How To Write A Compare And Contrast Essay?

Being a student of any educational institution, you will encounter a large number of assignments, each with certain specifics and different requirements. There are many forms of academic written assignments. However, without a doubt, the most common one is an essay. Students have to write tons of essays throughout the process of studying and they also have to perform different types of essays including argumentative, expository, analytical, and compare and contrast.

In this post, we are going to discuss one of four most common types – a compare and contrast essay, which, despite its short volume and free composition, is quite difficult to complete if you don’t know how to do it right.

What Is The Essence Of A Compare And Contrast Essay?

When you are going to perform any academic assignment, the primary thing you should know is its definition. Knowing the essence of a compare and contrast essay you will be able to set the right goals and handle this task with ease. That’s why the primary thing we will discuss is the definition of this task.

What is a compare and contrast essay? It is one of the most common forms of academic writing assignments that can be assigned to students of all levels and faculties. The main idea of the compare and contrast method is to study two or more objects, compare them showing the similarities, and show the contrast – explain how they are different. The goal of this task is to examine a student’s understanding of the subject. Most often, this task is given to university students with different majors to see how well they comprehend the relationship between certain events, methods, problems, etc.

How Does A Good Paper Look?

Writing a compare and contrast essay is easy when you understand not only its purpose but also the appropriate structure of the work. As a rule, a compare and contrast essay format is chosen between a point-by-point or block types of structure, which are quite different from each other. Find two templates below that should help you learn how to write your paper.

A template of essay with a point-by-point structure:

  • Introductory paragraph
  • 1stpoint (providing a certain similarity or distinctive feature)
    1. Object 1
    2. Object 2
  • 2ndpoint
    1. Object 1
    2. Object 2
  • 3rdpoint
    1. Object 1
    2. Object 2
  • Conclusion

A template of essay with a block structure:

  • Introductory paragraph
  • 1stpoint in object 1
  • 2ndpoint in object 1
  • 3rdpoint in object 1
  • Transition
  • 1stpoint in object 2
  • 2ndpoint in object 2
  • 3rdpoint in object 2
  • Conclusion

Use these templates to create your work. Don’t forget to clarify which type of structure your professor requires you to use.

How To Start Working On Your Paper?

Despite a common belief, the work on an academic paper starts much earlier than you start writing the text itself because it requires some preparation. What do you have to do? To prepare for writing a compare and contrast essay you have to take the following steps:

Choose a good topic

You can select a suitable theme from the ones suggested by your professor or you can discover some great compare and contrast essay topics online. Your goal is to find two or more subjects from the same category, which have certain similarities and differences. Keep in mind that this is an important choice. If you make a mistake here you risk failing the task, so consider the following tips:

  • Look for subjects, which have a significant difference;
  • You don’t have to choose subjects that have obvious similarities – it is great if you can find two things that don’t seem to have something in common but you can discover some surprising similar points;
  • It is also a good thing to select the objects that may appear identic but you can find some significant distinctive features in them.

Conduct an in-depth research

Your next step is all about learning as much as you can about the two objects you have chosen – find a way to compare and contrast your subjects in a logical and meaningful manner. Look for evidence and valid facts and always take notes on all important discoveries you make in order not to lose some important pieces of information.

Prepare a thesis statement

Chances are you won’t be able to develop a strong thesis right after you have defined your topic, so you should take some time to analyze the information you obtained in the course of your research and generate some ideas. Highlight the key ideas you’ve discovered. After some brainstorming, focus on your main ideas to shape a clear, logical, and accurate compare and contrast essay thesis for your paper. You can look for a sample thesis to find inspiration. Also, consider the following ideas for your thesis:

  • Highlight the major benefits of one object over another;
  • Define how and why particular objects are similar and different;
  • Encourage your readers to think of a meaningful comparison of the provided objects.

Make an outline

Preparing a detailed compare and contrast essay outline should help you understand the organizational structure of your paper and will serve as a unique template for it, which also contributes to simpler and faster writing process.

How To Create A Great Compare And Contrast Paper?

To create a good paper you have to adhere to the given guidelines and requirements, which is why you always have to clarify those with your professor before you start writing and you should also make all pieces of your text look unite and logical. Here is how you should approach this paper:

  • Creating an attention-grabbing intro

An intro is the primary thing that catches attention. It has to be concise and straight to the point as you provide the general data on your topic but you also have to make it engaging and make a hook to grab your readers’ attention.

  • Writing the body paragraphs

A standard essay contains three or five body paragraphs. It is a good template to use in your work unless your teacher or university have different requirements to this type of assignment. In the body paragraphs, you have to provide valid arguments to support your ideas – note that each paragraph should contain one specific idea and focus only on it. What else to keep in mind? In these paragraphs, your goal is not only to provide some pieces of evidence but also to prove how they are connected to your thesis and analyze each idea, making it clear for your readers.

  • Making a conclusion

This part provides a short and clear summary on all ideas, arguments, and pieces of evidence provided in the text, and it also restates the paper’s thesis. The main goal of this section is not to provide some new information or rephrase the ideas you have already provided but to make the paper look complete and draw the readers to a logical conclusion.

There are a few more tips to consider. Keep in mind that you should make clear transactions between the parts of your text to make it easy to read and understandable. You can also provide some details on the existing counterarguments. This will be a good way to show your understanding of a topic but, if you do this, you should also explain to your readers why the particular counterarguments do not apply to your work or are invalid.

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