How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

The compare and contrast essay analyzes the differences and/or the similarities of two different subjects. First, formulate your argument thesis. To start writing, you need to define two subjects of interest to compare. The main aim is to compare and contrast two items for example (two books, two trailers or  a play). A comparison shows how 2 things are similar. A contrast explains how two things are different. 

The first step is to brainstorm all the information about each subject and explain the differences and similarities.

The compare and contrast essay can be written according to the subjects themselves to discuss one over another. Also, it may be discussed individually, discussing each point. The choice of the writing strategy depends on the presenting pattern, the audience and the purpose.

The essay structure

The thesis statement originates from brainstorming.

The introduction of the essay explains both subjects in a clear and precise manner.  The body of the paper may be organized by the divided pattern and the alternating pattern.

The divided pattern provides all the necessary details for one subject and the additional supporting details for the other subject. In paragraph 1, there is the introductory part and thesis sentence. In paragraph 2, the writer discusses and provides supporting sentences 1. In paragraph 3, the writer discusses and provides information about the subject 2. In paragraph  4, the concluding statement is provided.

The alternating pattern introduces the introduction and thesis statement in paragraph 1. In paragraph 2, there is a discussion and the necessary details of the similarities between both subjects. In paragraph 3, the writer discusses and explain the differences between the chosen items. Paragraph 4 consists of the concluding statement. 

The concluding statement elaborates the paper thesis and includes both connections about the 2 subjects.

It is better to avoid comparing for no reason. You should better find a good and clear purpose that will draw in your reader. Then describe the subjects clearly by using vivid examples. Try not to overelaborate on one object.

The writing process

Before any writing, outline and draft the essay parts. Develop further to 3 or 6 body paragraphs and a conclusion. Revise for elements of the comparison or contrast essay with the strong conclusion that summarizes the body of the essay and has an impact on the reader.

Use transitional words or phrases to provide a more sophisticated transition from one point to another and from one subject to another. Without any transitions, the argument will be difficult to follow and without any clear point.

The following transition words may be used. In the case of comparison, apply the following: also, similarly, too, both, like, have in common, share the same, in the same manner, not only… but also etc. In the case of contrast, use the following words: however, on the other hand, in contrast, unlike, but instead of, while etc.