How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Posted by in Tips, on August 31, 2012

compare-contrast

A compare and contrast essay brings forth the similarities and differences between two subjects. There are basically two ways of writing a contrast and compare essay.

The first method

The first method follows the classic five paragraph structure. The first paragraph is introduction. The introduction should talk about the subjects in brief and gradually lead in to the thesis question. The next section should describe the first topic in great detail. Do not mention the second topic in this section. This can be of one or more paragraphs. The next section should describe the second topic in great detail. Do not mention the first topic in this section. This again can be of one or more paragraphs. The third section discusses and analyses the first and second topics together. The conclusion follows this section. Like the introduction, the conclusion should convey your absolute knowledge on the research question. You should restate the thesis in ne words. It should demonstrate that you have proven it.

The second method

Like the first method, the second method also starts with the introduction. However the next section deals with all comparisons between the first and second topics. You should discuss all similarities between the two topics in this section. It can consist of one or more paragraphs. This is the compare essay section. You should be able to discuss at least three similarities between the two topics with examples in this section. Following this is the contrast essay section wherein you discuss all the differences between the two topics. It can consist of one or more paragraphs. You should be able to discuss at least three differences between the two topics with examples in this section. The conclusion follows this section similar to the first section.

How to make the essays more impactful?

Whatever approach you choose to write essays on compare and contrast, always bear few points in mind:

  • Firstly keep in mind the word count of your compare and contrast essay. Ensure that both sections are given equal representation.
  • Make sure to keep parity plenty of examples for both sections. Else your contrast and compare essay will sound either like only a compare essay or a contrast essay.
  • Be sure about what method you want to follow and stick to that method. Do not mix both the methods else your essays on compare and contrast will not sound meaningful.
  • Use plenty of examples in both sections i.e. contrast essay and compare essay sections to elaborate your points further.
  • Essays compare and contrast must have a conclusion which answers the project question.

How essays compare and contrast are different from other essays?

In a way these essays require more effort as you need to study two topics together and simultaneously prepare a thesis on them. Other types of essays would require you to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of only one subject. However these types of essays are easy to write as they have a set format which helps in going about the task in an organized fashion. These essays help broaden the student’s scope of study and help them to analyze things from all perspectives. The chances of deviating from the research question are also less. Moreover, the format makes for interesting reading and keeps the reader engrossed.