Compare & Contrast Essays

Once you have decided on a topic, introduce it with an engaging opening paragraph. Your thesis should come at the end of the introduction, and it should establish the subjects you will compare, contrast, or both as well as state what can be learned from doing so. The thesis indicates that the writer is going to present parallel facts about the two dog breeds, rather than render a judgment about them. With this in mind, the next step is to develop supporting paragraphs, making sure to maintain the subject-by-subject structure throughout. The main portion of a writing that contains the main ideas and supporting details of the writing. This is where the author’s purpose and thesis statement are supported and/or developed.

While either walking or running can be a great way to get in shape, each has distinct benefits that could make it a better choice for you. Rewrote the first sentence; it was weak and did not add anything to the essay. Added a transition, On the other hand, to signal that a contrast is being made between the two breeds. If not socialized properly, their loyalty can turn into over-protectiveness. Combined with their aggressive and defensive nature, German shepherds may not be the best choice for families introducing new children into the mix. They are, however, excellent guard dogs and will alert their owners to any strangers on their properties. Additionally, with a double coat, they do require regular brushing; however, unlike many breeds, their ears do not need to be cleaned frequently because German shepherds are not prone to ear infections.

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Sometimes students get too caught up in looking for similarities and differences that their compare and contrast essays end up sounding like grocery lists. Your essay should be based on analyzing the similarities and differences, analyzing your conclusions about the two subjects, and finding connections between them—while following a specific format. 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.

  1. At this point, it might be a good idea to take a sneak peek into the top Compare and contrast essay writing topics for 2023.
  2. Or, if you are examining a person, like a president, pick another president for comparison or contrast.
  3. It also gives the reader a road map about the subject matter present in this essay.
  4. In this case, you may be bewildered by what to compare.
  5. It is also possible, especially for short exam essays, that only the similarities or the differences, not both, will be discussed.
  6. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences.

In the process, they bring a certain conclusion to light. 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. Because this is a compare and contrast paper, both the similarities and differences should be discussed.


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. A compare-and-contrast essay analyzes two subjects by either comparing them, contrasting them, or both. After you finish analyzing the subjects, write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the essay and reinforces your thesis.

  1. This involves dedicating one paragraph to each point of comparison.
  2. Comparing President Ronald Reagan to President Jimmy Carter, for example, is too broad for a five-page essay.
  3. Concentrate on characteristics that either are shared or are opposing between the two subjects.
  4. The questions below will help you formulate a thesis statement for your compare and contrast essay.
  5. This type of organization switches back and forth between points.
  6. Then, move on to another paragraph and talk through all the aspects of the second subject.
  7. Present your thesis – cover all areas of the essay in one sentence.

In your diagram, write down the points of each subject in a circle. Everything the subjects have in how long is an average essay common goes in a shared space. Every different characteristic goes to the other part of the circle.

Organize your ideas

For example, it can be two movies, two universities, two cars etc. Paragraphs in compare-and-contrast essays can get complicated, so it’s crucial to have a good topic or introduction sentence for each paragraph to make the flow of ideas clear. Similarly, to focus on comparison, choose two subjects that seem at first to be unrelated. For a comparison essay, you likely would not choose two apples or two oranges because they share so many of the same properties already.

comparison contrast essay writing

The point-by-point structure lists each similarity and difference simultaneously—making notes of both subjects. For example, you can list a characteristic specific to one subject, followed by its essay on to kill a mockingbird similarity or difference to the other subject. While using the block structure, all the information is presented for the first subject, and its characteristics and specific details are explained.

Top 100 Best Compare and Contrast Essays Topics for 2023

A subject-by-subject outline might be better if you are writing an explanatory, rather than an evaluative, essay. Whichever you choose, make sure that you are consistent with the format throughout your essay. Give each topic equal time and information since the goal of this type of essay is to find similarities and differences between two subjects. Hence, if Topic how long is an average essay A has four statements, make it a point to have four statements for Topic B as well. As you have finished brainstorming topic ideas for comparing and contrasting, organize your points according to the subject and highlight important characteristics from both topics. Look for motives, consider major themes and select points central to the identity of both topics.

Use phrases of comparison or phrases of contrast to signal to readers how exactly the two subjects are being analyzed. The last consideration you should make before choosing between a walking or running plan is the effort each requires. While it seems different than what you might expect, to stay healthy, runners actually need to slow down from time to time as they run. On the other hand, walkers would greatly benefit from picking up the pace a bit. It seems that a combination of the two exercises might offer more benefits than just one or the other.

Can Comparing and Contrasting Be Useful Outside of Academia?

One of these differences is that red wine is best served at room temperature while white is best served chilled. By illustrating the differences between elements in a similar category, you essay help help heighten readers’ understanding of the subject or topic of discussion. This guide contains all the information you need to become better at writing comparing and contrasting essays.

These subjects will be in the same category, but different. You might compare and contrast two different kinds of pets, or two novels from the same historical time period. 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. The reason simply is that these two subjects can neither be compared nor be contrasted.

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Transitions are important in compare and contrast essays, where you will be moving frequently between different topics or perspectives. Now let’s take a look at a compare and contrast essay outline done point by point. Note that we use the topic discussed in the above sections. This simple diagram will make it easy to find the differences and similarities between the two things that make up the essay’s topic. Just fill them in the diagram and then choose the top similarities and the top differences.

The more dissimilar they seem, the more interesting the comparison essay will turn out. Any question that you are asked in education will have a variety of interesting comparisons and deductions that you can make. The subjects could have similar characteristics, features, or foundations. how to present a quote in an essay They call for you to highlight the key similarities and differences between them. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 3,076,542 times. This paragraph acknowledges that other counter-arguments exist, but discusses how those arguments are flawed or do not apply.

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A good thesis statement needs to be specific and should encourage a good discussion around the topic, but should not exceed a single line of thought. Understand which comparison criteria are the most relevant and which one is not. Try to find interesting comparisons or contrasts for your essay rather than dry, boring points. One of the biggest essay writing mistakes students make is not structuring it well.

  1. For example, in your career, you might be asked to evaluate the merits of two different computer operating systems and make a recommendation.
  2. Generally speaking, teachers prefer when students use the point-by-point method because it has been proven to more accurately highlight the differences and similarities by contrasting each point.
  3. There are two ways to structure a 5-paragraph compare and contrast essay.
  4. If two topics relate to each other or define each other, you can better explain them both by showcasing their similarities and differences.
  5. Washington, DC, is a “minority majority” city, which means the majority of its citizens are races other than white.
  6. List similar characteristics or points in the overlapping section.

If you have to build a compare and contrast essay, you should break down the phrase into individual words. Compare here refers to identifying the similarities that exist in the 2 unique subjects you have chosen. The objective of compare and contrast essays is not to state the obvious but rather to find the minute differences and, unknown and unexpected similarities. When you have more points you want to make, add them to the body of your compare and contrast paper.

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