Compare and contrast essay

How to write compare and contrast essay.

 All the way from A to Z.

Let me speak aside.

I believe it is worth mentioning what essay is, first. Therefore, an essay is a writing on some topic, which you choose or was asked to write about beforehand. There are different kinds of essay. Those can be analytical, expository, narrative, argumentative, persuasive, definition, classification, descriptive, sequence, choice, explanation, evaluation, compare and contrast. Quite a variety, huh? Either way, today I would want to pay your attention to the latter in the list kind of essay namely compare and contrast essay. As for the topics for compare and contrast essays, they may be different. It may be art, poetry, literature, for instance classical sample of Romeo and Juliet, something for kids, dogs and cats after all. Everything depends upon the situation whether you were told to write on some particular topic, what you need it for. For example, you are a student and this is your task for the middle, high school or college. This may be your initiative, let us say, you are a writer and writing essays is your specialization or hobby.

compare and contrast essayThere are plenty of examples and tips on how to write this kind of an essay along with others types of essay in general. How to start writing one? Well, first, make sure you came up with some ideas and picked the topics. There should be two of them to compare and contrast in your essay. More often than not, we are frightened before the new task overall and before writing something in particular because we think we cannot make it. It always seems as if it is doomed to failure before we even started. It seems as if it is not even worth trying. Not everyone was born talented in writing. I would say, everything is worth a shot. Well, almost everything.

 Ready, steady, go!

So, you decided on what you would want (or need) to write a compare and contrast essay about. Make an outline. A layout you follow to make it sound complete. It will make it easier to work on your essay, to structure it and make it sound logical instead of just a mess, going point by point making it flow like a river. There should be an introduction, body part and conclusion in your essay. You may include rubrics for easier reading. In addition, before I forget, there should be a thesis in your essay, a message you are trying to convey with this essay initially. This is a basic structure of what your comparing and contrast essay should look like. If you choose, you can write the whole structure of your essay in the form of a graphic organizer for your easier perception while working on the essay.

 Getting faster, closer, halfway to success!

Before you choose the topics for your compare and contrast essay, make sure there is something to compare, something contrastive enough. For instance, Homer Simpson vs Peter Griffin.

The purpose is to analyze and make your reader see the difference along with explaining the similarities of the two items compared. In your introduction, you introduce the reader with the topics of your discussion in the essay. You provide with basic, general information; it is a foreword, an introductory paragraph to what is going on next. Then, the main body is the juiciest part so to speak. Do you remember I was mentioning existence of thesis? It should be analyzed and proved in this part.

compareandcontrastessayLet us stop over here for a moment.

The moment I would like to talk about here is that you may organize your compare and contrast essay dividing into two parts instead of standard three mentioned above. Thus, what I am trying to say is that this is going to be not a topic-by-topic organization but as if you compared whole-to whole in a form of a block.

 As long as we stopped…

The main part or body part supports the thought about existence of counter arguments but then again, it points out that those arguments are with a flaw. There should be a topic sentence in each body part to emphasize its main idea. Needless to say that each part should contain comparisons and contrasts. Do not forget about transition words. They should be strong enough, with no repetitions. They connect your thoughts implicated in the essay in the reader`s mind. They help to understand the main idea.

For every beginning, there is an end. How to conclude your compare and contrast essay? You should do it by means of its final part, which is called a conclusion. Conclusion is a summary to what you have been writing about. You restate your thesis in this final part. It follows that your compare and contrast essay will look like this:

  • Introduction
  • Body parts
  • Counter arguments
  • Conclusion


  • Introduction
  • Comparison of the two themes
  • Contrast of the two themes
  • Conclusion

Along the route.

You may also organize your compare and contrast essay by using Venn Diagram.

This is a writing tool, which helps to organize the differences and similarities of the two items, which are compared. You can actually draw it on just a scrap of paper. It will be looking like two circles in which you write down what you think is important for you to tell to your reader on the two subjects you write your essay on. Going back to the example with Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin cartoon characters, while comparing and contrasting them, you pay attention to their appearance, likings, values, attitude to their families and other people, attitude of others towards them. They both are animated celebrities, family people, Americans, both have pretty and wise wives watching after them as if they were kids and three kids (two sons and one daughter each), a dog, they even have the same amount of friends, they both have overweight, Peter, though, is mentally challenged while Homer is just a funny fatso who loves beer and donuts. Besides, Homer treats his children well while Peter always poke fun at his daughter. Peter`s youngest child is a boy and he is a genius while Homer`s youngest is a girl and she does not speak. Peter`s dog knows how to talk, he writes books, hangs out with the baby boy along with dating real women. While Homer`s dog is just an average dog with no peculiar abilities.

 Final stop.

To summarize all mentioned above:

  • Pick two items, which are similar but different at the same time so you could compare and contrast them in your essay.
  • Make a thesis of your work.
  • Pick the way to organize your essay, whether it is topic-by-topic or block organization.
  • Use transitions words.
  • Come up with a conclusion.