A comparison and contrast essay dissects two related ideas

How to write a Compare and Contrast essay: outline, format, structure, examples, topics

Some students use comparison/contrast techniques in their essays, in order to develop argument in later stages of their assignments. For example if you assert that the approach to the USSR was more effective during Truman's presidency than during Roosevelt's presidency, then the comparison/contrasting technique will help you to develop your contention.

An important thing about writing any essay is using special cue words that will make your essay more coherent and logical. In the case of a compare and contrast essay you will need to use cue words signifying comparison, for example:

An example of compare contrast essay analysis guiding you all the way about the aspects to focus while writing a compare and contrast essay. The topic of this essay is the differences and similarities between frogs and toads.

Compare and Contrast Essay Examples-College or High School Writing: Comparison Of Websites

In this video, I highlight the basic differences between point-by-point and block-style essay structures, and I give examples of both for a compare and contrast essay.

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If you want to write a successful compare/contrast essay, you'll need to avoid writing about really obvious differences and similarities. For example:

Comparison and contrast essay - Free Essay Writing Tips

If you want to write a successful compare/contrast essay, you'll need to avoid writing about really obvious differences and similarities. For example:

A very important point in writing an effective compare and contrast essay is a correct selection of the lines of comparison: if you are comparing two objects, you should be comparing them against one and the same parameter. For example, looking at the picture above you will see that oranges and apples are compared in regards to things like origin, place of growth, a thickness of peel etc. All of these features are inherent in both objects. If you say that an apple is different from an orange because an apple is green and the orange is juicy, you will be “comparing apples and oranges” – this time in the figurative meaning of "likening two incomparable things".

Compare and contrast essay sample. Compare and contrast essay samples analysis. Example of compare and contrast essay.

Free Tips on Comparison and contrast essay

The second method of organization for a compare/contrast essay is called point-by-point organization. This structure will elicit an essay with five or six paragraphs depending on how many points of comparison your student has chosen. The first paragraph is again the introduction. The second paragraph will discuss one point and how it factors into both items. For example, one paragraph may discuss the nutritional content of both the apple and the orange. The third paragraph will then discuss another point about both items. Here it may examine the popularity of both the apple and the orange. The fourth paragraph does the same with the third point, and if there is a fourth point of comparison it is examined in the fifth paragraph. The final paragraph is again the conclusion. The advantage to point-by-point organization is the two items are examined simultaneously, and the reader gets a clearer value judgment for each point. Using this type of organization can make body paragraphs unusually short if students to not elaborate adequately, so encourage students to have at least four sentences in each of these paragraphs.


Compare and Contrast Essay detailed writing guide with structure patterns, introduction and conclusion techniques, useful examples, tips and best practices.

There are 2 ways to successfully organize a compare/contrast essay.

The first structure is called block organization. With block organization, your essay will have four paragraphs. The first paragraph will be the introduction. The second paragraph will discuss all the points about one item. For example, give all the pertinent information about apples, their nutritional content, popularity and availability. The third paragraph will discuss all the points about the second item, in this case oranges, again examining their nutritional content, popularity and availability. Students should present the points about the two items in the same order in the two body paragraphs so that the essay has unity and parallel structure. The final paragraph is the conclusion. Block organization is most effective when there is not a large amount of information included in the essay. If a student tries to put too much information in block organization, the overall essay will seem disjointed and lacking in coherence.

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In creating an outline for their essay, the student should note that the body paragraphs of the Compare and Contrast Essay can be written in at least two ways: one, by illustrating the number of ways the two items compare, in one or more paragraphs, then how they contrast in the following paragraph/s, or vice versa; or, two, by illustrating in each body paragraph how the items both compare and contrast.