How to Write a Good Compare and Contrast Essay

May 18, 2019
How to Write a Good Compare and Contrast Essay

When deciding on whether to buy something or not or which college to enter, people tend to compare and contrast things. Sometimes, they do it intentionally, sometimes not. Anyway, the ability to find differences and similarities, pros, and cons help in the decision-making process. One of the best ways to develop this skill is through a compare and contrast essay.

Teachers usually assign compare and contrast essays to students to evaluate their knowledge of several topics at a time. This tool is effective for many purposes. It develops time management, research, critical thinking, and writing skills.

In this post, we will discuss everything you need to know about this type of assignment. We will explain how to format the paper, select the proper topic, develop a thesis statement, and more. Learn how to start a compare and contrast essay now!

How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay to Grab Attention

If you have the specific topic assigned by your teacher, start working on your paper. To start, you need to develop an outline. Almost every essay has a similar outline. It consists of the following parts:

  • Introduction and thesis statement
  • Argument 1, supporting evidence, and example
  • Argument 2, supporting evidence, and example
  • Argument 3, supporting evidence, and example
  • Conclusion

You need to come up with different headings for different sections. Follow your outline as an action plan, and you will not get lost or face a writer’s block. Another pre-writing stage is to analyze compare and contrast essay ideas to decide on the proper topic.

The Process of Writing a Compare and Contrast Essay

The process itself consists of the main stages. Once a student develops an outline, he or she should conduct research and pick a topic. During the research stage, it is critical to collect evidence from credible sources. After that, a student should decide on the thesis statement to defend in the rest of the paper. Experts recommend writing body paragraphs first, and then simply summarizing them in the intro and conclusion. Before submitting the final version, it is recommended to revise the draft at least twice.

How to Select Compare and Contrast Essay Topics

When choosing the topic, there are several things to consider. First of all, a student should analyze all possible ideas through brainstorming. He or she should surf the web or watch TV to put down various topics related to the studied subject. Tutors expect that you will choose up-to-date, interesting topics.

Think about an issue that you know well. Then, you will have to do a minimum of research just to prove your words. Think about some examples from personal experience that you can share with others. Can you offer something unique about the specific topic?

Before you pick a topic, conduct research. Collect facts and statistics from trustworthy sources like books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Make sure you have enough evidence to support your thesis statement. Only after consulting your teacher, you can pick the final version of the topic, and start writing an essay.

Compare and Contrast Essay Ideas from Different Categories

How about some specific examples of compare and contrast essay topics? We have prepared some of the best examples for you:

  • Plastic surgery vs. natural aging
  • Juveniles and adults involved in criminal activities
  • Listening to music compared to creating music
  • Messaging versus writing traditional letters
  • Islam and Buddhism: differences and similarities

Which Compare and Contrast Essay Format Is Correct?

We should also say a few words about compare and contrast essay format. It depends on the subject you study or school you to attend. For example, if you prepare a paper for humanitarian classes, use MLA format. If you write for a psychology class, pick APA style. Those who get ready with their paper for the nursing program should think about using AMA style while students that study law would prefer McGill or Bluebook.

If you attend Harvard, select Harvard format. If you’re a student of Oxford, stick to the guidelines of corresponding writing manual. It is simple. If you are not sure which format to choose, consult your tutor, or find the answer online.

What Is a Compare and Contrast Essay Thesis?

We should also say a few words about a thesis statement. Do not confuse it with a thesis – that is a separate lengthy work one writes to obtain a Master degree (like a dissertation). In academic writing, a compare and contrast essay thesis is a sentence or few that represents the central argument (main idea) of the entire written piece. This part of an essay usually shows up at the end of the introductory paragraph, and it should be concise, clear, and engaging.

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