coherent essay, minimizing potential roadblocks and revisions later in the writing process. In essence, the pre-writing is akin to blueprinting; it’s where the groundwork is laid for the construction of a compelling narrative.

Thesis Statement

The thesis statement is the anchor of any well-structured essay, offering readers a concise snapshot of what to expect. In a compare and contrast essay, the thesis not only indicates the subjects to be compared but also the focus and purpose of the comparison. Begin by pinpointing the main similarities or differences you want to highlight. For instance, if comparing apples to oranges, your thesis might read: “While apples and oranges both provide essential vitamins and are popular fruits, they differ in texture, taste, and cultural significance.” This statement not only sets the subjects of comparison but also guides readers on the specific aspects being compared.

Crafting an effective thesis requires clarity and precision. It should avoid vague language and ensure that readers can anticipate the direction of the discussion. Remember, a strong thesis statement acts as a roadmap, helping to steer both the writer and the reader through the essay’s argumentative landscape.

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Structure for a Compare and Contrast Essay

When setting out to write a compare and contrast essay, one of the initial and fundamental decisions you’ll need to make is regarding the essay’s structure. Your choice of structure can have a profound impact on the clarity and effectiveness of your presentation. Here’s how you can determine the best structure for your essay:

Understand Your Subjects:

  • Before choosing a structure, you need a clear understanding of your subjects and the points of comparison. Are there numerous similarities and differences, or just a few major ones?

Purpose of the Essay:

  • Are you trying to highlight the stark differences between your subjects, shed light on unexpected similarities, or do both? Your purpose can guide the structure.

Audience Consideration:

  • Think about your readers. If your subjects are very unfamiliar to your audience, the block method might be better because it allows for a more in-depth exploration of each subject before contrasting.

Two Predominant Structures:

  • Block Method:  In this structure, you discuss all relevant points related to one subject and then move on to the next subject. This approach can be particularly useful if you want your readers to have an in-depth understanding of each subject before highlighting the contrasts.

✏️ Example:  If you’re comparing apples and oranges, you would first discuss everything about apples and then everything about oranges.

  • Point-by-Point Method:  This is a more integrated approach. For each point of comparison, you alternate between the two subjects. This method keeps the comparison and contrast front and center and can make direct contrasts clearer.

✏️ Example:  Discuss the color of apples and then the color of oranges, followed by the texture of apples and then the texture of oranges, and so on.

Whichever structure you choose, your primary goal should be clarity. Ensure that your points of comparison are clear and that readers can easily follow your reasoning. Remember, while these are the two primary structures, they are not set in stone. Depending on your topic, you might find it effective to blend these structures in some sections.

In conclusion, the structure you choose for your compare and contrast essay will significantly shape your argument’s presentation. While the block method allows for a deep dive into each subject separately, the point-by-point method maintains a tight focus on the comparison throughout the essay. Evaluate your subjects, your purpose, and your audience, and choose the structure that most effectively communicates your points.

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

A good essay outline will contain, at a minimum, the three core sections – introduction, body, and conclusion. Often times the intro can be the most difficult to write, and it should be reserved for last. Once you have all your ideas laid out, hammering out a solid beginning is much easier to inform the reader what is to follow. You can pick out an interesting fact in your paper to write a strong hook to lure your readers in. Also, you’ll be able to tighten up your compare-and-contrast thesis to give a stronger impression.

Comparison Essay Outline Example

In this example, we’ll compare and contrast the essay point by point. In our comparison essay structure, we’ve elected to speak about similarities and follow up with differences and apply an extended conclusion with analysis and then the actual concluding paragraph for the scope of the paper.

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In our comparative essay outline example, we’ve put together a basic template of what the paper should look like. Mind you, this is an informal template for an introduction to compare and contrast essay. If your course requires you to submit a formal outline in APA or MLA style, be sure to draft one according to the latest style guide.

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You can use this comparative essay outline template to draft your paper as a means to get your ideas out on paper. Like many students, you could be short on time or not have the ability to complete your paper. In this case, you can use our writing service, and we’ll draft a perfect custom text for you to meet any deadlines you have.

We all have our opinions and curiosities, and sharing them with the world is a fun experience. And you can through an effective contrast and comparison paper. Just be sure to pick subjects that can be analyzed and back up your conclusions with data, and you’ll be well on your way to unlocking the world’s inner workings. Sometimes you may find a lack of inspiration for a topic or are stressed to get a high grade. We are here to help 24/7/365 to get you out of a jam and write your papers for you in your time of need. So reach out to us, and we are here to help.

Tips to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

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If you’re wondering how to write a comparison essay fast, there are a few tricks to make the most of your time. Follow these steps professional writers use, and you’ll get your paper done to meet the tightest deadlines.

  • Brainstorm on a scratch pad : You may be used to using your computer for everything, but for organizing your ideas, old-fashioned scratch paper works best. Draw a side-by-side chart and start listing out the characteristics of your subjects. Mention all the pros and cons, physical characteristics, as well as processes and applications that each possesses.
  • Make sure to choose comparable subjects that will make sense to the reader.
  • Ensure that the thesis statement is strong and to the point.
  • Do good research and ensure that your arguments are clearly stated.
  • Build your outline of compare and contrast essay : You can start to compare and contrast essay outline with your data table. Check the required length of your paper and start building a paragraph structure that will meet any bullet points and suffice the word count. Be sure to start off with your most interesting points to keep the reader engaged.
  • Draft your paper : Be sure to include a catchy title that is on point with the contents of your work. As a general rule, try not to go over 12 words in your title. Also, note that the thesis statement for the comparison and contrast essay should relate to every section of your text.
  • Use  transitional words to make it easier for the reader to follow the arguments presented in your essay.

Transitional words and phrases are the connective tissues of an essay, ensuring the flow of ideas is seamless and readers can easily navigate the content. Especially crucial in compare and contrast essays, these transitions aid in clarifying comparisons or highlighting disparities. Words like “similarly,” “likewise,” and “equally” signal similarities between subjects, guiding the reader’s understanding of how two things align. Conversely, phrases such as “on the other hand,” “however,” and “in contrast” denote differences, emphasizing the distinct characteristics of each subject.

  • Review your work : Now, it’s time to smooth out some rough patches in your initial draft and fine-tune some sections. Pay special attention to retaining your paper’s focus and meeting all the task requirements. Many students get stuck in this phase and, while they’ve met the requirements, are not happy with the final product. In this case, a comparison essay to buy is a great alternative. Hiring a specialist in your subject is the best way to get a good grade.

There are various factors to consider, such as structure, format, and even finding the right resources. Fortunately, cheap essay writing services such as PapersOwl make the process much easier. Simply provide your instructions, and their professional writers will create an original paper for you.

Comparison Essay Format

Universities are real sticklers for formatting. This may seem like an annoyance for many students, but academic work should be consistent across disciplines to aid analysts in efficiently referencing work and applying it to their own studies. Depending on your course, you may be required to write a comparison essay in MLA format or APA. So armed with the latest style guide of your choice, let’s get down to how to write a good comparison essay outline.

Bringing It All Together

Comparing and contrasting is an intrinsic part of our daily decision-making. From choosing restaurants to assessing products, we inherently evaluate based on similarities and differences. Yet, when tasked with a formal compare and contrast essay in academia, many students falter. This guide aims to simplify the process, providing structure and clarity. Emphasizing the importance of a solid thesis, structured format, and the use of transitional phrases, it offers a blueprint for effective essay writing.

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example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

Compare And Contrast Essay Guide

Compare And Contrast Essay Examples

Last updated on: Mar 22, 2024

Good Compare and Contrast Essay Examples For Your Help

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Published on: Mar 22, 2023

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Are you ready to challenge your critical thinking skills and take your writing to the next level? Look no further than the exciting world of compare and contrast essays! 

As a college student, you'll have the unique opportunity to delve into the details and differences of a variety of subjects. But don't let the pressure of writing the perfect compare-and-contrast essay weigh you down. 

To help guide you on this journey, we've got some great compare-and-contrast essay examples. It will make the writing process not only manageable but also enjoyable. So grab a pen and paper, and let's get started on this exciting adventure!

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

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Good Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

A compare and contrast essay is all about comparing two subjects. Writing essays is not always easy, but it can be made easier with help from the examples before you write your own first. The examples will give you an idea of the perfect compare-and-contrast essay. 

We have compiled a selection of free compare-and-contrast essay examples that can help you structure this type of essay. 

SAMPLE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY INTRODUCTION EXAMPLE

BOOK COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

CITY COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

CATS & DOGS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

SCIENCE & ART COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

E-BOOKS & HARDBACK BOOKS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

HOMESCHOOLING BOOKS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

PARENTING STYLES COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

CONVENTIONAL AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY

Don't know how to map out your compare and contrast essay? Visit this link to learn how to perfectly outline your essay!

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples University

Compare and contrast paper is a common assignments for university students. This type of essay tells the reader how two subjects are the same or different from each other. Also, show the points of comparison between the two subjects.

Look at the example that is mentioned below and create a well-written essay.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE UNIVERSITY

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples College

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE COLLEGE

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples High School

Compare and contrast essays are often assigned to high school students to help them improve their analytical skills .

In addition, some teachers assign this type of essay because it is a great way for students to improve their analytical and writing skills.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE HIGH SCHOOL

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE 9TH GRADE

Check out the video below to gain a quick and visual comprehension of what a compare and contrast essay entails.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples Middle school

In middle school, students have the opportunity to write a compare-and-contrast essay. It does not require an expert level of skills, but it is still a way to improve writing skills.

Middle school students can easily write a compare-and-contrast essay with a little help from examples. We have gathered excellent examples of this essay that you can use to get started.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE MIDDLE SCHOOL

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLES 5TH GRADE

Literary Analysis Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

The perfect way to inform readers about the pros and cons of two subjects is with a comparison and contrast essay.

It starts by stating the thesis statement, and then you explain why these two subjects are being compared in this essay.

The following is an example that you can use for your help.

LITERARY ANALYSIS COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY EXAMPLE

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Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion Example

The conclusion of an essay is the last part, in which you wrap up everything. It should not include a story but rather summarize the whole document so readers have something meaningful they can take away from it.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY CONCLUSION EXAMPLE

Struggling to think of the perfect compare-and-contrast essay topic ? Visit this link for a multitude of inspiring ideas.

Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Tips

A compare and contrast essay presents the facts point by point, and mostly, the argumentative essay uses this compared-contrasted technique for its subjects.

If you are looking for some easy and simple tips to craft a perfectly researched and structured compare and contrast essay, we will not disappoint you.

Following are some quick tips that you can keep in mind while writing your essay:

  • Choose the essay topic carefully.
  • Research and brainstorm the points that make them similar and different.
  • Create and add your main statement and claim.
  • Create a Venn diagram and show the similarities and differences.
  • Choose the design through which you will present your arguments and claims.
  • Create compare and contrast essay outline. Use either the block method or the point-by-point structure.
  • Research and add credible supporting evidence.
  • Transitioning is also important. Use transitional words and phrases to engage your readers.
  • Edit, proofread, and revise the essay before submission.

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In conclusion, writing a compare and contrast essay can be an effective way to explore the similarities and differences between two topics. By using examples, it is possible to see the different approaches that can be taken when writing this type of essay. 

Whether you are a student or a professional writer, these examples can provide valuable insight to enhance your writing skills. You can also use our AI-powered essay typer to generate sample essays for your specific topic and subject.

However, if you don’t feel confident in your writing skills, you can always hire our professional essay writer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do i write a compare and contrast essay.

Here are some steps that you should follow and write a great essay.

  • Begin by brainstorming with a Venn diagram.
  • Create a thesis statement.
  • Develop an outline.
  • Write the introduction.
  • Write the body paragraphs.
  • Write the conclusion.
  • Proofreading.

How do you start a compare and contrast essay introduction?

When writing a compare and contrast essay, it is important to have an engaging introduction that will grab the reader's attention. A good way to do this would be by starting with a question or fact related to the topic to catch their interest.

What are some good compare and contrast essay topics?

Here are some good topics for compare and contrast essay:

  • E-books or textbooks.
  • Anxiety vs. Depression.
  • Vegetables and fruits.
  • Cinnamon vs. sugar.
  • Similarities between cultural and traditional fashion trends.

How long is a compare and contrast essay?

Usually, a compare and contrast essay would consist of five paragraphs but there are no hard and fast rules regarding it. Some essays could be longer than five paragraphs, based on the scope of the topic of the essay.

What are the two methods for arranging a comparison and contrast essay?

The two ways to organize and arrange your compare and contrast essay. The first one is the Point-by-Point method and the second one is the Block method.

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Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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Compare And Contrast Essay

Compare And Contrast Essay Examples

Barbara P

Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

14 min read

Published on: Mar 7, 2020

Last updated on: Mar 12, 2024

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

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Compare and Contrast Essay - An Ultimate Guide

Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Students

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline - Step by Step Guide

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Are you struggling to effectively analyze and present comparisons and contrasts in your essays?

Writing a compare and contrast essay can be a daunting task. It requires a keen eye for detail, a deep understanding of the subjects, and the ability to draw meaningful connections.

Many students find themselves overwhelmed with the challenge of navigating through the complexities of this essay type.

In this blog post, we will provide you with examples and valuable tips to master the art of writing a compare and contrast essay.

With our tips and examples, you'll develop the skills to produce a top-notch essay that engages and impresses your readers.

So, let's dive in!

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Good Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

If you are writing it for the first time, you need good examples to understand how to write a compare and contrast essay.   Following are the best free compare and contrast essay examples that can be categorized for different levels.

Take help from these examples of contrasting two subjects to write an outstanding essay.  

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for University

As university students, the demand for critical analysis and comparison becomes more rigorous.  By studying these examples, students will gain invaluable insights into effective comparative analysis.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples University

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for College

When writing the compare and contrast essay for a college assignment, the students may see it as the most difficult task. Don’t worry; here are some good college-level compare and contrast essay examples.

Free Compare and Contrast Essay Example PDF

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for High School

When writing the example for the essay, make sure that you can easily write the similarities and differences. The compare and contrast essay for high school is different from a college essay.

It does not require professional logical skills, but it is a good way to develop logical analysis skills.

Compare and Contrast Essay Example for High School Students

Compare And Contrast Essay Example High School vs College

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for Middle School

Following are good compare and contrast essay examples for middle school students:

Compare and Contrast Essay Example for Middle School Students

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for 6th Grade

Compare And Contrast Essay Examples 7th grade

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for Elementary Students

Elementary school students also have to write essays to compare and contrast two things. This can help them learn how to write better.

Here are some example essays for kids at the elementary level that make their academic writing process easy.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for 4th Grade

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples 5th Grade

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples for 3rd Grade Students

Thesis for Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

A  thesis statement  highlights the main points of your essay and what two objects or topics you will be further discussing in your essay.

Here is an example that will help you to understand better how to write a great thesis statement for an essay.

Thesis for Compare and Contrast Essay Example

Literary Analysis Compare and Contrast Essay Examples 

When it comes to literary analysis, one effective approach is to explore the similarities and differences between different literary works. 

To illustrate the process and provide you with a clearer understanding, let's consider a few examples of compare and contrast essays in the realm of literary analysis:

Literary Analysis Compare and Contrast Essay Examples PDF

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay?

To write a great compare and contrast essay, you need to plan well and execute properly. When you are given this type of essay to write, it is best not to start writing it right away.  The prewriting steps for starting a compare and contrast essay are below:

  • Select a Good Topic: Choose a unique and interesting compare and contrast essay topic that is neither too broad nor too specific.
  • Brainstorm Similarities and Differences: Engage in brainstorming to generate fresh perspectives and ideas on the topic.
  • Do Some Research: Conduct thorough research on the chosen topic to gather relevant information and insights.
  • Create a Thesis Statement: Summarize your argument in a concise thesis statement, which should reflect the main focus of your essay.

Here is an example for your better understanding:

How To Start Off A Compare And Contrast Essay Examples (PDF)

Once you are done with the prewriting process, you can create an outline that will serve as your template for the essay.  The outline should have three components:

Introduction

Body paragraphs.

Below is a compare and contrast essay outline template that you can use for your help.  

Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

Let’s discuss these parts in detail. 

An attention-grabbing introduction attracts the reader’s attention and will glue readers to your essay until the last words in it.

The  essay introduction part starts with a strong hook statement, and it should be interesting. The hook statement can be a quotation, story, or anything that captures the audience’s attention.

The thesis statement is also stated in the introduction, and it is the main writer’s argument. It should be included at the end of the introductory part.

Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction Examples

The body paragraphs should include 5-paragraphs. The writer presents their evidence and analyzes how the objects are similar and different.

The body paragraphs can be written using two methods.

Point by Point:  In this method, the writer lists the similarities and differences of both subjects.

Here is an example of point by point approach:

Block Method:  In the block method, the writer organizes the information. Firstly, define the first object's details and then describe the information about the second object.

Here is an example of the block method approach:

Writing a conclusion for a compare and contrast essay is crucial as it brings closure to the discussion and leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Restate the thesis statement and summarize the main points discussed in the body paragraphs. Avoid introducing new information and instead focus on reinforcing the main ideas presented throughout the essay.

In the end, leave the reader with a sense of reflection and a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion Example (PDF)

Need guidance to create a compare and contrast essay outline? Check out our compare and contrast essay outline blog!

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples on Different Subjects

As students progress in their academic journey, the ability to compare and contrast becomes increasingly important.

In this section, we will delve into a variety of compare-and-contrast essay examples for effective writing.

Education and Parenting Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Technology Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Pop Culture Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Historical and Political Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Sports Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Lifestyle Choices Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Healthcare Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Animals Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

Compare and Contrast Essay Writing Tips

Writing a compare and contrast essay can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, you can craft a compelling and insightful piece of writing.

Here are some valuable tips to help you navigate the process effectively:

  • Understand the purpose: Know that a compare and contrast essay analyzes similarities and differences between subjects.
  • Choose appropriate subjects: Select topics that share similarities but also have distinct differences for meaningful analysis.
  • Conduct in-depth research: Gather information about the subjects to provide a comprehensive essay.
  • Create a clear structure: Use an introduction, clear topic sentences , and consider point-by-point or block method organization.
  • Support with evidence: Use quotes , examples, or data to back up your comparisons.
  • Analyze and interpret: Go beyond listing and explore the significance and implications of the comparisons.
  • Use clear and cohesive language: Use transitional words, be precise, and balance academic rigor with accessibility.
  • Revise and edit: Check for errors, review the logical flow, and seek feedback to improve your essay.

Summing up, now you have got good compare and contrast essay examples for your academic assignment, making your writing process easy. Read these carefully and try to learn from them. Also, you can come back whenever you need more inspiration.

Need a more specific example on a particular topic? No problem! Generate your own complete compare and contrast essay in seconds with our AI essay writing tool .

In addition, our professional writers can craft an excellent essay based on your personal requirements. Our compare and contrast essay writing service provides 24/7 assistance and original human-written essays in affordable prices. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are compare and contrast words.

The most common compare-and-contrast words are:

  • Nevertheless

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example of how to start a compare and contrast essay

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COMMENTS

  1. Comparing and Contrasting in an Essay

    In the block method, you cover each of the overall subjects you're comparing in a block. You say everything you have to say about your first subject, then discuss your second subject, making comparisons and contrasts back to the things you've already said about the first. Your text is structured like this: Subject 1.

  2. 5 Compare and Contrast Essay Examples (Full Text)

    Here they are explained below: 1. Essay Planning. First, I recommend using my compare and contrast worksheet, which acts like a Venn Diagram, walking you through the steps of comparing the similarities and differences of the concepts or items you're comparing. I recommend selecting 3-5 features that can be compared, as shown in the worksheet:

  3. 34 Compelling Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

    A good compare and contrast essay example, like the ones here, explores the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. Topics cover education, technology, pop culture, sports, animals, and more. ... Its price tag is also cheaper than the competition, with its $7/mo. starting price, which is a bit more palatable than Netflix's ...

  4. How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: 11 Steps

    3. Create a Venn diagram of your topic. Take out a piece of paper and draw two large overlapping circles, one for each subject or item. In the center area where the two circles overlap, list the traits the two items have in common. Assign each of the areas that do not overlap.

  5. 4.1: Introduction to Comparison and Contrast Essay

    4.1: Introduction to Comparison and Contrast Essay. The key to a good compare-and-contrast essay is to choose two or more subjects that connect in a meaningful way. Comparison and contrast is simply telling how two things are alike or different. The compare-and-contrast essay starts with a thesis that clearly states the two subjects that are to ...

  6. Comparing and Contrasting

    Here are a few hypothetical examples: Compare and contrast Frye's and Bartky's accounts of oppression. Compare WWI to WWII, identifying similarities in the causes, development, and outcomes of the wars. ... comparison/contrast is only part of the essay—you begin by comparing and/or contrasting two or more things and then use what you've ...

  7. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    1. Begin by Brainstorming With a Venn Diagram. The best compare and contrast essays demonstrate a high level of analysis. This means you will need to brainstorm before you begin writing. A Venn diagram is a great visual tool for brainstorming compare and contrast essay topics.

  8. Comparing and Contrasting: A Guide to Improve Your Essays

    Here are eleven examples of compare and contrast essay questions that you might encounter at university: Archaeology: Compare and contrast the skulls of homo habilis, homo erectus, and homo sapiens. Art: Compare and contrast the working styles of any two Neoclassic artists. Astrophysics: Compare and contrast the chemical composition of Venus ...

  9. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    In this activity, students will draft three paragraphs for a compare-and-contrast essay using the point-by-point structure. To do this, they will use the traditional five-paragraph essay structure as follows: Paragraph 1: Introduction. Paragraphs 2, 3, & 4: Body Paragraphs. Paragraph 5: Conclusion.

  10. Compare and Contrast Essay

    A compare and contrast essay is a type of essay in which the similarities and differences between two or more corresponding subjects are highlighted and analyzed. The main goal of this essay is to come up with an original argument based on the breakdown of two or more topics. 1. Comparing two subjects that can be better analyzed as a pair.

  11. Academic Guides: Writing a Paper: Comparing & Contrasting

    Example of poor comparisons: Kubista studied the effects of a later start time on high school students, but Cook used a mixed methods approach. (This example does not compare similar items. It is not a clear contrast because the sentence does not discuss the same element of the articles. It is like comparing apples to oranges.)

  12. Compare and Contrast Essay: Topics, Outline, Examples

    Well, since compare and contrast essay examples rely heavily on factual analysis, there are two outline methods that can help you organize your facts. You can use the block method, or point-by-point method, to write a compare and contrast essay outline. ... To start a compare and contrast essay, begin with an engaging introduction that ...

  13. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay (with Pictures)

    4. Outline your body paragraphs based on point-by-point comparison. This is the more common method used in the comparison and contrast essay. [6] You can write a paragraph about each characteristic of both locations, comparing the locations in the same paragraph.

  14. Compare and Contrast Essays Guide: Tips, Topics, & Examples

    Tia. January 4, 2024. Compare and contrast essays represent a unique style of writing that highlights both the similarities and differences between two or more subjects. This approach is ideal for elucidating what distinguishes and connects related concepts or things, especially when subjects are prone to confusion or unjust amalgamation.

  15. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

    The first things to focus on is what is absolutely essential to the argument you're going to make. These points will need to be included no matter what. If that alone does not fill up your essay, however, then it's time to pull out a point system. Give things a score from one to five (or ten, if you've got a lot of topics and need the ...

  16. What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay? Simple Examples To Guide You

    A compare and contrast essay is a type of analytical essay that explores the similarities and differences between two subjects. We guide you through one with some examples. ... Sample Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction. A compare and contrast essay's introduction doesn't have much variance from intros in other essays, so don't skimp ...

  17. Compare & Contrast Essays

    To compare is to examine how things are similar, while to contrast is to see how they differ. A compare and contrast essay therefore looks at the similarities of two or more objects, and the differences. This essay type is common at university, where lecturers frequently test your understanding by asking you to compare and contrast two theories, two methods, two historical periods, two ...

  18. Ultimate Guide to Writing a Comparison Essay: Tips and Examples

    Make sure they have enough similarities and differences to make a meaningful comparison. 2. Brainstorm key points: Once you have chosen the subjects, brainstorm the key points you want to compare and contrast. These could include characteristics, features, themes, or arguments related to each subject. 3.

  19. How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay [Outline, Tips and Topics]

    4.1 Comparison Essay Outline Example. 5 Tips to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay. 5.1 Comparison Essay Format. 6 Bringing It All Together. As we navigate our lives, we can't help but notice the elements in our environment, whether it's the latest car, a fashion trend, or even some experiences. Think about your favorite Mexican restaurant ...

  20. How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Build the Framework

    The Introduction. The introduction should entice readers into reading your essay, so make sure you start out strong. You may begin by mentioning one interesting fact about one of the subjects, or by asking a question that will be answered later in the paper. An introduction should describe what the compare and contrast essay is about, so if you ...

  21. 15+ Outstanding Compare and Contrast Essay Examples

    Compare and Contrast Essay Examples Middle school. In middle school, students have the opportunity to write a compare-and-contrast essay. It does not require an expert level of skills, but it is still a way to improve writing skills. Middle school students can easily write a compare-and-contrast essay with a little help from examples.

  22. 25 + Compare and Contrast Essay Examples to Get Started

    Essay Topic: Comparison of City Life and Country Life. Introduction: Introduce the topic and provide a brief overview of city life and country life. Body Paragraph 1: Aspect: Cost of Living. City Life: Higher cost of living due to expenses like housing, transportation, and daily necessities.