A Complete Guide to Writing Compare and Contrast Essay Papers

A compare and contrast essay is an academic writing assignment that requires students to note similarities and differences between two subjects, situations, events, etc. The main purpose of such writing is to clarify something unknown and interesting, shed a fresh light on the study subjects, and show vital characteristics of both of them.

How to Brainstorm for a Compare and Contrast Essay

Choosing a proper topic and developing strong point for your paper may take a while. Brainstorming is an effective technique to get started, so take these steps:

  1. Choose the subjects and list their attributes or characteristics.
  2. Revise your list to combine the shared qualities.
  3. Select, at least, three most important similarities and differences.
  4. Choose the method to structure your assignment.
  5. Outline the key points and supporting details.

How to Organize a Well-Written Compare and Contrast Paper

  1. The thesis statement should present the subjects and indicate that you will compare and contrast them.
  2. To give both subjects the same degree of development, discuss the same points for both of them.
  3. The commonly used organizational structures include subject by subject description, contradictions followed by comparisons or vice versa, and point by point.
  4. The connections that show comparison are the following: likewise, just as, as well as, compared to, similarly, in addition, and same as.
  5. To contrast the differences, use these transition words: however, in contrast, unlike, on the other hand, meanwhile, on the contrary, or even though.

Where to Find a Sample Topic and an Assignment Template

A distinctive feature of a well-prepared compare and contrast paper is its organization. The text should be easy to follow, every paragraph should begin with a topic sentence, and the conclusion should summarize the key differences and similarities between the subjects under the study. To meet the aforementioned criteria, it makes sense to get a winning topic and a good template.

Plenty of great paper topics are available on the websites of academic writing centers, literature and language departments, and educational portals. The best place to find an essay sample or template is to visit your school’s writing lab and ask one of the instructors to help you find a template suitable for your topic. It’s also a good idea to get a few outstanding works prepared by the fellow students to learn what writing tone and style to employ.