Top Tips and Examples of Compare and Contrast Essay Writing
Compare and contrast essays are one of the most common types of essays that students have to write in college and even in high school. Teachers assign these essays to assess the comparative and analytical skills of their students.
In this blog, I will give some useful tips and examples to write a stellar compare and contrast essay that will knock the socks off your professor. But before we get to that you must know what a compare and contrast essay is and how to recognize it.
What is a compare and contrast essay?
In a compare and contrast essay, you have to select two or more subjects (i.e. events, characters, movies, texts, or ideas) and compare their similarities and contrast their differences. An essay writer can either do both comparing and contrasting or you can exclusively compare or exclusively contrast, depending on the guideline of your teacher.
Understanding the essay prompt
It is easier to recognize a compare and contrast essay if keywords like compare, contrast, similarities, and differences, have been used in the essay prompts. For example:
- Compare the causes and outcomes of WWI to WWII
- Contrast William Wordsworth with William Shakespeare
- Compare and contrast Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement.
Keeping in view the aforementioned examples, one can easily recognize that you are being asked to focus on similarities between the two subjects in the first prompt, and exclusively focus on differences in the second one. Whereas, in the third one, you have to write about both the similarities and differences.
With some topics, it is hard to even identify if the essay is a compare and contrast one. Look at the following examples:
- Choose one theme such as wisdom, love, or hate, and consider how it is treated in William Wordsworth and William Shakespeare’s poetry.
- How is oppression defined by different authors that we have studied thus far?
In these examples, it is difficult to understand if you are supposed to just compare or contrast or both. When presented with such examples, you have to emphasize the language of the prompt. In both above-given examples, you have to write about similarities as well as differences.
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If you are going to write your essay yourself, here are some useful tips to write an amazing compare and contrast essay:
- Make sure that the subjects that you are selecting are easily compatible. For example, choose a poet to compare with another poet. Don’t try to compare a poet with a theory, or an idea.
- Make a list of similarities and differences. You should do this before finalizing your topic if given the choice.
- You should clearly specify subjects that you are going to compare and contrast in the essay.
- In addition to focusing on obvious differences, you should highlight subtle differences between the given subjects.
- Organize your essay. There are two ways to organize your essay. If you are writing about two characters in a movie:
- According to the subject-by-subject structure, you will make all arguments about the first subject and then write about the other subject.
- In the case of the point-by-point organization, you will write about one point of comparison or contrast at a time.
Make correct use of signaling words. Below is a list of transition words used for comparing and contrasting:
- On the other hand
- On the contrary
- As well as
- At the same time
Make sure to use these tips to ensure an effective compare and contrast essay write-up. If you are still confused, get help from an essay writing service now. Good luck!