How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

Sometimes, you might think that writing an essay on a single topic is challenging enough! And is probably wondering where to start with a comprehensive essay on two subjects. Worry no more, here is a step-by-step guide by HelpHub on how to write a compare and contrast essay.

  1. Select your topics
  2. Analyze the similarities and differences
  3. Concentrate on your main argument
  4. Decide on the style of your presentation
  5. Write an outline
  6. Insert supportive evidence
  7. Use transitional words in your essay
  8. Revise carefully and proofread your essay

ü  Step 1 – Select Your Topics

To create a comprehensive and meaningful compare and contrast essay, always remember that your two topics must be different, but in the same category. Remember, the winning or best compare and contrast essay does not only focus on how selected items are similar or different. Subsequently, you must support every statement you make with details and facts. The topic will guide on how to write a compare and contrast essay.

Finding a suitable topic is not rocket science, but on the other hand, needs proper planning and effort.  The following guides will make it easy when selecting the best topic for your essay.

How to Select a Compare and Contrast Subject

First, the topic is a key feature that attracts the reader’s attention. It is advisable to pick from public or motivational topics that most people are familiar with. At this point, a little meditation is essential. Follow the steps as you answer the questions below to help you select a great topic:

  • Are you happy to write on the topics?
  • Do you find the event, personality, or situation at hand exciting enough to write on?
  • How much knowledge do you have on a particular subject?
  • Is there enough information on the topic available online?
  • Do you draw any inspiration or motivation from the subject?

After a keen consideration of the above factors, remember to find strong evidence to support your subject. Furthermore, your topic should be specific.

Catchy Topics You Might Consider to Make the Best Compare and Contrast Essay.

  • Movies vs books
  • Capitalism vs communalism
  • Fiction vs reality
  • Private vs public universities
  • Devolved government vs centralized government
  • Yahoo vs google

ü  Step 2 – Analyze the Similarities and Differences

You can use two techniques to facilitate the analysis of the similarities and differences of your subject. First, you can draw a Venn diagram, and secondly, you can make two lines, one list of differences, and the other list of similarities.

·      Two Lists – Parallel Lines

In the event you prefer to focus on one topic at a time, we recommend using two different lists. Additionally, keep the characteristics or features of the different topics almost parallel. Each line should have details on the different subjects you will discuss. By so doing, you will be able to structure a good argument. The two lists provide a starting point on how to write a compare and contrast essay.

·      The Venn Diagram

The Venn diagram consists of two overlying circles, one for each of the subjects under comparison and contrast. Write the different traits separately, and within those that they share, write in the overlapping space. The Venn diagram is a visual tool because it organizes the differences and similarities precisely. Therefore, all you need to do is look at your Venn diagram to catch a glimpse of what you will write about. The diagram provides a visual representation that will guide how to write a compare and contrast essay.

ü  Step3 – Concentrate on Your Main Argument

A comprehensive and good compare and contrast essay are more than just listing the differences and similarities of your subject to make a statement that is meaningful to a broad topic. Nevertheless, what strikes you upon looking at your list of similarities and differences should make the basis of your main argument.

ü  Step 4 – Decide on the Style of Your Presentation

There are different ways of structuring a compare and contrast essay.

  • First, write one topic in detail, then switch to the other topic.

Assuming that you are comparing and contrasting rhythm and blues and hard rock. You can use the first two paragraphs on features common to rhythm and blues, along with some elements they share with hard rock. Afterward, you can then focus on hard rock in the preceding section.

  • Secondly, you can decide to go point by point throughout the essay. You can decide to write the similarities than the differences.

ü  Step 5 – Write an Outline

It is from the structure that you choose that you will craft an outline.  Particularly, an essay consists of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, always consider four-body paragraphs instead of the regular three-body paragraph to balance your two subjects.

ü  Step 6 – Insert Supportive Evidence

Usually, you should back up your claims with evidence from personal experience, reading, or research. In short, with any information, you include in your essay, be ready and sure to provide an explanation of why it is essential in the context of your broad argument.

ü  Step 7- Use Transitional Words in your Essay

The core function of transitional words in your essay is to provide a nice flow from one statement to the next. When making any form of comparisons throughout your compare and contrast essay, use transitional words like “on the contrary”, “on the other hand”, and “nevertheless, nonetheless”.

ü  Step 8 – Revise Carefully and Proofread your Essay

When you finish, carefully read through your essay several times to check grammar, spelling, punctuation, and tenses. Sometimes it is advisable to get a neutral person, maybe a friend, to quality assure your essay. By so doing, you get a neutral opinion on any available errors you might have ignored. By following these steps, you will be in a position to write a compare-and-contrast essay that captivates your audience.

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