How To Write A Compare And Contrast Essay 

Sep 12, 2021

How To Write A Compare And Contrast Essay 

A compare and contrast essay highlights and evaluates the similarities and differences between two topics or subject matters. The subjects or topics are often in the same category but exhibit some differences. You’re required to prove that the subjects are similar in some aspects and different in others.

For instance, you can write an essay comparing and contrasting a German shepherd and domestic cats. Also, you can compare and contrast novels written during the Elizabethan era.

A compare and contrast essay's structure features body paragraphs describing an aspect of the two objects in each paragraph and bringing out the differences and similarities. Some writers discuss and compare the subjects in separate paragraphs. However, comparing the elements in the same paragraph is the most recommended.


This blog offers you the specifics that you need to become an expert in writing compare and contrast essays. Get in touch with our freelance writers to get one-on-one guidance or ask for assignment help.

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Purpose of Compare and Contrast Essay

The essay allows a writer to juxtapose two subject matters to show their uniqueness in the same paper. The thesis statement, topic sentences, and support details should cover the two elements under discussion. This essay type calls for higher levels of critical thinking as the writer needs to go beyond simple descriptions to fish out the most critical aspect of each subject.

A Guide into Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

You are probably thinking about how you'll write an essay comparing two topics when just one topic gives you a headache! There's no need to worry because the following step-by-step guide will help you write an excellent essay.

Step 1: Choose the Subject

It’s worth noting that the topics you choose for your compare and contrast essay should be different but fall in the same category. For instance, if you’re comparing two historical celebrities, it’s advisable to choose two politicians rather than an artist and politicians. An excellent essay should not compare a small town with a cosmopolitan city. Here are a few topic suggestions;

  • Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy
  • Nelson Mandela and Kwame Nkrumah
  • Mozart and Salieri
  • Meat eaters and Vegans
  • Voluntarism and Fatalism
  • Catholicism and Orthodox
  • Communism and Capitalism

The assignment may specify a topic for you or give you the freedom of choosing.

Step 2: Brainstorming

Brainstorming is among the essential aspects of a compare and contrast essay. The instructions may specify the topic for you or select the best topic but getting down writing your essay begins from brainstorming. It's worth noting that an excellent essay demonstrates a well-thought analysis. Visual persons can use a Venn diagram when brainstorming. A Venn diagram has two overlapping circles. Differing traits are noted in distinct circles, while the shared traits are noted in the overlapping space.

Comparing with a Venn Diagram | Thoughtful Learning K-12

The diagram enables you to arrange the similarities and differences clearer, making your writing easier. You'll know your next point by glancing at the Venn diagram and using it to create your paragraph. It's advisable to keep similar elements parallel to each other. For example, Lincoln was a Republican while Kennedy was a Democrat. You'll use this point to explain how to party principles affected the political ideologies of individual presidents.

Step 3: Write a Thesis Statement

You've made the first milestone mapping out the similarities and differences between the subjects and understood their relationships. Develop a working thesis statement and a few topic sentences using the Venn diagram as a roadmap to your essay. You can also create a brief outline for the essay.

Thesis statement example;

The two U.S presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, ruled the nation in different eras and exhibited several similarities, including sitting at the helm of Capitol Hill, were controversial figures, and were both assassinated and differences including length of the presidency, and belonging to different political parties .

Step 4: Introduction

Use your introduction to set a tone for your essay. Begin your introduction with a hook to increase the reader’s interest to read your essay. A good example of a hook is a famous quote, rhetorical question or bold statement. Introduce the subjects that you’ll compare after the hook and their background information. The introduction should end with a thesis statement.

Step 5: Write the Body Paragraphs

Begin every paragraph with a topic sentence explaining one aspect of comparison between the two subjects. Support your arguments with evidence and well-thought opinions. Use personal anecdotes or experiences to bolster your arguments in comparisons, such as when talking about pets. Use quotes when comparing books or poems. Use strong transitional words when crafting your essay. Examples of transitional words that you can use include, similarly, both, likewise, among others.

Step 6: Conclusion

An excellent compare and contrast essay should end with a great conclusion. Use the last paragraph to share insights about the thesis and main essay points. Refrain from introducing any new ideas in the concluding paragraph.

Step 7: Proofread

The last step is proofreading your essay to check for grammatical errors, unclear points, punctuation, and spelling errors. Ensure that each subject has equal space in the essay.


Many students experience problems writing a compare and contrast essay. However, following these steps will lead you to write a compelling compare and contrast essay. We have hundreds of professional essay writers waiting to help you anytime

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