9 Steps to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

comparative essay

In the life of every college student there comes a point when writing a compare and contrast essay is inevitable. You should know that the writing process takes time and consideration. That’s why go through this guide thoroughly to build your way towards an A.

Generally, a comparative essay is one where you contradict two subjects and highlight the differences between them. Compare and contrast essay topics give plenty of food for thought and conflict, so choosing one won’t be a problem.
When googling “how to write a compare and contrast essay” you can sometimes see custom assignment help websites. The task of writing a comparison essay is overwhelming indeed and one can seek outside help.

There are nine essential steps to write compare and contrast essays.

Step 1: Choosing the Subject

Note that even if compare and contrast essay topics for college students should differ to give room for writing, they should also have some points in common. If the two subjects don’t have anything mutual, why did you choose to analyze them in the first place?

Compare and contrast essay samples depict Democracy and Totalities, whales and fish, male and female brain.

 Step 2: Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a good writing-improvement tip that helps generate compare and contrast essay ideas. Having found the topic of your interest, create a list for the two contradicting subjects and elaborate on the points they have in common and what they differ on.

There’s a tip for visuals. Using a Venn diagram helps to see what your subjects agree and disagree on more clearly. While you draw two different circles for two subjects, depict their distinctions in separate spaces and their common traits in overlapping space within the two circles.

compare and contrast essay samples

Step 3: Stating Your Main Reason

Between all the differences in the subjects, there will one that stands out. This will be your core argument. State its importance in the discussed topic and build a conclusion from it.

Step 4: Building the Compare and Contrast Essay Outline

The compare and contrast essay format doesn’t require one definite structure. You can decide on it while you develop your writing.

The two compare and contrast essay example structures are alternating point-by-point method (stating one aspect and discussing it from the viewpoint of both subjects, by both similarity and difference of the feature) and the block method (discussing all the features of one subject and all the features of the second one).

If you look for comparison and contrast essay examples point-by-point structure seems clearer and more explicit, whereas the block structure is easier to write.

Mind that compare and contrast essay structure of the subject-by-subject analysis isn’t always what college professors look for. Using this structure you simply list the points and not contrast them while writing.

Step 5: Outlining

Compare and contrast paper outline depends on the structure you have chosen. However, the five classic essay parts stay the same: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph. In order to balance the two chosen subjects, you may prolong the main body to four paragraphs.

If you are still unsure of what the essay outline looks like, search for compare and contrast essay outline worksheet template online. Print out, input your ideas, and you have a draft of your essay. Here’s the simplest one.

comparison essay

Step 6: Including Compelling Reason

When deciding on how to start a compare and contrast essay, you may want to turn to research findings or citations from reading or reflect personal experience. A compare and contrast dog and cat essay, for instance, may contain some anecdotes about your pets.

Quotes will be a perfect addition to your argument when comparing two poets of one age. Note that you need to emphasize the significance of the point concerning the two subjects.

If you want to cite a lecture by a world-renowned scientist to back up your argument, check the rules of doing so in writing.

A compare and contrast essay introduction or thesis also shouldn’t vaguely rephrase the topic of your essay. It should propose a relevant argument of why you chose the two subjects for the topic and a meaningful aspect they differ on.

Step 7: Coming to the Conclusion

When all the points have been stated, the conclusion is the part of the essay that connects the two subjects for a final evaluation. You can also look back on your thesis and reflect on it given all the points of your essay.

For example, a compare and contrast essay conclusion about public transportation and private cars can be the following:

compare and contrast essay examples

Step 8: Packing Your Writing With Transitional Words and Phrases 

Words to better your writing style and make it more intelligent can be divided into two groups: compare and contrast. Compare words examples are: likewise, both… and…, neither… nor…, similar to (+ noun), to compare (to/with). Contrast words are: by comparison, while, whereas, to differ from, to be dissimilar to.

Enter “free compare and contrast essay examples for college” in the search engine and you may find phrases like: “By comparison with paper books, e-books are much more convenient, lighter and can contain a lot of novels in one gadget”.

Step 9: Polishing Your Essay 

You can never proofread and revise your writing too much. Grammar, spell and punctuation checks are simply obligatory at this point. Besides, there are already spell and grammar checkers installed in your word program. When it comes to reading your own work, it is hard to be objective. So, reading it once again may bring out some style and plain spelling mistakes.

Looking at compare and contrast essay template writing can also help plenty. You could read and disagree with the author on the topic which will lead to a stronger and more in-depth argument in your essay.

The guide above shows the exact nine steps to write a great compare and contrast essay. Make sure you follow the advice and you’ll do good.

Finally, you may look for compare and contrast essay help online or get inspired by other people’s writing, but never copy anybody. Plagiarism is the worst thing you can do to your writing.