Compare and Contrast Essay: Full Writing Guide and 150+ Topics
Compare and contrast essays are academic papers in which a student analyses two or more subjects with each other. To compare means to explore similarities between subjects, while to contrast means to look at their differences. Both subjects of the comparison are usually in the same category, although they have their differences. For example, it can be two movies, two universities, two cars etc.
Good compare and contrast papers focus on a central point, explaining the importance and implications of this analysis. A compare and contrast essay thesis must make a meaningful comparison. Find the central theme of your essay and do some brainstorming for your thesis.
This type of essay is very common among college and university students. Professors challenge their students to use their analytical and comparative skills and pay close attention to the subjects of their comparisons. This type of essay exercises observance and analysis, helps to establish a frame of reference, and makes meaningful arguments about a subject. Let's get deeper with our research writing services .
Video Guide on How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay
Here is the video guide from our college essay writer .
How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Brainstorm Similarities and Differences
When you are set with your topic, the first thing you should do is grab a piece of paper and make a list with two columns: similarities and differences. Jot down key things first, the most striking ones. Then try to look at the subjects from a different angle, incorporate your imagination.
If you are more of a visual learner, creating a Venn diagram might be a good idea. In order to create it, draw two circles that overlap. In the section where it overlaps, note similarities. Differences should be written in the part of circle that does not overlap.
Let’s look at a simple example. Let one of the subjects be oranges, and the other one be apples. Oranges have thick peel, originally from India, and are tropical fruit. These characteristics pertain only to oranges and should be in the part of the circle that does not overlap. For the same section on apples, we put thin peel, originated in Turkey or Kazakhstan, and moderate to subtropical. In the section that overlaps, let’s put that they are both fruit, can be juiced, and grow on trees. This simple, yet good example illustrates how the same concept can be applied to many other complicated topics with additional points of comparison and contrast.
This format of visual aid helps to organize similarities and differences and make them easier to perceive. Your diagram will give you a clear idea of the things you can write about.
Another good idea for brainstorming in preparation for your comparison contrast essay is to create a list with 2 columns, one for each subject, and compare the same characteristics for each of them simultaneously. This format will make writing your comparison contrast paper argument a breeze, as you will have your ideas ready and organized.
One mistake you should avoid is simply listing all of the differences or similarities for each subject. Sometimes students get too caught up in looking for similarities and differences that their compare and contrast essays end up sounding like grocery lists. Your essay should be based on analyzing the similarities and differences, analyzing your conclusions about the two subjects, and finding connections between them—while following a specific format.
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Compare and Contrast Essay Structure and Outline
Compare and contrast papers rely heavily on factual analysis. Two outline methods can help you organize your facts: use the block method, or point-by-point method, to write a compare and contrast essay outline.
While using the block structure , all the information is presented for the first subject, and its characteristics and specific details are explained. This concludes one block. The second block takes the same approach as the first for the second subject.
The point-by-point structure lists each similarity and difference simultaneously—making notes of both subjects. For example, you can list a characteristic specific to one subject, followed by its similarity or difference to the other subject.
Both formats have their pros and cons. The block method is clearly easier to write, as you simply point out all of the information about the two subjects, and basically leave it to the reader to do the comparison. The point-by-point format requires you to analyze the points yourself while making similarities and differences more explicit to the reader for them to be easier to understand. Here is a detailed structure of each type presented below.
- Introduce the topic;
- Specify your theme;
- Present your thesis - cover all areas of the essay in one sentence.
Example thesis: Cars and motorcycles make for excellent means of transportation, but a good choice depends on the person’s lifestyle, finances, and the city they live in.
Body Paragraph 1 - LIFESTYLE
- Topic Sentence: Motorcycles impact the owner’s lifestyle less than cars.
- Topic 1 - Motorcycles
- ~ Argument: Motorcycles are smaller and more comfortable to store.
- ~ Argument: Motorcycles are easy to learn and use.
- Topic 2 - Cars
- ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal - they are like a second home.
- ~ Argument: It takes time to learn to become a good driver.
Body Paragraph 2 - FINANCES
- Topic sentence: Cars are much more expensive than motorcycles
- ~ Argument: You can buy a good motorcycle for under 300$.
- ~ Argument: Fewer parts that are more accessible to fix.
- ~ Argument: Parts and service are expensive if something breaks.
- ~ Argument: Cars need more gas than motorcycles.
Body Paragraph 3 - CITY
- Topic sentence: Cars are a better option for bigger cities with wider roads.
- ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than with cars.
- ~ Argument: Motorcycles work great in a city like Rome, where all the streets are narrow.
- ~ Argument: Big cities are easier and more comfortable to navigate by car.
- ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside of the city is much easier.
- Sum up all you wrote in the article.
- Thesis — cover all areas of the essay in one sentence
Body Paragraph 1
- Topic Sentence: Motorcycles are cheaper and easier to take care of than cars.
- Aspect 1 - Lifestyle
- Aspect 2 - Finances
- ~ Argument: Fewer parts, easier to fix.
- Aspect 3 - City
- ~ Argument: Riding motorcycles in a big city is more dangerous than cars.
Body Paragraph 2
- Topic sentence: Cars are more expensive but more comfortable for a big city and for travelling.
- ~ Argument: Cars are a big deal—like a second home.
- ~ Argument: With a car, traveling outside the city is much more comfortable.
Body Paragraph 3
Use the last paragraph to evaluate the comparisons and explain why they’re essential. Giving a lot of facts can be intense. To water it down, try to give the reader any real-life applications of these facts.
Depending on the structure selected, you can begin to create an outline for your essay. The typical structure for any essay follows the format of having an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion — though, if you need to focus on each subject in more detailed ways, feel free to include an extra paragraph to cover all of the most important points.
To make your compare and contrast essay flow better, we recommend using special transition words and phrases. They will add variety and improve your paper overall.
For the section where you compare two subjects, you can include any of the following words: similarly, likewise, also, both, just like, similar to, the same as, alike, or to compare to. When contrasting two subjects, use: in contrast, in comparison, by comparison, on the other hand, while, whereas, but, to differ from, dissimilar to, or unlike.
Show Your Evidence
Arguments for any essay, including compare and contrast essays, need to be supported by sufficient evidence. Make good use of your personal experiences, books, scholarly articles, magazine and newspaper articles, movies, or anything that will make your argument sound credible. For example, in your essay, if you were to compare attending college on campus vs. distance-based learning, you could include your personal experiences of being a student, and how often students show up to class on a daily basis. You could also talk about your experience taking online classes, which makes your argument about online classes credible as well.
Helpful Final Tips
The biggest tip dissertation writing services can give you is to have the right attitude when writing a compare and contrast essay, and actively engage the reader in the discussion. If you find it interesting, so will your reader! Here are some more compare and contrast essay tips that will help you to polish yours up:
- Compare and contrast essays need powerful transitions. Try learning more about custom writing transition sentences using the words we provided for you in the “Compare and Contrast Structure and Outline” section.
- Always clarify the concepts you introduce in your essay. Always explain lesser known information—don’t assume the reader must already know it.
- Do not forget to proofread. Small mistakes, but in high quantities, can result in a low grade. Pay attention to your grammar and punctuation.
- Have a friend or family member take a look at your essay; they may notice things you have missed.
Compare and Contrast Essay Examples
Now that you know everything there is to know about compare and contrast essays, let’s take a look at some examples to get you started on your paper or get a hand from our essay helper .
Different countries across the world have diverse cultural practices, and this has an effect on work relationships and development. Geert Hofstede came up with a structured way of comparing cultural dimensions of different countries. The theory explains the impacts of a community’s culture on the values of the community members, and the way these values relate to their behaviors. He gives scores as a way to help distinguish people from different nations using the following dimensions: long-term orientation, individualism, power distance, indulgence, necessity avoidance, and masculinity. Let us examine comparisons between two countries: the United Kingdom and China — based on Hofstede’s Six Dimensions of Culture.
Over the last two decades, the demand from consumers for organic foods has increased tremendously. In fact, the popularity of organic foods has exploded significantly with consumers, spending a considerably higher amount of money on them as compared to the amount spent on inorganic foods. The US market noted an increase in sales of more than 10% between 2014 and 2015 (Brown, n.p). The increase is in line with the views of many consumers that organic foods are safer, tastier, and healthier compared to the inorganic foods. Furthermore, considering the environmental effects of foods, organic foods present less risk of environmental pollution — compared to inorganic foods. By definition, organic foods are those that are grown without any artificial chemical treatment, or treatment by use of other substances that have been modified genetically, such as hormones and/or antibiotics (Brown, n.p).
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Finding the Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics For You
When choosing a topic for your essay, remember that subjects cannot be drastically different, because there would be little to no points of comparison (similarities). The same goes for too many similarities, which will result in poor contrasts. For example, it is better to write about two composers, rather than a composer and a singer.
It is extremely important to choose a topic you are passionate about. You never want to come across something that seems dull and uninspiring for you. Here are some excellent ways to brainstorm for a topic from essay writer :
- Find categories: Choose a type (like animals, films or economics), and compare subjects within that category – wild animals to farm animals, Star Wars to Star Trek, private companies to public companies, etc.
- Random Surprising Fact: Dig for fun facts which could make great topics. Did you know that chickens can be traced back to dinosaurs?
- Movie vs. Book: Most of the time, the book is better than the movie — unless it’s Blade Runner or Lord of the Rings. If you’re a pop culture lover, compare movies vs. books, video games, comics, etc.
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How to Choose a Great Compare and Contrast Topic
College students should consider providing themselves with a chance to use all topic examples. With enough revision, an advantage is gained. As it will be possible to compare arguments and contrast their aspects. Also, discuss numerous situations to get closer to the conclusion.
- Choose a topic from the field of your interests. Otherwise you risk failing your paper.
- It is a good idea to choose a topic based upon the class subject or specialist subject. (Unless the requirements says otherwise.)
- Analyze each argument carefully. Include every detail for each opposing idea. Without doing so, can definitely lower grades.
- Write a conclusion that summarizes both arguments. It should allow readers to find the answer they’re looking for.
- It is up to you to determine which arguments are right and wrong in the final conclusion.
- Before approaching the final conclusion, it’s important to discuss each argument equally. It is a bad idea to be biased, as it can also lower grades.
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150 Compare and Contrast Essay Topics to Consider
Compare and contrast essay topics for college students.
When attending a college, at any time your professor can assign you the task of writing this form of an essay. Consider these topics for college students from our custom essay writing team to get the grades you deserve.
- Attending a College Course Vs. Distance-Based Learning.
- Writing a Research Paper Vs. Writing a Creative Writing Paper. What are the differences and similarities?
- The differences between a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree.
- The key aspects of the differences between the US and the UK education systems.
- Completing assignments at a library compared with doing so at home. Which is the most efficient?
- The similarities and differences in the behaviour among married and unmarried couples.
- The similarities and differences between the EU (European Union) and ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations)?
- The similarities and significant differences between American and Canadian English.
- Writing an Internship Report Vs. Writing a Research Paper
- The differences between US college and colleges in the EU?
Interesting Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Some topics for the compare and contrast essay format can be boring. To keep up motivation, doing a research , have a look at these topics. Maybe they can be your research paper help .
- Public Transport Vs. Driving A Car. Which is more efficient?
- Mandarin Vs. Cantonese: What are the differences between these Chinese languages?
- Sports Cars Vs. Luxurious Family Cars
- Wireless Technology Vs. Wired Devices
- Thai Food Vs. Filipino Cuisine
- What is the difference and similarities between a register office marriage and a traditional marriage?
- The 2000s Vs. the 2010s. What are the differences and what makes them similar?
- Abu Dhabi Vs. Dubai. What are the main factors involved in the differences?
- What are the differences between American and British culture?
- What does the New York Metro do differently to the London Underground?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for High School Students
When writing essays for high school, it is good to keep them informative. Have a look at these topics.
- Highschool Life Vs. College Life
- Paying College Fees Vs. Being Awarded a Scholarship
- All Night Study Sessions Vs. Late Night Parties
- Teenager Vs. Young Adult Relationships
- Being in a Relationship Vs. Being Single
- Male Vs. Female Behavior
- The similarities and differences between a high school diploma and a college degree
- The similarities and differences between Economics and Business Studies
- The benefits of having a part-time job, instead of a freelance job, in college
- High School Extra Curricular Activities Vs. Voluntarily Community Services
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Science
At some point, every science student will be assigned this type of essay. To keep things at flow, have a look at best topics for all sciences from our service.
- Undiscovered Species on Earth Vs. Potential Life on Mars: What will we discover in the future?
- The benefits of Gasoline Powered Cars Vs. Electric Powered Cars
- The differences of the Milky Way Vs. Centaurus (Galaxies).
- Earthquakes Vs. Hurricanes: What should be prepared for the most?
- The differences between our moon and Mars’ moons.
- SpaceX Vs. NASA. What is done differently within these organizations?
- The differences and similarities between Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox’s theories on the cosmos. Do they agree or correspond with each other?
- Pregnancy Vs. Motherhood
- Jupiter Vs. Saturn
- Greenhouse Farming Vs. Polytunnel Farming
Sports & Leisure Topics
Studying Physical Education? Or a gym fanatic? Have a look at our compare and contrast essay topics for sports and leisure.
- The English Premier League Compared With The Bundesliga
- Real Madrid Vs. Barcelona
- Football Vs. Basketball
- Walking Vs. Eating Outside with Your Partner
- Jamaica Team Vs. United States Team: Main Factors and Differences
- Formula One Vs. Off-Road Racing
- Germany Team Vs. Brazil Team
- Morning Exercise Vs. Evening Exercise.
- Manning Team Vs. Brazil Team
- Swimming Vs. Cycling
Topics About Culture
Cultural can have several meanings. If you’re an Religious Studies or Culture student, take a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics about culture.
- The fundamental similarities and differences between Pope Francis and Tawadros II of Alexandria
- Canadian Vs. Australian Religion
- The differences between Islamic and Christian Holidays
- The cultural similarities and differences between the Native Aboriginals and Caucasian Australians
- Native American Culture Vs. New England Culture
- The cultural differences and similarities between Italians and Sicilians
- In-depth: The origins of Buddhism and Hinduism
- In-depth: The origins of Christianity and Islam
- Greek Gods Vs. Hindu Gods
- The Bible: Old Testament Vs. New Testament
Unique Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
What about writing an essay which is out of the ordinary? Consider following these topics to write a compare and contrast essay on, that are unique.
- The reasons why some wealthy people pay extortionate amounts of money for gold-plated cell phones, rather than buying the normal phone.
- The differences between Lipton Tea and Ahmad Tea
- American Football Vs. British Football: What are their differences?
- The differences and similarities between France and Britain
- Fanta Vs. 7Up
- Traditional Helicopters Vs. Lifesize Drones
- The differences and similarities between Boston Dynamics and the fictional equivalent Skynet (From Terminator Movies).
- Socialism Vs. Capitalism: Which is better?
- Curved Screen TVs’ Vs. Regular Flat Screen TVs’: Are they really worth big bucks?
- Is it better to wear black or white at funerals?
Good Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Sometimes, it may be a requirement to take it back a notch. Especially if you’re new to these style of writing. Consider having a look at these good compare and contrast essay topics that are pretty easy to start off.
- Is it a good idea to work on weekdays or weekends?
- Black of White Coffee
- Becoming a teacher or a doctor? Which career choice has more of an impacton society?
- Air Travel Vs. Sea Travel: Which is better?
- Rail Travel Vs. Road Travel: Which is more convenient?
- What makes Europe far greater than Africa. In terms of financial growth, regulations, public fund, policies etc…
- Eating fruit for breakfast Vs. cereals
- Staying Home to Read Vs. Travelling the World During Holidays. Which is more beneficial for personal growth?
- Japanese Vs. Brazilian Cuisine
- What makes ASEAN Nations more efficient than African Nations?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics About TV Shows, Music and Movies
We all enjoy act least on of these things. If not, all of them. Why not have a go at writing a compare and contrast essay about what you have been recently watching or listening to?
- Breaking Bad Vs. Better Call Saul: Which is more commonly binge watched?
- The differences between Dance Music and Heavy Metal
- James Bond Vs. Johnny English
- Iron Man Vs. The Incredible Hulk: Who would win?
- What is done differently in modern movies, compared to old black and white movies?
- Dumber and Dumber 2 Vs. Ted: Which movie is funnier?
- Are Horror movies or Action Movies best suited to you?
- The differences and similarities between Mozart and Beethoven compositions.
- Hip Hop Vs. Traditional Music
- Classical Music Vs. Pop Music. Which genre helps people concentrate?
Topics About Art
Sometimes, art students are required to write this style of essay. Have a look at these compare and contrast essay topics about the arts of the centuries.
- The fundamental differences and similarities between paintings and sculptures
- The painting different styles of Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci.
- Viewing Original Art Compared With Digital Copies. How are these experiences different?
- 18th Century Paintings Vs. 21st Century Digitally Illustrated Images
- German Art Vs. American Art
- Modern Painting Vs. Modern Photography
- How can we compare modern graphic designers to 18th-century painters?
- Ancient Greek Art Vs. Ancient Egyptian Art
- Ancient Japanese Art Vs. Ancient Persian Art
- What 16th Century Painting Materials were used compared with the modern day?
Best Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Almost every student at any stage of academics is assigned this style of writing. If you’re lacking inspiration, consider looking at some of the best compare and contrast essay topics to get you on track with your writing.
- The United States and North Korea Governmental Conflict: What is the reason behind this phenomenon?
- In the Early Hours, Drinking Water is far healthier than consuming soda.
- The United States Vs. The People’s Republic of China: Which economy is the most efficient?
- Studying in Foreign Countries Vs. Studying In Your Hometown: Which is more of an advantage?
- Toast Vs. Cereal: Which is the most consumed in the morning?
- Sleeping Vs. Daydreaming: Which is the most commonly prefered? And amongst who?
- Learning French Vs. Chinese: Which is the most straightforward?
- Android Phones Vs. iPhones
- The Liberation of Slaves Vs. The Liberation of Women: Which is more remembered?
- The differences between the US Dollar and British Pound. What are their advantages? And How do they correspond with each other?
Easy Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
In all types of academics, these essays occur. If you’re new to this style of writing, check our easy compare and contrast essay topics.
- The Third Reich Vs. North Korea
- Tea Vs. Coffee
- iPhone Vs. Samsung
- KFC Vs. Wendy’s
- Laurel or Yanny?
- Healthy Lifestyle Vs. Obese Lifestyle
- Forkes Vs. Sporks
- Rice Vs. Porridge
- Roast Dinner Vs. Chicken & Mushroom Pie
- What’s the difference between apples and oranges?
Psychology Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Deciding upon good compare and contrast essay topics for psychology assignments can be difficult. Consider referring to our list of 10 psychology compare and contrast essay topics to help get the deserved grades.
- What is a more severe eating order? Bulimia or Anorexia
- Modern Medicine Vs. Traditional Medicine for Treating Depression?
- Soft Drugs Vs. Hard Drugs. Which is more dangerous for people’s psychological well-being?
- How do the differences between Lust and Love have an effect on people’s mindsets?
- Ego Vs. Superego
- Parents Advice Vs. Peers Advice amongst children and teens.
- Strict Parenting Vs. Relaxed Parenting
- Mental Institutions Vs. Stress Clinics
- Bipolar Disorder Vs. Epilepsy
- How does child abuse affect victims in later life?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics for Sixth Graders
From time to time, your teacher will assign the task of writing a compare and contrast essay. It can be hard to choose a topic, especially for beginners. Check out our easy compare and contrast essay topics for sixth graders.
- Exam Preparation Vs. Homework Assignments
- Homeschooling Vs. Public Education
- High School Vs. Elementary School
- 5th Grade Vs. 6th Grade: What makes them different or the same?
- Are Moms’ or Dads’ more strict among children?
- Is it better to have strict parents or more open parents?
- Sandy Beaches Vs. Pebble Beaches: Which beaches are more popular?
- Is it a good idea to learn guitar or piano?
- Is it better to eat vegetable salads or pieces of fruit for lunch?
- 1st Grade Vs. 6th Grade
Funny Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Sometimes, it is good to have a laugh. As they always say : “laughter is the best medicine”. Check out these funny compare and contrast essay topics for a little giggle when writing.
- What is the best way to waste your time? Watching Funny Animal Videos or Mr. Bean Clips?
- Are Pug Dogs or Maltese Dogs crazier?
- Pot Noodles Vs. McDonalds Meals.
- What is the difference between Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson?
- Mrs. Doubtfire Vs. Mrs. Brown. How are they similar?
- Which game is more addictive? Flappy Bird or Angry Birds?
- Big Shaq Vs. PSY
- Stewie Griffin Vs. Maggie Simpson
- Quarter Pounders Vs. Big Macs
- Mr. Bean Vs. Alan Harper
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How to Compose Exceptionally Good Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
Throughout the course of your education and career (if you choose to become a writer), you’ll have the opportunity to work on different writing assignments and, of course, essays are inevitable.
The essay is a piece of writing that methodically analyzes and evaluates a topic or issue. That’s why there are different types of essays, used to discuss, analyze, evaluate, or compare different situations or subjects e.g. argumentative essay , cause and effect essay , and compare and contrast essay.
Your ability to create an excellent paper depends on structuring a perfect outline. Throughout this post, I’m going to show you how to compose an outline for compare and contrast essay to get good grades (or positive feedback from the client) every time.
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Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
The easiest definition of compare and contrast essay that explore both the similarities and differences between two subjects by comparing or contrasting them. It’s very easy to mistake this style of essay writing for a simple comparison between some topics or subjects, but that’s not entirely correct. Always bear in mind that your essay has to serve a larger purpose and include the following:
- Demonstrate that one thing is superior to another
- Identify and clarify common misunderstandings
- Provide a new way of doing or understanding something
- State, elaborate, discuss something unknown
- Support every claim with facts and accurate, reliable sources
When it comes to structuring the outline for this kind of essay, there are different methods you can follow depending on the organization.
Point-By-Point Pattern (Organization by Criteria)
This outline is primarily used to compare items or subjects that are almost similar or when you plan (or have to) evaluate only a few characteristics or criteria when comparing them. Use the diagram below to create the outline for the point-by-point pattern.
Block Pattern (Organization by Item)
In instances when you have to compare items, situations, or topics that are entirely different or when there are multiple criteria to involve, the point-by-point pattern doesn’t function quite well. That’s why you should opt for block pattern or organization by item.
Why? The reason is simple; the same criteria don’t apply to different topics, people, objects, events, and so on. When the essay requires a multitude of approaches to explore, it’s important to learn how to organize it properly in a bid to ensure easy reading. Create the outline based on the diagram below.
Block pattern can be structured in a different manner as well. Instead of the separate paragraph for each point, you compare, you can set out one section to name their similarities and a second paragraph to analyze dissimilarities point by point.
Now that you know how to create a functional outline, you’re ready to move on to the essay writing process.
The intro for this kind of essay doesn’t differ much from other types. It’s the part where you introduce the overall subject of the piece and specific items, situations, or events you have to compare and/or contrast. As seen in diagrams, the introduction should feature :
- The mentioning of the main topic – begin with a hook sentence and detail specific to the topic itself. Your hook can be a quote, question, anecdote, anything you see fit for the particular subject you have to write about
- Specific subjects to compare and contrast – of course, you can’t start writing about similarities and differences between two items out of the blue. That’s why you should set out a sentence or two to mention specific topics you’ll compare under the central theme
- Thesis statement – it marks the tone of the essay and catches reader’s attention. Last sentence (or two) of your paper should account for a specific and concise thesis. There’s no need for wordiness in this part because thesis, as the entire introduction, shouldn’t be too long.
Once you’re done with the intro, you’re ready to move on to the body paragraphs.
A total number of paragraphs in the body section depends on a number of aspects or criteria you have to discuss. For example, if you have to make a comparison between two different events through two aspects, you’ll need two paragraphs. Three criteria require three paragraphs, and so on. Sometimes, you’ll get the amount of aspects to use for comparison/contrast from your professor or a client, while in other instances, you’ll just have to determine the number yourself during the research process.
When you get the title and aspects to compare but without a certain number of criteria to cover similarities and differences, you have to brainstorm. Take a blank piece of paper and write the first item in the left corner, the second item in the right corner. Make a Venn diagram and start analyzing.
REMEMBER: Typically, you don’t need more than three aspects to cover, unless otherwise noted.
When you start brainstorming and researching the topic, the chances are high you’ll find a wide array of differences and similarities. However, your essay has to be well-crafted, and you can’t include absolutely everything you find (that way you’d write forever). To determine what to compare or differentiate answer these questions:
- Is this relevant for my course?
- What matters to the argument I’m going to take (or I’m given)?
- What’s informative and interesting?
- What’s relevant to my assignment?
Each paragraph in the body should start with a topic sentence (point 1, criterion 1/item A, B) focused on the aspect you’re about to compare/contrast. Then, you proceed with details you find when conducting research. Remember, just like in other types of essays, thorough research is highly relevant here, too.
It’s not just about mentioning differences and similarities one by one and stating your opinion or argument about them. Every detail you find should be supported by substantial evidence, statistics, studies, official data, and so on.
To show comparisons and emphasize the overall effect, don’t forget to use some connectors such as:
- At the same time, as well as
- Compared to
- In addition
- In the same way
Of course, you can include connectors to express or heighten the contrasting effect. For example:
- Even though, although
- In contrast
- On the contrary
- On the other hand
For the best possible result and successful completion of the essay, the body paragraphs should be analyzed from the perspective of an independent analytic. Ideally, your paper shouldn’t be biased. You don’t want the reader of your paper to assume what item you prefer or despise automatically.
At this point, you have the introduction and body paragraphs, which indicates you’re ready to conclude the essay. Generally, this is the easiest part, but you should ensure it’s properly structured as well. Here’s what your conclusion should contain :
- Summary of main points – at the very beginning of this part, you should summarize the main points you’ve made throughout the essay. It’s important to synthesize your thesis with info in body paragraphs
- Evaluation – provide a short analysis of what you discussed in the paper or mention possible solutions. The approach depends on the nature of your subject
- Significance – not only do you have to clarify the importance of the main topic, but also mention the significance of comparisons or contrasts. How to do this? It’s not that difficult; answer the What was my goal in showing similarities/differences between these items? Your response indicates their significance.
You finished writing the paper, but your work isn’t over just yet. Before sending or submitting the essay, it’s necessary to proofread and edit the paper to eliminate all mistakes and unwanted parts.
Proofreading isn’t only necessary for correcting typos or grammar, these seemingly unimportant errors that “everyone makes” break the reader from the flow of the paper and undermine its power of persuasion. When you finish the essay, read your work from top to bottom without doing anything. You’ll probably spot some mistakes, but don’t rush correcting them immediately. Then, start reading again and correct typos, grammar errors, and sentence constructions. Don’t resist the urge to rewrite some sentences for better effect.
Nowadays, in the era of technology, you might feel tempted to download software (or find grammar/spelling checker online) and let it do the work for you. First of all, they aren’t always correct, and secondly, your critical thinking skills will improve only when you do it yourself. The software can be used as additional essay help . Another useful idea is to ask a family member or a friend to read the essay and see if they can spot some mistakes.
You’re almost ready to submit your essay, check whether you included references (if not, do so) and you’re done.
Compare, and contrast essay is concerned with evaluating differences and similarities between given items or topics. It’s not just a mere comparison; the essay requires thorough evaluation and analysis supported by reliable data. This post explained how to create the outline properly, and all you have to do is to write according to the structure provided. Remember, once you create the structure and choose the adequate pattern (point-by-point or block), you just have to fill in the missing detail with results of your search.
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- Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Types & Examples
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Types & Examples
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Creating a winning essay from scratch is a real challenge. But starting with a good outline helps a lot. In this article we will show you how to write a compare and contrast essay outline. Having a structured plan ensures that you build your arguments in an easy-to-follow manner. For that reason, this article is jam-packed with detailed writing tips followed by outline templates. Besides, you will find some examples you are sure to like. So let’s dive deep into the details!
What Is Compare and Contrast Essay Outline and Why Is It Important?
A compare and contrast outline is a scheme of your future paper on the basis of which you can contrast two or more objects. It’s a visual structure of your piece showing a clear plan for your work. Outlines are used to show connections between critical ideas within your text. Writing a compare and contrast essay outline helps you in a number of ways:
- Organizing your ideas
- Shaping the pattern of descriptions
- Listing all similarities & differences between objects
- Review your paper’s structure
- Correcting all mistakes at the early stage.
You can choose between two main types of compare and contrast essay outlines:
- Point-by-point method
- Block pattern.
Each of these methods depends on the way you want to arrange facts about 2 or more items. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. We will describe them down below so you can choose the most suitable method.
Compare and Contrast Essay: Point-By-Point Outline
Compare and contrast essay point-by-point outline is used to analyse one aspect of 2 items within one paragraph. You can choose any similar or different characteristic. Then, you will explore each object in terms of this aspect. A point-by-point method is very helpful if you have multiple items for comparison. Let’s see how its structure should look:
- Engaging hook
- List of items to compare
- Thesis statement: list of criteria or topics of comparison
- Brief Summary
This structure helps to provide an organized review of the objects or situation you compare against the whole list of criteria you have selected. You can create as many paragraphs as you need to cover your topic in detail. The point-by-point method may be quite hard at first, but once you master it, you will be able to create an explicit overview of any objects. We recommend using a good compare and contrast essay example .
Compare and Contrast Essay: Block Method Outline
A compare and contrast essay block method outline typically involves comparison of multiple items which are quite different from each other. Each item is described within its own block, where you put it against all criteria you have selected for analysis. This is how it should look like:
- Captivating hook
- List of items for comparison
- Thesis statement: list of criteria or topics for contrast
- Aspect 3, etc
- Brief summary
The block method is way easier than the point-by-point one. So if you are a beginner or want to keep things simple, use this method without hesitation.
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
When writing a compare and contrast essay outline, you should set a proper organization of your ideas in this plan from the start. First, choose one of the best compare and contrast essay topics and introduce it. Then, you list the items or subjects you compare against each other. After that, provide your thesis statement with criteria for comparison. Finally, you will write one sentence per each paragraph, showing what is similar and what is different between the items. Let’s look at each section more in detail.
Introduction for Your Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
Let us start with the compare and contrast essay introduction. Outline should be short so better give only 1 sentence per each element. Here are the key components your essay introduction should contain:
- Main topic of your essay Start with an interesting hook.
- Items you will compare This could be people, animals, concepts, academic areas , drinks – whatever you chose to write about.
- Thesis statement with the list of aspects Size, color, usability, negative consequences of usage or consumption, etc – depending on the context.
Make sure your thesis statement is clear. For better results, feel free to use Compare and Contrast Thesis Statement Generator .
Body Paragraphs in Your Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
When it comes to body paragraph, outline for compare and contrast essay should follow an appropriate pattern – block or point-to-point one. It depends on the number of selected items as well as aspects they will be compared by. If you analyze 2 items using 3 criteria, your block pattern outline will have two body paragraphs. At the same time, a point-to-point pattern may have 3 body paragraphs. This happens because you can choose 3 characteristics for comparison. It would be useful to conduct a preliminary research before writing the outline. This way, you will understand which pattern is better to use.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline – Conclusion
Last but not the least – an effective compare and contrast essay conclusion. It should briefly summarize the key ideas of your work. This boils down to:
- Restatement of your thesis presented in introduction.
- Key findings discovered during the comparison.
- Significance of your comparison.
Each part of the conclusion in your plan should be one sentence long. Remember to keep your outline brief as it will make it easier to review before writing an entire text.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template
We have prepared a simple compare and contrast essay outline template for your reference. Feel free to use the template by StudyCrumb to make your own outline on the topic you have selected.
- Main topic mentioning the items for comparison
- Thesis statement with the list of characteristics
- Compare the items by the first criterion
- Or put the first item against all criteria
- Compare the items by the second criterion
- Or put the second item against all criteria, etc
- Re-evaluating your thesis
- Summarizing comparison results
You can also find more templates for inspiration below.
Compare and Contrast Essay Point-By-Point Outline Template
Here is another compare and contrast essay point-by-point outline template for your in more detail.
- Main topic: comparison of Item A & Item B
- Thesis statement: find out the relation between A and B using criteria
- Inspect A using criterion 1
- Examine B using criterion 1
- Inspect A using criterion 2
- Examine B using criterion 2
- Inspect A using criterion 3
- Examine B using criterion 3
- Highlight the relation between A & B
- Summarize the comparison results
- Elaborate on the significance of findings.
Keep in mind that your own outline could differ a lot since you might have much more criteria to analyze your selected items.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template for Block Pattern
Here is another template: compare and contrast essay block method outline. Check it out and proceed with writing on your specific topic.
- Main topic: presenting the contrast between Item A & Item B
- Thesis statement: list criteria 1, 2 and 3 for analysis of A & B
- A's criterion 1
- A's criterion 2
- A's criterion 3
- B's criterion 1
- B's criterion 2
- B's criterion 3
- Highlight the contrast between A & B
- Summarize your findings
- Explain the importance of your analysis.
Remember that your outline doesn’t need to be perfect. Just make it informative. This way, it will turn out very helpful for you.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Example
Are you looking for some helpful compare and contrast essay outline examples? We’ve got some for you to analyze. Take it and use it to make your own essay.
Have you found some new ideas of what to write about? Good luck to you and thanks for visiting this page.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline: Final Thoughts
We have explored a compare and contrast essay outline in detail. Now it’s time to use all rules covered in this blog post to create your own plan. Use our templates to organize your thoughts when comparing items to each other. Make sure to review your plan before writing a full version of your essay. Remember that compare and contrast essay is a typical assignment that can influence your final results.
Feel free to get in touch with our custom academic writing service at any time. Our academic experts will be happy to write a tailored paper from scratch or add professional touches to your draft.
FAQ About Compare and Contrast Essay Outlines
1. how do you write a college compare and contrast essay outline.
A typical college compare and contrast essay outline presents 1 specific subject in each paragraph. It either offers a comparison or contrast of some items. The goal of a college essay is to demonstrate how well you can describe similarities and differences between your different items. Still, you should keep your essay structure plain. Do not make any overcomplicated statements.
2. How do you write a 5 paragraph compare and contrast essay outline?
A 5-paragraph compare and contrast essay outline is a simple type of work. It consists of an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a brief conclusion. Here is how you write your plan:
- Pick your topic carefully.
- Organize your ideas.
- Develop your thesis statement.
- Decide on the structuring method.
- Assign key characteristics to each item.
- Write, proofread & edit.
3. What is a compare and contrast essay outline with transition words?
While writing a compare and contrast essay outline, you should use transition words to provide a smooth flow. It must look logical: each transition between sentences and paragraphs should be meaningful. The following transition words are expected to be used in your outline:
- In the same way
- In like manner
- By the same token
- On the contrary etc.
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Compare And Contrast Essay Outline
Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline - Template & Examples
By: Barbara P.
Reviewed By: Rylee W.
Published on: Mar 24, 2020
When it comes to writing a compare and contrast essay, you might be wondering where to begin. Composing a properly formatted and well-structured outline is a great starting point. Your ability to create a perfect compare and contrast paper depends on making a perfect outline. It allows you to organize the data and information into a standard structure.
Middle school and high school students have to write compare and contrast essays. It teaches students the analytical writing process that prepares them for more advanced types of academic writing. Writing a compare and contrast essay is relatively easy if you follow the proper procedure.
Throughout this article, we will show you how to compose an outline for a compare and contrast essay. You’ll also get compare and contrast essay outline templates to help you craft an outline for your essay.
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What is a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
Many students find it scary and stressful to write a good compare and contrast essay. This essay asks to compare and contrast two things that belong to the same category. For example, compare and contrast two apples or two oranges. But, you cannot compare or contrast cats with dogs because they belong to different groups.
To compare means finding the similarities, and contrasting means to look at the differences between the two subjects. To find the similarities and differences, the subjects must belong to the same category. Always bear that in mind while choosing the subject and incorporate the following things in your essay:
- State, discuss and elaborate on something unknown.
- Clarify common misunderstanding.
- Focus on a central point and make an analysis
- Make a meaningful comparison.
- Support your claim with facts and evidence collected from reliable sources
To ensure everything will be added to the essay, a smart trick is to create an outline before writing an essay. Compare and contrast essay follows two different structures; the point-by-point method and the block method. When you start writing your essay, it is important to decide which method you need to follow.
1. Point by Point Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
Point by point pattern (organization by criteria) compares and contrasts the more similar subjects in nature. It presents the similarities and differences one by one making notes of both subjects. Each point is evaluated against particular criteria, followed by another point evaluated against other criteria. Here is a structure of compare and contrast point by point outline:
Here is a block diagram of the point-by-point structure to help you get a clear idea of this format.
Check this sample for your help.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE POINT BY POINT
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The block pattern (organization by item) compares and contrasts extremely different subjects from each other. It discusses one subject and its evaluation criteria, facts, any evidence at one time in one paragraph. The next paragraph discusses the second subject and its relevant facts. Here is a structure of compare and contrast essay block outline:
Check out the block diagram given below. It will help you understand the block structure in a better way.
Here is a sample for your ease.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE BLOCK METHOD
How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline?
Now that you have two organizational structures and patterns, what should be stated in each part of the essay? Then, depending on the structure selected, you can begin developing the outline for your essay.
A typical compare and contrast essay outline comprises the following components.
- Body Paragraph 1
- Body Paragraph 2
- Body Paragraph 3
When you begin writing an essay, the first thing you need is an interesting and eye-catching essay topic. As discussed above, compare and contrast essay topics should belong to the same category having some similarities and differences simultaneously. Also, choose interesting and unique subjects that are relatively new for the readers. After selecting the topic, you are ready to move on to the essay writing process.
A compare and contrast essay is strictly based on facts and evidence. So you need to make sure to provide sufficient information. According to a typical format, an essay has an introduction, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. However, if you need to share more details, feel free to add more body paragraphs to cover all essential points.
Let’s see the breakdown of each paragraph.
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Compare and Contrast Essay Introduction
The introduction is the most important part of the whole essay, so it should be well-structured and properly formatted. Furthermore, it should grab the reader’s attention and make him read the complete essay.
Before you start writing the essay, thoroughly research your topic to collect facts and evidence from credible sources. The research will give you insight into the topic and help you support your argument. You need to clarify both concepts in the introduction paragraph to make the reader understand both subjects.
The introduction is the lead in part of the essay. So, you should give a glimpse of what you are going to evaluate.Then, catch the reader’s attention and mark the essay’s tone of the essay with a strong thesis statement.
Compare and Contrast Essay Body Paragraphs
The body section is used to discuss the similarities and differences in detail with facts and evidence. Typically, there are three body paragraphs, and each one discusses only one criterion or aspect of the subject. However, you can use as many paragraphs as the number of criteria or aspects you have to discuss.
Explore one aspect or criteria in one paragraph and the next aspect or criteria in the next paragraph. For example, if you have to compare two aspects, you’ll need two paragraphs. Three paragraphs will cover three criteria and so on. To make the comparison easier, draw a Venn diagram which will ease the whole comparison process.
Here is an example of a Venn diagram for your help.
Once you list down all the similarities and differences in the Venn diagram, you can easily analyze them in the essay. Moreover, add special transitional words and phrases to make powerful transitions throughout the essay. For comparison, you can use words like: both, also, similarly, likewise, or alike. While contrasting, you can use words like whereas, while, in comparison, in contrast, or on the other hand.
The body section should be analyzed from the reader’s perspective. Ideally, the reader and your paper both should not be biased.
Compare and Contrast Essay Conclusion
Generally, the conclusion section is relatively simpler than the body and the introduction section. However, it holds the same significance as the introduction paragraph, making sure it is structured properly.
In the conclusion paragraph, summarize all the main points and analyze what you have discussed in the essay. Then, synthesize the thesis statement with the information presented in the body section. State the significance of comparison and contrast to clarify the importance of the main topic.
Here is a compare and contrast essay outline worksheet that you can use to organize your essay.
Once you are done with the writing, spend some time proofreading your essay and pay attention to grammar and punctuation. A minor mistake can ruin the essence of all points of comparison and contrast. Ask your friend, parents, or any family member to proofread your essay. There is a high chance that they notice the mistakes that you have missed.
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE SAMPLE
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Examples
Now that you know everything about compare and contrast essay outline and structure let’s look at some examples for more help. The compare and contrast essay examples will help you get started with your paper.
MLA COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE COLLEGE
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE HIGH SCHOOL
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE MIDDLE SCHOOL
AP WORLD HISTORY COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE TEMPLATE
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE WORKSHEET
COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE 5TH GRADE
Hopefully, the guidelines and examples given above will help you craft an impressive compare and contrast essay outline. However, if you are still not sure, you can get help from a professional essay writer. They will help you compose an outline according to the guidelines and also write a complete essay.
5StarEssays.com is a reliable ‘ do my essay for me? ’ service that you can trust with your academic essay writings. We are available round the clock so feel free to contact us anytime to place your order . Our writers can write all types of essays and papers, including a research paper, thesis, or dissertation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you start a compare and contrast essay.
Here are some steps that you should follow and start writing the essay.
- Choose a good essay topic.
- Do the research and gather meaningful information.
- Write a good thesis statement.
- Create the essay outline.
- Write a compelling introduction.
- After an introduction, write the main body paragraphs.
- Conclude the essay with a strong conclusion.
What is a compare and contrast sentence?
A compare and contrast sentence analyzes or examines two or more things that share a common trait while contrasting seeks out the differences between them
How do you start a compare and contrast essay introduction?
A great way to start an introduction is, to begin with, a hook. A hook sentence or a hook statement is a starting sentence of an essay. For an interesting and powerful start, it could be a bold statement, a rhetorical question, or something that grabs the audience’s attention instantly.
Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.
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Sample Compare-Contrast Essay Outline
by Janice Campbell · Published December 18, 2013 · Updated January 25, 2020
Sample compare-contrast essay outline
Subject: Homer’s Poems Focus 1 : Achilles and Odysseus from the Iliad and the Odyssey Focus 2: A comparison between the two heroes’ attitudes to war
Thesis: Odysseus in the Odyssey and Achilles in the Iliad are both frequently tested by hostile forces and combat. However, they differ in their characteristic range of responses to critical situations. A study of these two men in this regard reveals some really significant differences about the worldview in the two poems.
Topic Sentence (TS) 1: At first glance, Achilles and Odysseus share many things in common. (Paragraph goes on to discuss the similarities between the two men.)
TS 2 : However, they differ completely in their attitude to the war and the warrior code. (Paragraph goes on to discuss the differences in their attitudes.)
TS 3 : From these differences in attitude arise the different ways Odysseus and Achilles respond to physical danger, one of the most remarkable differences in this comparison. (Paragraph goes on to argue cause and effect.)
TS 4 : Given the above, it is not surprising that Achilles and Odysseus differ considerably in the way they treat other people who face dangers with them. (Paragraph leads toward a conclusion by describing the consequences of their attitudes.)
Notice that in the sample outline, the argument begins by establishing that the two things being compared are sufficiently similar to bear the comparison . That is often an important point. You should not launch a comparison without indicating why you think these two items belong together in a comparison.
For instance, if you set up a comparison in which you compared, say, Peter Rabbit and Odysseus, the reader might genuinely wonder about what these things have in common that enables the comparison between them to make any argumentative sense.
This example is excerpted from the Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers , which contains more information on this topic and many others. Although this sample mentions only one paragraph per topic sentence, you may have more than one paragraph supporting each main point.
If needed, you may review how to write a comparison or contrast essay in the previous post.
You will find the Handbook and the rest of the Excellence in Literature curriculum at Everyday Education – Janice Campbell’s bookstore .
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COMPARE AND CONTRAST ESSAY OUTLINE. I. Introduction. A. Hook: B. Introduce the subjects being compared or contrasted: C. Thesis: II. Body.
How to Start a Compare and Contrast Essay: Brainstorm Similarities and Differences ... When you are set with your topic, the first thing you
Each paragraph in the body should start with a topic sentence (point 1, criterion 1/item A, B) focused on the aspect you're about to compare/contrast. Then, you
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template. A. Introduction a. Introduction to the broad topic b. Specific topic c. Thesis statement. B. Body Paragraphs.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline Template · Introduction. Main topic mentioning the items for comparison; Thesis statement with the list of
Writing Centre. Compare and Contrast Essay Template. Introduction: General statement about topic. State title, author and general ideas of what is being
What is a Compare and Contrast Essay Outline · First topic sentence · The first argument about the first subject, followed by evaluation criteria.
A comparison and contrast essay focuses on how two items or texts are similar, different, or similar in some ways ... POINT-BY-POINT METHOD OUTLINE EXAMPLE:.
1. Begin by Brainstorming With a Venn Diagram. · 2. Develop a Thesis Statement. · 3. Create an Outline. · 4. Write the Introduction. · 5. Write the
Notice that in the sample outline, the argument begins by establishing that the two things being compared are sufficiently similar to bear the